Photo of Victor Cui via ONEFC.com
Just in case you feel you're not getting enough of a mixed martial arts (MMA) dosage this weekend with Bellator 71, UFC on FX 4: "Maynard vs Guida," and UFC 147, Asia's biggest MMA promotion, ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC), will stage its fourth event as it brings ONE FC 4: ‘Destiny of Warriors' to the capitol of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur on June 23, 2012.
The event, which will be held at Stadium Negara, will be headlined by former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Strikeforce veteran Renato Sobral taking on Japanese superstar and world class Judo player Tatsuya Mizuno in a light heavyweight tilt. Roger Huerta will return to action in the co-main event as he looks to put a halt to his three fight skid against Zorobabel Moreira.
With the UFC being the world's leading MMA promotion (for now), ONE FC looks to continue its own personal growth and popularity in Asia with hopes of entertaining fans worldwide, as well,
ONE FC's owner, Victor Cui, like many others, got hooked on the sport of MMA during the ‘dark days,' dating all the way back to UFC 1. Now, owner of his very own promotion, Victor is determined to bring a brand of MMA that will entertain fans, not only in Asia, but all over the globe.
From working with the Olympics, the PGA Tour and currently for ESPN Star Sports, Cui definitely has the credentials and the work ethic to get the job done.
Cui took the time to speak to Pro MMA Radio's Larry Pepe about the vision and the goals he has for ONE FC, this weekend, and moving forward for years to come.
Check it out:
"Our goal is to bring MMA to every single household, every single Asian, every single sports fan, every single fan in Asia. We have an unprecedented 10-year television deal with ESPN and Star Sports out here in Asia. There is no sport in Asia that has a 10-year TV deal. 10 years in a deal basically means forever in media terms. It's a phenomenal partnership for us because not only is ESPN and Star Sports channels out here in Asia, the two most dominant by far TV channels in the region, it helps put ONE FC in 500,000,000 viewers and 28 countries all year round. The fact is, it is very clear how MMA is exploding and growing in Asia and ONE FC is the dominant leader as a regional player in this sport. They wanted to make sure they were a part of it. We are exclusive with them and no other MMA content can be on those channels as of now."
In an east-meets-west mentality, Cui made sure he brought together the best of both the unified rules that fans are accustomed to today as well as incorporating the old PRIDE-style rules the hard core fans used to enjoy during the heyday of PRIDE FC, such as soccer kicks and head stomps. With one of his goals being the desire to promote Asian champions, Cui says he also want to bring in international superstars that fans love to see compete, as well:
"I try to do a blend for what were the best practices of the east and the best practices of the west. We didn't create ONE FC to be a copy of anything. We wanted to find out what was really the best that fans wanted to see and what was best for the fighters and for the sport. One of those things that we eventually decide on was the cage. If you're a lover of MMA then you loved PRIDE and PRIDE rules if you're a hardcore fan. That's what I wanted to see. Again, I wanted to take something from the west and something from the east and make it blend. We found a way to make sure we implemented that in the highest safety standards. What we try to do with our fight cards is, I really want to develop Asian stars and give opportunities to Asian champions from around the region to build those local heroes and make the athletes and event locally relevant, but I also want to make it globally relevant and globally applicable because we have fans from all around the world and we live stream globally so we want to make sure we always bring those international stars. We have been working with DREAM and Japanese MMA fighters for a while now and are always looking for good matches. Babalu and Mizuno is a great match-up for the fans and it is going to be great fireworks."
As the UFC keeps rising to the top, crushing the competition such as Elite XC and Affliction and absorbing other top promotions such as World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Strikeforce along the way, Cui is very confident the relationship between ONE FC and Zuffa's main money-maker is a very friendly one:
"There is a relationship. The MD (marketing director) for Asia is a really great guy called Mark Fisher. I have known him for several years and we talk on a regular basis and exchange emails. I was the only Asian promoter that was invited out to the UFC event in Japan a couple of months ago and I met with Dana White and Lorenzo at that time. We talked about the sport, the growth of the sport and what ONE FC is doing, so there definitely is an open dialogue there. It was definitely positive (meeting). Those guys are doing a lot of great things for the sport around the world. It was good to meet with them."
ONE FC 4: 'Destiny of Warriors," will be streamed at ONEFC.com via Live Sport TV for a low cost of $9.99 and the under card will be streamed free of charge and begins at 8am ET and 5am PT for those in the US. To learn more about ONE FC, click here, here, and here.
For a chance to win some cool ONE FC swag, click here.