Matt Hume (pictured above with Victor Cui) has been appointed as Vice President of Operations and Competition of ONE Fighting Championship. He was previously ONE FC's Chief Official and Head Referee but it is understood that veteran DREAM referee Yuji Shimada will now replace him in that role.
According to the press release Hume's duties will include:
Matchmaking and talent recruitment, managing standards in rules and regulations, and guardian of ONE FC’s first-class show experience.
Hume has been involved in MMA for over two decades and his name is synonymous with Asian MMA as he was the rule director of both PRIDE and DREAM. He is also a well regarded trainer whose fighters include current UFC contenders Rich Franklin, Demetrious Johnson and Tim Boetsch.
More from the press release after the jump.
Victor Cui, the CEO of ONE Fighting Championship, paid tribute to the role Hume had played in developing the sport of MMA,
"Matt Hume is one of the pioneers of MMA. Before the sport had gained any exposure or publicity, Matt had dedicated his life to building the sport and developing world-class fighters. Matt has done just about everything one can do for the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. ONE FC is thrilled to have such an incredible MMA expert on board, and with his talent, influence and experience, we will continue to produce the greatest TV and live in-house experience in the world and forge ahead with signing the very top fighters on this planet."
Meanwhile Hume himself stated that,
"I’m honored to be a part of the largest and most exciting MMA promotion in Asia. Since ONE FC’s inception, I was heavily involved as the organization’s Chief Official and Head Referee. Time and time again, I have been thoroughly impressed by the quality of work that the extremely talented ONE FC staff has produced. ONE FC is a serious player in the ever-developing world of MMA, and I am confident that ONE FC will continue to take Asian MMA to unbelievable heights."
It is understood that Hume will no longer be refereeing fights himself, a duty he had previously shared with Shimada. This leave ONE FC looking for a new referee to join the team with experienced DREAM referee Daisuke Noguchi believed to be the leading candidate.