ONE FC has only one show publicly confirmed at present but Asia's biggest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion revealed this week that there are 11 more in the works for 2013 as well as two summits planned. The television footprint is also expanding rapidly with deals already signed and sealed in Canada and Cambodia which will see future events broadcast live while ESPN Star Sports is rumored to be ready to start doing live coverage.
ONE FC will definitely be returning to Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia this year with negotiations also underway with prospective venues in Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Japan according to a story on Combat Asia.
There will also be two more summits which will follow in the footsteps of the 'ONE Asia 2012 Summit' which was held at the Marina Bay Sands Resort in Singapore last year although the dates have yet to be revealed. However one date which does appear to be set in stone is April 5, 2013, when ONE FC will return to Singapore for the fourth show to be held in the country which Victor Cui's promotion calls home.
According to the twitter feed of The Fight Nation that event will be headlined by a lightweight title fight between Japanese fighters Kotetsu Boku and Shinya Aoki and will also see the return of Melvin Manhoef who is coming off back-to-back first round knockout wins.
Boku won the belt by stopping Zorobabel Moreira in the third round of a highly entertaining fight at ONE FC: 'Rise of Kings' and Aoki, who trains alongside 'Zoro' at Evolve MMA, has made it clear that he is looking to avenge his teammate's surprise loss. Both Japanese fighters are on a good run of form as Boku has won six of his last seven fights while Aoki has nine wins in his last ten.
According to the same source it will also be the first time that ESPN Star Sports televises a live MMA card. In the past, the network, which is available in 24 countries across Asia, has shown footage on a delayed basis but as of April it appears that ONE FC events will be broadcast live.
While no dates are confirmed at present a venue has already been found for the first ever ONE FC card to take place in Cambodia with the general manager of the brand-new Beeline Arena in Phnom Penh confirming in a recent interview that he was in discussions with ONE FC representatives with a view to hosting an event there in the second half of the year.
ONE FC will be available on domestic television in Cambodia after signing a deal with local channel MyTV this week while The Fight Network is going to start broadcasting events in Canada after signing a five year deal. In both instances, events will be shown live starting with immediate effect.
Next month is the turn of Kuala Lumpur with ONE FC: 'Return of Warriors' set for the 15,000 capacity Stadium Putra. A featherweight title fight between Honorio Banario and Eric Kelly will headline while the co main event is a title eliminator involving Rey Docyogen and Shinichi Kojima.