On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman once again spoke with Victor Cui, the CEO of ONE Championship.
Only a bit under four years old but already established as both the largest MMA promotion in Asia by far and one of the largest in the world, ONE Championship has another ambitious schedule set for the remainder of 2015 and more plans for expansion in 2016.
To find out the details, we spoke with Victor Cui by Skype Saturday.
“We’ve been able to grow exponentially every year and to really tap the new markets,” he said, noting the support ONE Championship has gotten from sponsors, governments, and media.
“This last half of the year is definitely packed. We announced our next six events,” he said.
So far, this is the schedule for ONE Championship for the remainder of 2015:
ONE: DYNASTY OF CHAMPIONS (SHANGHAI), 1 September in Shanghai, China
ONE: ODYSSEY OF CHAMPIONS, 27 September in Jakarta, Indonesia
ONE: TIGERS OF ASIA, 9 October in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
ONE: BATTLE AT THE GATES, 7 November in Macau, China
ONE: PRIDE OF LIONS, 13 November in Singapore
ONE: SPIRIT OF CHAMPIONS, 11 December in Manila, Philippines
But wait, there’s more!
“We’ve got several others that I’m going to announce in the upcoming weeks that we’re going to add to that schedule,” he revealed.
“So it’s a busy, busy year for us.”
Their most recent event, on July 18, marked the promotion’s debut in the country of Myanmar. On that card’s main event, ONE Championship’s bantamweight champion, Bibiano Fernandes, who is known as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist, successfully defended his belt with a third-round TKO victory against Finnish fighter Toni Tauru, ending the fight with a three-punch combination.
Their next card, on September 1 in the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China, will see the promotion’s debut in that city, which is both the largest in China and in the world. On that card’s main event, ONE middleweight champion Igor Svirid of Kazakhstan will defend his belt against the unbeaten challenger Vitaly Bigdash of Russia.
We also discussed the organization’s growth, their building of “Asian heroes” and regional and national champions, how they navigated between the government and anti-government rebels in Myanmar, plans to expand to even more countries in Asia in 2016, and much more.
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Thanks, Eddie Goldman