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SBD Global/April 30, 2013/Events and Attractions

One F.C. Founder Believes Mixed Martial Arts Will Be 'Most Popular Sport In Asia' In 10 Years

One Fighting Championship Founder & CEO Victor Cui, a "velvet-voiced Canadian of Filipino and Chinese descent," is the would-be king of mixed martial arts in Asia, according to Christopher Clarey of the N.Y. TIMES. He is also "the would-be king of Asian sport." Cui: "I'll make a really bold statement. I believe in 10 years, mixed martial arts will be the most popular sport in Asia, ahead of soccer, ahead of everything." Cui "has done his due diligence, recruited wealthy backers, including the Singapore Economic Development Board, and uncovered what he says is the chance of a lifetime." Cui: "When I first crunched the numbers, I thought, 'I have it wrong; I made a mistake.'" One F.C.'s approach is pan-Asian: "what Cui calls a Champions League approach to M.M.A., referring to the European football competition. Last year, One F.C. signed a 10-year agreement for undisclosed terms with a broadcaster in Asia, ESPN-Star Sports, now Fox Star Sports." On April 5, "the network broadcast a One F.C. event live for the first time, reaching 28 countries in Asia and about 70 worldwide." In all, Cui said that One F.C. "has 12 events scheduled this year in six Asian countries," and Cui has announced plans to stage 24 events in '14. One potential venue "is the soon-to-be-completed 55,000-seat National Stadium in Singapore." Cui also "has expressed a longer-range desire to move into the Middle East, including Turkey" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/29).
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