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).
Events and Attractions
The organizers of the German Touring Car Championship (DTM) "are planning some sort of world final starting in 2016," according to MOTORSPORT TOTAL. BMW Motorsports Head Jens Marquardt, who is also a board member at DTM rights holder ITR, said, "The role model for the constellation is the football Champions League." The champions of each continental series, which will start in the next couple years in Asia and North America and have the same regulations as the DTM in Europe, "will race against each other at an event at the end of the season." The champion of this race "would be crowned global champion." Marquardt added, "The final can take place anywhere in the world: Abu Dhabi, Shanghai or New York." If everything goes as planned, the first world final could take place in '16. In addition, Marquardt announced that ITR "wants to tap into additional markets." The '13 season includes the DTM's debut on the streets of Moscow. Russia, he added, is one of the "most economically emerging countries in the world" (MOTORSPORT TOTAL, 4/28).
The 4th Kiev Int'l Marathon in the Ukraine attracted a record 2,000 participants Sunday, "becoming one of the biggest events of its kind in Eastern Europe." Before the race, "runners observed a minute of silence" to remember and honor the victims of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombings (XINHUA, 4/29). ... Sijuta Promotion, which presented the WBA junior middleweight championship at the Orient Theatre on Sept. 30, will organize the WBA int'l women's junior welter and junior featherweight title fights at "the famous East London venue" (SOWETAN LIVE, 4/29). ... Pakistan and the UAE "are to play a charity football match" to raise money for the girls’ education fund set up by teenage campaigner Malala Yousafzai, "who was shot" by the Taliban (AFP, 4/30).