Kungfu Magazine: An Interview with Adrian Pang

My first interview published with Kungfu Magazine, seen here:http://www.kungfumagazine.com/ezine/article.php?article=1006

An Interview with Adrian "The Hunter" Pang, Legend FC Lightweight Champion

by Lee Li

Adrian Pang, ChampionWhile the Asian MMA scene outside of Japan has only begun to take off in the last few years with promotions such as China's Art of War, Hong Kong's Legend FC, Singapore's Martial Combat and One FC, and the Philippines' URCC, the folks "Down Under" have been banging it out a little longer. Australia and New Zealand have witnessed a boom since 2000. Promotions like Spartan RF, Xtreme FC, and later Cage Fighting Championship, Nitro and Rize may be mostly regional in appeal but they show how popular the sport is in this culturally "Western" (though isolated from it) South Pacific Rim area. The mega-promotion Ultimate Fighting Championship held events in Sydney in 2010 and 2011 - even prior to a return to Japan (the country long believed the hotspot of MMA in the eastern hemisphere) in 2012.

Australia has produced or adopted several notable athletes who have achieved international recognition in the UFC. James Te Huna, an ethnic Maori light heavyweight, punched his way through every opponent in Australia, earning him a spot on the card for UFC 127 in Sydney. Brian Ebersole, the guy who shaves an arrow in his chest hair pointing to his chin for his opponents, hasn't been knocked out in 64 fights. He's from the US but he's made Australia his home since 2007. George Sotiropoulos began fighting MMA in Australia and fought all over the Pan-Pacific region until being recruited to The Ultimate Fighter TV show which launched his career in the UFC. He twice fought another Aussie by the name of Kyle "KO" Noke - once to a loss, once to a win - who was a bodyguard for Steve Irwin. Noke was on a near perfect winning streak in local promotions when he too was catapulted into the international spotlight with a position on TUF. He trains with Team Jackson and Integrated MMA in Australia with another well-known fighter in the Pan-Pacific region: Adrian Pang.
Pang is well-known in Asia and Australia
Saying Adrian "The Hunter" Pang is well-known in Asia and Australia is almost not doing him enough justice. This is a man with a winning professional fight career spanning ten years (19W-7L-2D). That extraordinary length of time is a monumental achievement for any athlete, and Pang shows no signs that he's affected by it. In fact, he seems to be arriving at his peak: in the last two years he's won two lightweight titles from Cage Fighting Championship in Australia and Legend Fighting Championship in Hong Kong. He's not slowing down either. He fought four times in 2010, and after winning his title fight with Legend FC in the beginning of 2011, he went right back into training for a CFC fight only four months later. On October 30, "The Hunter" will be making his first title defense back in Hong Kong against Mongolian Jadamba Narantungalag, a fighter with a less prolific career than Pang but some wins over stellar opponents such as Akihiro Gono and Kazunori Yokota.

If Pang's fight career seems impressive, it only attests to his entire life. He was born of Chinese-European ancestry and raised in a tribal area of Papau New Guinea. This was not an easy childhood. Imagine growing up in a neighborhood where you don't have to worry about fast cars or stray bullets, but spears and knives. Pang was never one to back down, just like his fights prove: he's gone the distance - including two 5-round championships - in almost half of his fights. As a kid they called him man bilong pait, which means "warrior" or "man who likes to fight." You can ask him about the last cut on his brow from an MMA fight, but it's more interesting to ask him about that scar on his arm - it came from a spear fight in his youth!

One FC Official Press Release

ONE Fighting Championship™ announces largest MMA network in Asian history

26 October, 2011 - Singapore: ONE Fighting Championship™ has signed mutually exclusive partnerships with most of the major Asian MMA promotions and MMA gyms in Asia as a part of its ONE Asia strategy to unify all the key players in the sport of MMA in Asia. The ONE Asia Partnership Network is the largest of its kind in MMA history in Asia.

ONE Fighting Championship™ has formed exclusive partnerships with the following organizations:

-URCC (Philippines)
-Cage Fighting Championship (Australia)
-ROAD Fighting Championship (Korea)
-DARE Fightsports (Thailand)
-Team Lakay Wushu (Philippines)
-Tiger Muay Thai and MMA (Thailand)
-Tigers Gym (India)
-Evolve Mixed Martial Arts (Singapore)
-Legacy Gym (Thailand)
-Tough MMA (Taiwan)
-Synergy Jiu-Jitsu (Indonesia)
-Juggernaut FC (Singapore)
-Fightworks Asia (Singapore)
-PAK MMA (Pakistan)
-Team Force (Korea)
-MuayFit (Malaysia)
-Leverage MMA (Malaysia)

ONE Fighting Championship™ currently remains in confidential discussions with many of the other top Asian MMA promotions and MMA gyms across Asia. Additionally, ONE FC has added another 17 of Asia’s top MMA fighters to its roster. Further announcements will be made in the near future.

Victor Cui, CEO/Owner of ONE Fighting Championship, said, ”Our goal is to unify Asian MMA and to build the sport that we all love dearly. With today’s announcement, many of the top MMA organizations and gyms in Asia have joined hands. Given our current discussions with various parties, we will be announcing another 23 additional MMA organizations and gyms to the ONE FC Network in the coming days and weeks. These strong partnerships will help to accelerate the development of Asian fighters and the sport of MMA in the region. Asian fighters need platforms to gain invaluable experience and to showcase their skills to the world. If you are a ONE FC fighter, you will automatically be able to compete in the biggest MMA events across Asia within the ONE FC Network. If you are a sponsor, you will be able to leverage and target your sponsorship dollars across multiple platforms. If you are a fan, you will enjoy many more high quality MMA shows around Asia. Ultimately, as it continues to grow, the ONE FC Network will multiply in benefits for all parties involved.”

Additionally, ONE Fighting Championship is pleased to announce the dates and countries of its next 3 events:

ONE FC 2: February 11, 2012 in Indonesia
ONE FC 3: March 31, 2012 in Singapore
ONE FC 4: April 27, 2012 in Malaysia

About ONE Fighting Championship™
Headquartered in Singapore, ONE Fighting Championship™ (http://www.onefc.com) is Asia's largest mixed martial arts organization. ONE Fighting Championship hosts the most prestigious mixed martial arts event in Asia.

2011 Thailand Open

this weekend's updates are live from the 2011 Thailand Open Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Grappling tournament. please follow this blog, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MMAinAsia, and on twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/MMAinASIAblog for updates on division winners, random happenings and MMA champion spottings (guys from JAB MMA & Team Grips, Tigers Gym India, Deftac-Cebu, Evolve Mixed Martial Arts, Juggernaut Fight Club, Dare Championship, 13 Coins Gym - sorry for missing some of you, will update later).

PXC 27 Guam press release

Pacific Xtreme Combat Presents Double Title Fight Spectacular
Pacific Xtreme Combat Shoots Out the Lights With Its Biggest Event Ever. 
Live October 29th at the University of Guam Field House.

After huge rating success with its first two Philippine cards, Pacific Xtreme Combat will return to its home base of Guam with the blockbuster event PXC 27 which will feature a stacked card and two title fights.

"PXC 27 is the culmination of all of our company's hard work through the years. It will serve as a premier showcase for our company by providing the best quality match-ups. PXC 27 will feature two championship fights; a 145-pound tussle between Baby Joe Taimanglo (Guam's most recognized fighter) and Harris Sarmiento the current PXC 155 pound champ, plus Justin Cruz will be defending his bantamweight title against the young and impressive Trevin Jones,” says PXC Matchmaker Eli Monge.

In addition to the two title fights the card will showcase a who’s who of the best fighters from the Pacific Rim region.  “We are really laying it all out there for the people of Guam,” says Eli, “The caliber of the fighters on this card is incredible. We have Ferrid Kheder who has defeated some UFC veterans in the past, going against Korean Top Team member and UFC hopeful Lim Hyun Gyu. We also have J.J. Ambrose, who is an alumnus of The Ultimate Fighter, and is coming back to take on a strong international opponent.

“To show our continuing support for the grass roots of the sport we are going to start the night off with 3 or 4 solid amateur fights, showcasing some of the rising stars in mixed martial arts, then we have the return of Ryan Bigler who is one of Guam's best MMA fighters ever. He’ll take on tough Saipan's Keli Manglona -- a man who has been turning heads in the MMA scene in Vegas. This is sure to be a great fight and could be a preview of a future 170-pound championship fight!"

The Pacific Rim is one of the hottest places in the world for mixed martial arts and PXC is leading the way, growing the sport in that region. In JUNE PXC expanded its long time successful Guam promotion by signing a major television deal with TV 5 in Manila. The first two shows were huge ratings successes and opened eyes as to the potential of the sport in the Philippines. PXC will not let success or rapid expansion detract from its original mission, which is to bring high quality mixed martial arts events to and support the sports growth on the island of Guam.

"We have been doing shows on Guam for a while and we have recently made a huge move into the Philippines,” says Eli, “However with this card we’re showing our fans on Guam we remember our roots by making PXC 27 the best card on the Island to date.”

2011 Thailand Open

This year marks the 4th edition of the Thailand Open.  It has become one of the premiere grappling tournaments in Asia for many reasons: quality, location, kickass afterparty (if you can name any other place I can get video footage of BJJ black belts and professional MMA fighters riding a mechanical bull, pole dancing with strippers, and cavorting with shemales and I will BE there).  On a serious note, they use the Strongvon system for applications and bracketing with makes things run very smoothly from start to finish.  That is a MUST when you have 300+ competitors attending. They also waive entry fees for all brown and black belts competing, and host black belts for free at the tournament-sponsor hotel Golden Palace.  AND they shuttle you from the Golden Palace to the Lumpini Park hall!  I love Thailand.

Here's a snapshot of last years' event.  This is only about a third of the competitors who stayed long after the final day's awards ceremony to put away the mats.

If you are worried about the recent flooding in Thailand and wondering if there will be any complications with the tournament, BJJ Asia has assured us that Bangkok is safe, dry and accessible. For the less-fortunate Thais in areas outside of Bangkok who have suffered great losses, this year's Thai Open will be strongly supporting them with proceeds and a charity seminar:

The BJJAT gives aid to the flood victims in Thailand through this years Thailand Open. While we continue be safe and dry here in Bangkok, many areas of Thailand are suffering from record floods. Many families now homeless and businesses unable to continue, the association is doing the following to help:

-100 baht from each competitors' tournament-fee will be collected and donated to flood-relief.

-At registration, we will be accepting additional donations from competitors in either cash or food donations (rice). 

-Following the tournament, the Monday black-belt seminar is now a charity seminar where cash and food donations will be accepted at Q23 Academy. Please refer to the poster for details. 

Along with cash prizes for winners, a number of sponsors are supporting the tournament this year.  So expect goodies like kimonos, fight tickets to DARE 3/11, and other nice things for lucky draws also.  The hall will be full this year, so the exhibition booths have to be moved out and will be next to the Golden Palace hotel.

BJJ Spirits

MMA in ASIA will see you there!

Follow all the BJJ/grappling/MMA events on our brother site, BJJ Asia.  Thanks to BJJ Asia and Luke Chaya for continued support and development of this site and the entire community of BJJ and MMA enthusiasts in Asia!

Philippine Powerhouse URCC

URCC Bacolod Brawl was held on Sunday October 16th. Being outside of the Philippines, I couldn't watch it streamed or on broadcast, so I followed URCC and Deftac Team Founder Alvin Aguilar's twitter and URCC's Facebook page. I felt like I was there! Almost. The results aren't up on the URCC website yet, but you can read the Facebook page and find out the winners. In the first main event, Rex "T-Rex" Delara dictated the pace of the match to defeat Leonard Delarmino and became the new Visayas Bantamweight Champion. In last bout, what seemed to be a quick match with challenger Ruel Catalan dominating, Visayas Pinweight Champion Victor Torre got a tap out and kept his title.

If you attended the show and are pumped up to get your own MMA action, remember that the URCC also has an amateur division.  The deadline for the latest tryout is less than a week away, so make sure you act quickly.
Tribal Grassroots Amateur MMA Tryouts Manila. Oct. 29, 2011
Registration for the Manila Tribal Grassroots Amateur MMA try-outs is now open. Open to all Amateur MMA fighters ages 18-32 years old. Pro-boxers and Pro-Mua Thai fighters are not allowed to join the tournament. Weight classes fro 110-159 pounds only. E-mail entries will only be entertained. E-mail your Name, Age, weight, Height, Team and contact number to info@urccmma.com. Deadline of entries is on Oct. 21, 2011
The next event for the promotion is on November 5th: Colt 45 URCC XX. The card was shaping up to be epic, when URCC match maker Willy Carlos informed Anton Tabuena on Bloodyelbow that Kevin Belingon suffered a shoulder injury that would prevent him from taking on the URCC interim bantamweight champion Jessie Rafols. Then Zike Sugawara of MMA Orient reported that Sabah Fadai also suffered an injury in his previous MFC fight and will be unable to challenge Lightweight Champion Honorio Banario for the belt. We wish both fighters a quick and complete recovery. And we eagerly await the URCC's replacements or new card announcements!

Team HALEO for Japan Charity

David Halton with Team HALEO is showing true dedication to those in need in his community.  On Facebook, he just posted this:
"Taking off with 40+ volunteers from BodyPlus for Monkey Majik Sendai Charity Concert. Great job in raising money for people still without homes and in need 7 months after 3.11!"

The concert is today, October 16th at 1pm local time, so if you're close by in Japan, hustle over!  Check out Monkey Majik's website for information on the location and times.

FIGHTERS WANTED: Malaysia reality TV

FIGHTERS WANTED: via Antonio Graceffo from Facebook for Muayfit. This is short notice, but for those of you interested, tryouts for a pilot for Malaysia's first MMA reality TV show will be held October 22, at Muayfit in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia. Contact Muayfit on Facebook to register.

Living the MMA Dream (Muayfit)
Malaysia’s First MMA Reality TV Show

If you like the Contender Asia, but you’re a fan of MMA, then you’ll love “Living the MMA Dream” a new reality based MMA show, sponsored by Muayfit in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.

And best of all, YOU have a chance to be on the show. Just register for the open selections, come down, train and fight your butt off and show us that you got heart. Many will come, but only 8 will be chosen for the full season of the show.

The pilot episode of Season One will cover the selection process. ANYONE interested in being in the show, and trying for one of 8 spots which could lead to a professional MMA contract, come to Muay Fit Studio, at 12 Noon (12 SHARP not Malaysian time) on Saturday, October 22.

The filming will start almost immediately as the shows two coaches/hosts Antonio Graceffo, of Martial Arts Odyssey, and Peter Hugh Davis, an MMA title holder and instructor, put all of the prospective tough guys through the physical ringer, with five consecutive hours of exercise, followed by striking sparring and grappling sparring. Along the way, if the coaches see someone slacking or giving up, they will be sent home.

If you vomit or pass out, but then get up again, that’s the spirit we’re looking for.

In the sparring, we aren’t looking for winners. In fact, we don’t want you to knockout or hurt your opponent. We are looking for guys who, after five hours of exercise, still have the heart and the will to keep fighting.

Even if you have NO martial arts skill, you still may be chosen.

We can teach you to fight. But we can’t give you heart. We’re looking for people with heart and courage.

This first episode will air on the internet, so all of your friends can see it. It will also be the proof that we take to the TV network to convince them to pick up the show. When the show gets picked up, the 8 winners will have a guaranteed place. We will also have wild card spots.

Living the MMA Dream can help you live your MMA dream. The show will be watched by people around the world. That kind of exposure can lead you anywhere you want to go, IF YOU HAVE THE HEART!

Contact Muayfit on facebook to pre-register.

Fighters Wanted

there are three opportunities available for fighters this week.  all three of them are quite different in nature, but together show how the MMA sport is growing in Asia.

the first opportunity comes from Seung Bae Whi's Team Posse in South Korea.  they are holding tryouts for anyone wishing to be an amateur MMA fighter.  they will provide supplemental training and help for finding fights.  a good way for someone looking to grow their skills for a future as a professional.  here's from their Facebook page:

!!! Amature fighter반 Tryout !!!
*시간: 10월 22일 토요일 오후3시 2주에 한번씩
*비용: 5만원
*장소: 팀파시 강남
*코치: 위승배, 권배용
*트라이 아웃이란?
-일종의 승급 제도로써 아마추어 파이터가 가져야 할 기본적인 기술들의 능력과 자격시험입니다.
*트라이 아웃 통과하면 어떤 수업에 참여할 수 있고 무엇을 할 수 있나요?
-기본적으로 중급자 코스인 매일 저녁 9시30분~10시30분에 있는 아마추어 파이터 반에서 수업을 들으실 수 있으며 팀파시 이름을 달고 아마추어 시합을 나가실 수 있습니다. 더 나아가서 프로팀 테스트를 볼 자격이 주어집니다.
*트라이 아웃에 통과하면 꼭 아마추어 반에서만 수업 받아야 하나요?
-코치 협의 하에 부족한 부분을 다른 수업에서 보충 받으실 수 있습니다.
*트라이 아웃에 통과하면 꼭 아마추어 반에서만 수업 받아야 하나요?
-코치 협의 하에 부족한 부분을 다른 기초클래스에서 수업에서 보충 받으실 수 있습니다.
*어떤 기술을 시험 봅니까?
1.유술기-낙법, 가드상태에서의 암바, 마운트 상태에서의 암바, 가드 기무라, 사이드 기무라
2.레슬링-겨드랑이 파기, 정면 태클
3.타격기-펀치능력, 킥능력, 약식 스파링
*트라이 아웃은 어떻게 진행되죠?
-기본적으로 시험 보는 종목에 대한 세미나 1시간 30분 후에 유술기, 레슬링, 타격기 순으로
*문의 사항은 위승배, 권배용 코치에게 문의하세요!!!
u wanna be a fighter~~!!! come and get it~!!!!!!

the the second is an opportunity for two athletes to become full-time fighters sponsored by Phuket Top Team.  all training, housing and meals will be taken care of, and fights will be arranged.  coaches include an Olympic boxing trainer, a BJJ black belt, seven Muay Thai teachers and classes in sambo and submission wrestling, plus a roster of professional fighters actively competing in MMA fights in Asia and all over the world.

The Job is what some would consider a ‘dream’ job. Live, Eat, Breathe training & fighting as a full    time job. No Fee’s, fully  sponsored to train with one of the leading MMA gyms in the region…. with the belief we will be growing into one of the strongest teams in Mixed Martial Arts.

the third offer is from the fight promotion PRO Fighting in Taiwan.  they are looking for fighters to appear on the next card, sometime in late November/early December.  interested parties can contact Royal Chiou at royal@profightingmma.com for more information.  having just signed an agreement with One FC of Singapore, this promotion can be a good entry for new fighters wishing to break into a wider market. Edit: Royal Chiou has just informed me that they have not officially signed any agreements with any promotion at this time.  And it's still a good opportunity for any fighter!

Road FC announces schedule

Road FC in South Korea has just announced their new schedule of events for 2012 and detailed their previously-announced agreements with One FC, DARE, and PRO Fighting.  

The organization will cohost with One FC a Bantamweight, Lightweight and Middleweight champion versus champion card.  Road FC and One FC have agreed not to hold shows on the same date so that fighters from both promotions can appear in both promotions.

From the announcement on Facebook:

December 3rd 2011 Jang-choong stadium. The Quarterfinal Tournament for Middleweight (Section 2), Additional Special Match (All of the champion-level players are slated) - Under Card: Qualification Tournament for Bantamweight (6 matches)

March 2012 The Middleweight Semifinal, Final (One-night Tournament), The Quarterfinal Tournament Bantamweight (Section 1) - Under Card: Qualification Tournament for Lightweight (6 matches)

May 2012 The Quarterfinal Tournament Bantamweight (Section 2), The First Bout Defending for Middleweight - Under Card: Qualification Tournament for Lightweight (6 matches)

July 2012 The Bantamweight Semifinal, Final (One-night Tournament), Tournament for Lightweight (Section 1)

August 2012 ROAD FC and ONE FC co-hosted (tentative decision) - Tournament for Lightweight (Section 2, international match), The Bantamweight and Middleweight(ROAD FC Champion vs. ONE FC Champion) Non-title Match

October 2012 The Lightweight Semifinal, Final (One-night Tournament), The First Bout Defending for Bantamweight

December 2012 All of the Middleweight-, Lightweight-, Bantamweight-Champions are slated for defending the titles

1. There might be more events other than above.

2. Each Under Card match will pick players out for tournaments for each weight class from December 2011.

3. Next year, ONE FC, DARE FC and PRO Fighting MMA are planning to hold matches for eight, six and four times respectively.

We signed with the above organizations and especially with ONE FC, one of major organizations, we signed that we will not hold a match on the same day so players who belong to ROAD FC can play for ONE FC.

4. In July 2012, there will be a new MMA organization called ROAD FC KOREA.

Team Quest in Hong Kong

Legend FC recently hosted Pat Healy and Brad Hannah from Team Quest in Hong Kong, on their way to a Legend FC-sponsored 6-week training camp in China, at the Xi'an Sports University.  While in Hong Kong, they held a seminar at Grips Gym to benefit the Mekong Club.  Here's a recently uploaded clip from the seminar:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/OrIo8kcgjAI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Pat shows he's a master at other things as well when Legend FC takes him out for dimsum.

UFC: Next stop, Asia.

At the Versus 6 post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White only spent about 20 seconds talking about its plans for 2010, but those 20 seconds were monumental to MMA in Asia.  A new flyweight division.  China.  South Korea.  TUF reality TV expansion into the Philippines.  Taking a look at the UFC's past record of dropping mini-bombs in press conferences, following up with well-timed match ups, then announcing major events, it's blatantly obvious that the Zuffa-owned promotion has its sites set on Asia.  Right now.

Since 2009 the UFC has been talking about putting on a show in Japan.  The earthquake and resulting economic conditions delayed this from happening.  However, at the beginning of 2011 Zuffa was able to secure some distribution deals pushing the event closer to reality.  Then, on August 27th, Japanese fighter Yushin Okami was set to challenge Anderson Silva in UFC 134 to be followed by 3 Japanese fighters on the next card,135: Takeya Mizuzaki, Takanori Gomi, and "Kid" Yamamoto (who cancelled due to injury).  Smack in the middle of this was the announced return of the UFC to Japan with an event set for February 26, 2012.  Perfect media strategy.

Given White's most recent comments on expanding the UFC into China, South Korea, and the Philippines, can an actual game plan for their conquest be deduced?  

Earlier this year, White announced an interest in expanding the reality show TUF to other countries - expressly the Philippines.  This got the interest of UFC fighter Mark Munoz as shown plastered all over his personal website.  Just last month, Anton Tabuena of bloodyelbow.com in the Philippines reported that the organization is indeed finalizing plans and working out a broadcast deal with the Philippine sports channel Balls.  This was Step 1 - dropping mini-bombs.  Step 2 - well-timed events - are on the horizon: UFC Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is set for a Philippine tour on October 22nd.  Mark Munoz, the Filipino hero of the UFC, headlines UFC 138 on November 5th.  The TUF 14 finale is on December 3rd.  And Dana White just tweeted that Jon Jones will defend his title against Lyoto Machida at UFC 140 on December 10th.  Step 3 - the big announcement - could happen at any one of these Philippine attention-aimed events.

That's Japan and the Philippines covered.  What about China and South Korea?

Rumors and news of the UFC in China have been circulating since the Beijing-based promotion Art of War kicked off it's 12th event under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.  UFC heavyweights Big John McCarthy and Michael Buffer were inside the ring.  Rolles Gracie was on the card and brought Rickson, Royce, Royler, and Renzo into his corner.  Around the same time, Flash Entertainment - a subsidiary of the Sheikh's Abu Dhabi government - purchased a 10% interest in Zuffa.  The Renzo Gracie-facilitated deal was thought to help the UFC's chances in China.  During the same period, Aaron Randolph was a consultant for the UFC in China, and he confirmed that the UFC was indeed working its way into the China market.  However, in the two years since, Randolph has gone on to work directly for Legend FC in Hong Kong, and Art of War stopped running events.  China went silent.

Until now.  Dana White's simple mention of China holds a great deal of portent.  There may not be a huge quantity of information coming out of the UFC on China matters, but the flurry of activities behind the scenes in Asia is pointing heavily back to the UFC.  So step 2 - event - well that would be this very weekend's October 8th event, UFC 136.  China's only rising star in the organization, Zhang Tiequan, is on the prelim card which will be shown live on Facebook - ironically which is banned in China.  Zhang is from the Xi'an Sports University, where Pat Healy from Team Quest is currently running a 6-week training camp.  This is a partnership set up with Hong Kong-based Legend FC to develop Chinese MMA talent, specifically in the lead up to Legend FC 6 in Macau

Macau is a good choice for fight promotions to find venue partnerships with casinos; it is aptly named the "Las Vegas of Asia".  Legend FC signed a multi-event deal at City of Dreams starting with their 5th event last July.  Now Victor Cui of new Singapore promotion One FC has stated they will hold a future event in Macau.  So the China market seems to be getting hotter.  Even Shanghai-based promotion RUFF, fresh off its first event, has indicated that its next event might not be in Shanghai, but elsewhere in China.  And although its from a source who wishes to remain anonymous, I was told that the UFC is in talks with a China venue in regards to a 2012 event.

The flurry of activity doesn't stop at the "where and when" level, it goes deeper into the "who" - the actual talent pool.  Recently, Filipino superstar MMA Team Lakay was personally visited by both Victor Cui of One FC and Mike Haskamp of Legend FC.  Talent from Team Lakay has appeared on both promotions.  Three Filipino fighters also signed management agreements with URCC Talent Management, which is reportedly to help them defend their titles in the Philippines-based URCC and gain new ones across several promotions.  One FC has signed partnership deals with Thailand's DARE and South Korea's Road FC, including a champion versus champion event with Road FC's tournament winners.  RUFF is currently seeking fighters.  With Legend FC's sponsored fight camp in Xi'an and One FC's recent signings to multiple fight deals from DARE's fight roster, plus both wooing the Filipinos, they are snapping up talent at the speed of light.

In regards to the UFC, many promoters have stated they would like to have the reputation of being a 'feeder' of talent to that promotion.  Another option is being bought out by them.  With these promotions all scrambling for more talent, more venues, more cross-promotion connections - essentially 'assets' in the MMA industry - it remains to be seen if they are aware of and moving towards a UFC bid, or hedging against it.

RUFF wants fighters

RUFF held their inaugural event in Shanghai, China on August 27, 2011.  the card featured primarily Chinese fighters from China Top Team, Xi'an Sports University, UMAC and Club Hero, plus two resident expats, Robert Sothmann and Ramsey Dewey.  RUFF has just signed Hong Kong's Irshaad Sayed for RUFF 2.

currently, they are searching for fighters.  check out their "fighter registration page" and apply if you are a fighter who can pass all the medicals AND you are a resident of CHINA eligible to work.


Courtesy of Boyee Siu
Hong Kong hometown hero Irshaad Sayed has been picked up by the Ranick Ultimate Fighting Federation in Shanghai, China.  he's signed to the next fight card, RUFF 2 in November.  the exact date and location are still to be announced.  Irshaad's local fan base hopes it's going to be a bit closer to home.

RUFF Signs Irshaad Sayed for RUFF 2

The Ranik Ultimate Fighting Federation (RUFF) has signed Hong Kong-based Bantamweight Irshaad Sayed, 22, for their second event, tentatively titled RUFF 2, set to take place this November.

The South African-born Sayed, known as the “White Tiger,” is a Muay Thai veteran, having already amassed 31 victories in his 41-fight career, 17 of those wins by KO.

Sayed, who won the WPMF (2007) and WMC I-1 (2008, 2009) Muay Thai championship belts, made his MMA debut in 2010, having already competed at Macau’s City of Dreams and Beijing’s TFC.

Courtesy of Boyee Siu

SHOOTO Charity

here is very positive news about charity from a promoter.  Japan fight organizations were among the businesses deeply impacted by the Sendai earthquake.  as they begin to hold events again - like DREAM 17 Fight For Japan - it is refreshing to see that they keep the less fortunate in mind and the relief effort at the forefront of the public's thoughts.

Recently in the Shootboxing tournament, our ROUND GIRL helped to raise charity funds for the purpose of people affected by the East Japan Great Earthquake Disaster. Here thank you very much for the cooperation from all of you. And our Shootboxing Association would continue our charity activities for all those people affected in the disaster areas. So please continue to support us in future.


Flyweight Division in UFC: What does it mean for Asia MMA?

the UFC plans to add a Flyweight division to its events.  it also looks as if plans are indeed being finalized for the first overseas version of the reality TV show TUF to be produced in the Philippines.  does it make sense to believe they would be looking to cull Filipino fighters for this new division?
 also mentioned are 2012 planned efforts in China and Japan, so will it be seeking to cull fighters from all of Asia MMA? 
The UFC will soon be adding a 125-pound flyweight division to it's ranks, according to UFC President Dana White.