The sport of MMA has been steadily growing in the South East Asian region and have gained positive media attention since the inception of One FC now known as One Championship in 2011. However, there were plenty of local events that hosted MMA competition within the region before 2011. According to Indonesian promoter Jessie Ariestya, Duel started around 2002-2003 and was broadcasting on a nationwide television network in Indonesia.
“DUEL was created right after TPIFC (an Indonesian MMA promotion that existed from 2002-2005) The main difference with TPIFC is basically because DUEL used a cage instead of ring. And we were doing our show on the air with RCTI (Indonesian Television network)” – Jesse Ariestya, DUEL promoter.
Duel will be holding an MMA show in Batam this weekend with seven fights that include One Championship Light Heavyweight Vincent Majid(2-0) fighting in the co-main event. According to Jesse, the last MMA event in Batam was six years ago and claimed that it was much easier for him to attract regional fighters to compete on the island.
“I found it easier to get a Malaysian or Filipino to compete in Batam. Regional competition would increase our athlete quality.” Jesse Ariestya, DUEL promoter.
The old adage of “iron sharpens iron” serves true. More regional competition would only help improve the level of fighters based in South East Asia. Moreover, Batam is strategically located between three major cities, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and it is financially viable for fighters to travel to Batam by air or sea. Indonesian fighter manager Adri Andika Kumara stated that it would be money worth spending for fighters to gain valuable experience but also factored other variables before flying his fighters to Batam.
“If it is a well-organized show and the matchmaking is fair then yes I would spend the money to go (Batam) and let my fighter’s compete” – Adri Andika Kumara, Indonesian fighter manager.
DUEL – The Rising of Scorpion Warrior will be held on the 6th of September in Kota Batam, Indonesia.
Highest Ranked Strawweight Outside of the UFC challenged Angela Lee to a title fight in One Championship
28 Years Old, Zhang Weili(16-1) from China has challenged Strawweight champion Angela Lee for her strap in One Championship according to a source close to the Chinese fighter. Zhang who is the champion and fighting for Chinese based promotion Kunlun FC is currently negotiating on a one fight deal to face Angela. According to the source, they would like to determine who is the best women fighter in Asia in a one-off match and would have no problems to fight under the One Championship banner.
Since her pro debut loss in 2013, Zhang has racked up 16 wins in 3 years with a total of 15 finishes. She is the number #6 ranked women strawweight in the World according to Fightmatrix.com, just behind Rose Namajunas who will be facing UFC champion and number #1 ranked strawweight Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the title next month. Angela, on the other hand, is 9 rungs below Zhang at number 15.
While ONE was very eager to have a cross-promotion fight between Angela Lee and Joanna Jedrzejczyk to determine who has the better strawweight, they seem less eager to have a Kunlun FC champion on board for a one fight deal. The source states that ONE would need for Zhang to sign a 2-year exclusive contract first before discussing further for a fight with Angela.
If the source is accurate, ONE seems to be covering their bases this time and would not like for their champion to lose the belt to another promotion without securing Zhang on an exclusive contract. Kunlun, on the other hand, would also not want to lose their best fighter to another Asian promotion. Zhang would be a huge asset to ONE for their expansion in China but it would be tough for them to pry off the Chinese fighter as the source states that Zhang is being paid handsomely on Kunlun FC.
While things are looking bleak for a match between Angela Lee and Zhang Weili to happen in the ONE Championship cage, the fans will be keeping their fingers crossed and hope that they could witness a fight between two of the best women Strawweights in Asia.
Martin Nguyen to challenge Eduard Folayang’s title in Manila for the first champion vs champion fight in ONE Championship
After speculations on who Martin Nguyen’s next opponent when he signed a fight contract, ONE Championship have confirmed that Martin Nguyen is set to challenge Eduard Folayang’s lightweight title in Manila on ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD on 10 November.
The fight is the latest in a series of cross-division fights announced after Shinya Aoki vs Ben Askren and Aung La NSang vs Alain Ngalani, but this will be the first time the reigning ONE Championship titleholders from two weight divisions will clash.
Nguyen’s coach, Fari Salievski, did tease on the idea of Nguyen fighting for the title in different weight divisions , but he teased on a bantamweight division since Martin was underweight for his featherweight title fight against Marat Gafurov.
Despite being on the lighter side of a featherweight division, the new champion decided to challenge the title against a fighter a weight class above him, and opens the possibility of the first fighter in ONE Championship to challenge the title in 3 weight divisions.
“I’m not out only to make a statement, but to go down in history as the best to ever compete under the ONE Championship banner” – Martin Nguyen
ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD will be held in Malls of Asia Arena in Manila on 10 November 2017
Bashir Ahmad embraces new role in ONE Championship
Bashir Ahmad is appointed as the Senior Manager of Industry Partnerships, the role made to develop and strengthen the relationships between ONE Championship and various MMA gyms and promotions.
“Essentially, I see myself doing what I did in Pakistan and working to accelerate the growth of MMA in Asia with other players in the MMA scene,” Ahmad explained.
As the pioneer of Pakistani MMA, Bashir Ahmad has worked to promote MMA in Pakistan, most notably the Shaheen Gym project, a non-profit gym which serves to take at-risk youth off the street with the appeal and focus of MMA. With his new position in ONE, Ahmad believes he will be better positioned to develop MMA in Asia, particularly in his hometown Pakistan.
“I think it’s a win-win. I’ve learned about developing MMA in a really difficult market – Pakistan, and I bring that experience with me.”
“On the flip side, I get work with one of the world’s most professional martial arts brands and bring those lessons to my mission in Pakistan.”
4-3 on his professional MMA career, Ahmad has been fighting for ONE Championship since April 2013 and became the first ONE Championship athlete to make the transition from into the management role in the promotion. Despite this additional role, Ahmad is adamant that his new role in ONE Championship does not take him away from active competition.
“100% not retired. I can certainly train. If Martin can beat Gafurov while being a full-time mechanic, I can certainly train when I work in the MMA industry for a living. It’s about time management and training smart.”
- Bellator1 week ago
Michael Page Not Focusing on Opponent Ahead of Boxing Debut
- Cage Warriors2 weeks ago
EXCLUSIVE: Matt Inman Talks Cage Warriors 87, His Love For Fighting And Craig White Possibly Tiring Himself Out.
- Opinion1 week ago
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Robbie Lawler Sets Up Intriguing Title Fight Scenarios
- Interviews3 days ago
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
- News2 weeks ago
Why the UFC Needs to Introduce 165 and 175-pound Weight Divisions
- Opinion7 days ago
A list of fighters who fought Michael Bisping – while on steroids
- British2 weeks ago
EXCLUSIVE: Jack Shore talks Cage Warriors 87 Opponent Change, Pressure and Being Ready for A Big Opportunity
- Interviews2 weeks ago
No More “Nice Boy” for Norman Parke Ahead of KSW 40