An Interview with the Most Influential Man in Asian MMA
Bruno Massami (April 20, 2012)
Born in Canada, with a Filipino descent, Victor Cui, was considered the most influential man in MMA Asia. CEO of ONE FC, now the biggest MMA event of the continent, he says its plans and projects are based on analyzing the sport in the region. Super politicized and based on the trends in the MMA world, Victor has ambitious plans for his next event.
1. Victor, tell us about yourself, about your life, and how you meet the MMA ...
Firstly, it is a pleasure to be speaking to you. I have always been passionate about sports, both in terms of my personal life as well as in my career. I’ve worked on everything from prestigious golf tournaments to being a part of one of the most recognized and respected sports companies in the world. I also have a black belt in Taekwondo. Over the course of the last decade, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has become the fastest growing sport in the world. Although much attention was focused on North America, Brazil and Japan, I definitely believe that there is a momentum shift to the Asian region, particularly South East Asia. Asia is the birthplace of many forms of martial arts, and it has been embedded in their culture for over 5000 years! When I started ONE FC, I wanted to create a platform for fighters from all across the Asian region to compete at the highest level possible.
2. What are your expectations for ONE FC in this near future?
ONE FC is a rocket that is skyrocketing up at a million miles per hour! My team of analysts has researched on every statistic possible and the numbers speak for themselves. There has never in history been a sport that has registered this type of growth. It is truly phenomenal and will be bigger than soccer for sure. That sounds like a lofty prediction today, but I believe it with all my heart. Mark my words, MMA will be the biggest sport in the world and ONE Fighting Championship will lead the way for Asia.
3. One FC just made a deal with ESPN Star Sports to broadcast the event in Asia. In your vision, what is the "size" of this deal?
This partnership marks the largest MMA media deal in Asian history and includes showcasing the best international and Asian fighters battling it out against one another through a series of events across all the major cities in Asia. ONE Fighting Championship has a vision of bringing MMA to the 3.9 billion people living in Asia. ESPN STAR Sports, Asia’s largest sport content provider is the perfect broadcast partner to help ONE FC achieve that mission.
4. ONE FC has done deal as Lenne Hardt, and bringing names like Melvin Manhoef, Renato Babalu, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Masakazu Imanari. What are the plans for the future of the event? It has ambitions to be the largest event in Asian MMA?
My mission has always been for ONE FC to be the largest and MMA organization in Asia. We feature only the best fighters and partner with only the best MMA promotions and academies throughout the region. Showcasing MMA superstars like Lenne Hardt, Babalu, Manhoef, Kawajiri and Imanari are merely the early indicators of what ONE FC can achieve.
5. What do you think about UFC? The possibility exists that both perform concerts events, together?
There will always be competition in any sport. UFC is a fantastic organization. ONE FC has driven the growth of the sport in Asia, and we have established a very large loyal fan following, so I am very confident that ONE FC will continue spearhead the growth of MMA here in Asia.
6. Rumor has it that the ONE FC, stay in negotiations with MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko. This information is true? There is interest in having Fedor in ONE FC event?
I have been speaking with a senior representative from M-1 Global, however the details of our discussion will not be disclosed till a later date.
7. The ONE FC has a partnership with DREAM. Is there a possibility of the event make an issue in Japan and later, in Europe and the United States?
The partnership that ONE FC has with DREAM is not only to work together to develop the sport and share our world champion fighters, but to host a co-promotion together. We’re currently working out the details for our first fully co-promoted event and the announcement for that will be released in the coming months.
8. This is the first time that ONE FC broadcast live and for free, entire card of the event at YouTube. As you sees this opportunity to MMA fans in Brazil and the World can watch and learn about the event?
I decided to make the broadcast of the entire fight card for ONE FC: War of the Lions on March 31 completely free-of-charge on the official ONE FC Youtube Channel. This was a gift to all the ONE FC fans around the world.
I want the world to see that Asian MMA is bigger and better than ever, and ONE FC is leading the charge!
9. Do you believe that the ONE FC in the future will be able to hold large events in arenas, with big capacity?
I am 100% confident that our events will just keep getting bigger. My goal is to make the sport of MMA the biggest sport in Asia and have ONE Fighting Championship lead the way. I am committed to putting on the best shows that sports fans have ever seen, bring on board the best fighters and create the ultimate MMA experience. I will drive myself and the company at 1,000km per hour until that vision becomes a reality. When we are able to capture the hearts and minds of the 3.9 billion people living in Asia and have them tune in to our show on TV or online, then I will know that I have made it.
10. How do you see MMA fighters from Brazil? It has some admiration for Brazilian fighter?
Brazilian fighters are one of, if not, the best fighters in the world. If you look at all the major fight promotions across the world, the number of Brazilian fighters holding championship belts is outstanding. I have put on Brazilian fighters at every ONE FC event so far, and I believe that some of these guys will go on to become ONE FC champions.
11. You talk about, Asia have some fighters, than not have much opportunities, but the guys have a much talent. In your vision, when the event can help the Asian fighters, to be a popular, and famous, outside the continent, in another market?
There is a massive pool of talent in Asia of MMA fighters. It’s simply because most of them have not had the kind of exposure and infrastructure they deserve to showcase their talent. At ONE FC, I give the Asian fighters the opportunity to fight on the grandest stage in Asia and demonstrate to the world exactly what Asian fighters are made of!
12. If you can, send a message for fans of Brazil and the world, and readers of Chico Lang Press ...
Muito obrigado meus amigos! (thank you my friends in portuguese) Thank you for all your support. You guys are the most passionate fans in the world, I love your beautiful country and your beautiful people. Our next event, ONE FC: Destiny or Warriors, will be in Malaysia on June 23rd , keep watching ONE FC, and support your Brazilian Fighters!
This interview was first published on Chico Lang Press at http://www.chicolang.com.br/?sec=noticia&n=14494