PRIDE TO ONE, BABY

September 12, 2012

Likely the last of my ONE FC mixed martial arts articles for this year.

When i sat down with the head honcho of the newest Asian organization for gladiatorial fighting.

Bloody good sport: One FC’s Victor Cui

 BY KARL R. DE MESA
 Posted on 09/10/2012 3:14 PM  | Updated 09/10/2012 3:35 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Victor Cui radiates understated power. He is soft spoken, relaxed and has an aura of gentlemanly elegance. His suits are a sharp fit in muted shades of slate, blue and white, paired with the glam of aviator sunglasses.

As the sport of mixed martial arts rises to greater prominence in the global arena, Cui is the man who would bring back the glory and spectacle of the MMA fighting leagues of yore. Especially the great success of Asian organizations — particularly the now defunct PRIDE league based out of Japan — had by parlaying a feel that was part-gladiatorial combat, part-rock show.

One Fighting Championship, just under a year old, is quickly shaping up to be what fight fans and critics — specifically the Tokyo Times — are calling “the natural successor to PRIDE.”

From what I saw cage-side at the recently concluded “Pride of a Nation,” the 5th of their events, they certainly have the pageantry down pat. Pyrotechnics explode over our heads, beautiful ring girls hold round cards aloft, classic metal blares from Araneta Coliseum’s PA, iconic fighters duke it out with bloody aplomb.

Their TV pay-per-view stats clocks in at 500-M viewers in 28 countries. But because it’s still a young league, there are inevitable kinks. Take the rules department. A rule about soccer kicks with prior referee approval resulted in a controversial “no contest” on their heavyweight match, and one featherweight match. Then the rule was changed 2 days later.

Good adaptability on One FC’s part. Bad for the fighters — especially Belorussian Andrei Arlovski, who delivered the contentious kicks that would have otherwise led him to an easy KO victory.

Cui takes it all in stride. As the owner and CEO, he brings over 15 years of sports media experience to bear on One FC.

A Fil-Canadian by way of Cebu, Victor is the son of diplomat and Consul General Victoriano Cui. He is a recreational boxer with a black belt in Taekwondo, and he’s dreamt of building a fighting league of his own; the seed was planted when he saw Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 1.

Read the rest of it HERE. 

Meanwhile, here’s a teaser of their next event in Singapore.

 

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