A new group getting a lot of attention is set to debut in Singapore, and that is Victor Cui’s ONE FC. Here is to hoping it’s not One and done FC, but let’s really look at the situation here.
I need to see 20 shows out of this company before I buy in that they are going to replace PRIDE, and not shows that scale down and get smaller and smaller. I want to see them walk the walk.
And i’m not being negative, just very realistic. Yes Singapore is a vibrant economy, but it is a country of around 5 million people, which means it is small. Will these shows catch on as sport there, or be viewed as a spectacle that dies down. History has a tendency to repeat itself, so let me offer a few reminders.
So Bas Rutten and Matt Hume are working with the event. Good, they are pro’s, but let’s look at this. Neither is on the UFC payroll, they are independents, which mean they will take the money offered. They ain’t going over there for 300 bucks and the trip either, they are hitmen taking the paycheck. These types of shows go in with a lot of enthusiasm but have a hard time sustaining the expenses.
They have big sponsors, like Bodog. Bodog is a prostitute that likes to be associated with fights, but they have bailed out on sponsorships and on their own promotion and will again.
Let’s look at a few other facts. China. Set to take over as the biggest economy in the world, with close to 2 billion people. They had a show with a lot of heat called Art of War, with sponsors like sheiks from Abu Dhabi etc. Art of War hasn’t done a show since 2009.
Korea, another major Asian economic power, 50 million people, 10 times the population of Singapore. Spirit MC was a hot show there for a while, big sponsors like Everlast and a homegrown star in Denis Kang. Nothing out of Spirit MC for 18 months now.
The Japanese shows are struggling, but the country views fighting as a sport, and there are long term backers there that keep the SHOOTO, Pancrase, Sengoku and DREAM organizations afloat. UFC is a giant that is the proven name in the industry, but they had almost 10 years where the business end was hit and miss before they broke thru. Though I’m not a Bellator fan, they have had some sustain as a business and deserve credit. Those are really the only promotions in the world that have shown us some sustain.
We have seen it all before, but we forget that MMA is a tough business. One big show means nothing, Affliction pulled off three.
So please do not buy into a show that tells you they are replacing PRIDE before they even have one show under their belts. Show me don’t tell me.