May 21, 2013

One Asia MMA Summit 2013 @ Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

The One Asia MMA Summit 2013 which happened on 2 - 4 May 2013 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, really had opened up my eyes on Mixed Martial Art.

Here's my 3 days journey to Singapore. (Note: Some pictures (usually those clearer ones) are taken by Joanna's camera + blog)

Our bus to Singapore. Took about 6 hours++ to reach our hotel, which is Grand Park City Hall Hotel.

My partner + roommate for the trip, Joanna.

Once we reached the hotel, we were welcomed by the people from ONE FC. Took our keys and rushed up to the room to find that the room key doesn't work :( So had to run down to the reception to get a new key.

We got a shirt, souvenir program, welcoming letter and water each waiting for us in the hotel room.

Camwhore before leaving the room to go to the cocktail reception @ FUSE, Marina Bay Sands.

The shuttle bus for the 3 days of the event. Got WiFi on the bus!! #jakun

Simple registration at FUSE, Marina Bay Sands. 

Free flow of wine and beer but we were more concerned on the food (light snack) because we didn't have time for dinner. But we did went to the food court for a quick dinner after a while.

After the cocktail reception, my friend who is staying at Singapore brought me to Level 33 Craft-Brewery Restaurant and Lounge to look at the night view of Singapore. It was breath-taking.

It was my first time seeing Singapore night view although I've been there for a few times. There's the Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer. Then if you can see, that little blue patch towards the bottom right, is the Gardens by the Bay.

Yeap, after that we went to Gardens by the Bay. 

It's an extremely huge garden. Different types of garden actually but I didn't explore much cause it was quite hot, and can't really see much in the dark. All I see was trees, plants, trees, flowers. 

Woke up super early the next day. Ta-daa~ Each of us got our own tag.

Ben's phone with pink kitty cover. 

Everyone went in early, but lucky for us, we got to sit at the front. Hehe.

The emcee for the summit, Steve Dawson.

Starts off with Victor Cui's welcoming speech. 

He talked about how he got inspired to start ONE FC, and what is this summit about, which involves how some speakers (which are also fighters + world champion) got involved with Mixed Martial Art (MMA). Victor also shared that when he was young in Africa, he had a boxing ring behind his house, and how he got involved with MMA.

Then we have Renzo Gracie.

Renzo Gracie is the grandnephew of Helio Gracie, the man who is credited with inventing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Currently a coach and consultant for some of the world's biggest promotions including ONE FC. He said that "MMA is the best sports because it's all about fights" when compare with other sports.

Next up, Rich Franklin.

Noticed the resemblance of Jim Carrey?

Rich Franklin, a former UFC Middleweight champion, told us on how he got involved with MMA and how he always got bullied when he was young. The movie Here Comes The Boom is actually pretty much based on his real life. He used to be a teacher. He used to watch videos on VCR, and will kept rewind and replay the videos to learn the moves. On advice for people who wants to follow his footsteps to be world champion? "Good academy, excellent instructor, training partners, people who really care in pushing you to top" He also mentioned that it will be a short career if one only think of fighting anyone, anywhere. It needs intelligent decision.

After that, we have Jason Lo, who is the CEO of Tune Talk.

Jason said that he's a MMA fan and told us how he got involved with mobile operator, which is from Air Asia, and how it got involved with ONE FC. He talked about the importance of brand building.

Then we have Mark Cooke, MD of Proto Malaysia (publisher of MotorTrade, AutoCar, and BikeTrader), and Richard Lee, Head of Corporate Business Strategy and Marketing.

They talked about the future plans for Sepang, and plans on collaborating Formula One Malaysia and ONE FC. Mark mentioned that there are actually more people joining the contest to win ONE FC tickets compared to Premier League tickets. When asked what is similarity of MotorTrade with MMA? The adrenaline rush and how it brings the nation together and promote unity.

Then there's Marc Raimondi, who is the Online Associate Sports Editor for New York Post, who talks about why the mainstream media is attracted to MMA.

What draws the audiences? Back stories, stories like Rich Franklin (how he got bully and how he learnt about MMA).

Then we have John Keefer, VP of Evolve Media Corp and GM of CraveOnline, and Greg Savage, Executive Editor of, who talks about the perception of MMA by the mainstream media.

As we all came from different background, there will be different writers, different readers, and thus different perceptions. When asked whether they will take sides when it involves news that says about drug tests or shameful event, they said that they would not take sides.

Next, there's John Vamvakitis, Head of Sport, APAC at Youtube/Google. 

He talks about how to build your audience in the digital age, mentioning that Youtube is a powerful platform, and you gotta speak to / engage with the audience to get to know the audience. "People love sharing what they like."

Skipping through to the most important and guest speakers, Robert Lee and Phoebe Lee, who I've briefly mentioned here.

Robert Lee, the younger brother of the legendary Bruce Lee, mentioned that "we must be water, flow with the opponent instead of thinking what's the opponent's next move". He also asked two person up to the stage and showed a short demonstration on what me meant. To focus on the every movement of the opponent.

As for Phoebe, she told us why Bruce Lee likes martial art, and him being cheeky, always bullying her.

Me with Robert Lee.

(Somehow reminds me of Guy Fawkes :3 No offence)

Me with Phoebe Lee.

Pretty much the end for the first day of the summit. We went dinner at Orchard Road, and went to see the Merlion, then went back to zzzzzz.

2nd day of the summit. *Sleepy eyes*

There's an ASIAN MMA AWARDS 2013 presented by The Fight Nation on the second day of the summit. It was the first ever Asian MMA Awards. Below are the winners:

MMA Coach of the Year: Greg Jackson, JACKSON'S MMA
Man of the Year: Victor Cui, CEO OF ONE FC
Best Asian Fighter in the World: Shinya Aoki, ONE FC Lightweight World Champion, EVOLVE MMA, JAPAN

Oh lookie! We had salmon during break time. In fact, we actually had a lot of salmon during this whole trip.

One of the sponsors, which was on each table during our lunch before we leave Singapore. It contains no alcohol yo.

Last of all, here's a picture of everyone who was there :D (I have no idea where am i)

I'm really happy to have the chance to attend this summit. Looking forward to the next MMA fight :)