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The Rise of Mixed Martial Arts in the UAE


August 29 was definitely a night to remember; ONE FC (i.e. “One Fighting Championship”) took the Middle East -and for the very first time- by storm: with a full house, the world-famous league held an unforgettable MMA event at Dubai World Trade Center with three world title fights on a nine-bout card.

Victor Cui, founder and CEO of ONE FC, confirmed the importance of the event by saying:

“I would say it’s the biggest fight card in the sport in all of Asia for as long as I can remember. Look at the scale of our first-time event here; we’re not simply coming here to dip our toe in the water”.

In other words, ONE FC’s event was not a one-time show, but rather the start of a new MMA era in the UAE. ONE FC plans to achieve this by widening the market and organizing frequent events.

“There’s huge potential for growth here. The UAE is home to over 200 jiu-jitsu black belts, which is one of the pillars of MMA, so interest in the sport is already quite strong. There are lots of gyms with large memberships and the number of corporations interested in sponsorship is unprecedented” Said Cui.

The night was just sick, with three title fights, Huerta’s come-back and Walid’s fast finish! Dubai is the lucky city to boast an MMA hub spot, and gives the chance of a lifetime for local fighters to finally shine on the professional scale; Cui stated it clearly:

“We’re delivering local heroes on a global scale to a standard of entertainment many wouldn’t have seen before”.

Good Luck and hope to see a new world champion rising from here!

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