ONE Fighting Championship was launched last week and is already set to be the biggest MMA show in Asia. With a broadcast deal which puts it in front of a viewing audience of millions it will be a fantastic opportunity for MMA camps in the region to put themselves in the spotlight.
ONE Fighting Championship is going to be putting on events all over Asia, starting September 3rd at the 12,000 Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Here is a guide to some of the camps you are likely to see in action:
Team Lakay Wushu
Home to Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon and Roy Docyogen Team Lakay Wushu is undoubtedly the premier MMA camp in the Philippines. As the name suggests every fighter comes from a Wushu background which makes for some unconventional striking techniques.
With his professional boxing background Belingon is quite a technical striker. Folayang’s last performance against Vuyisile Colossa at Martial Combat, when the Filipino appeared to lose his composure a little and start swinging for the fences, was an ample demonstrated as to why virtually every elite level mixed martial artists favour Muay Thai over Wushu or Sanda for their stand up training.
The Team Lakay Wushu fighters have a strong wrestling base, which is a key component of Wushu, but tend to favour ground and pound and don’t boast many submission wins. This camp produces the best fighters in the Philippines but the question is whether they have a good enough ground game to cut it at an international level.
Tiger Muay Thai & MMA
Tiger Muay Thai has established itself as the most successful of Thailand’s many tourist camps. A number of high level fighters such as Roger Huerta, Mike Swick, Phil Baroni, Brian Ebersole and Jake Shields regularly stop by to work on their stand up skills.
In the last year Muhsin Corrbrey and Joe Ray have both won MMA fights for Tiger with the latter going on to secure a multi fight deal with Strikeforce. Being located in one of Thailand’s tourist hot spots fighters tend to come and go but BJJ black belt Ray Elbe, Wiktor Svensson and female MMA and Muay Thai fighter Claire Haigh are the mainstays of the fight team.
Tiger also boasts an exciting Thai prospect in Ngoo Ditty who has a blue belt in BJJ and is on a two fight win streak.
Legacy Muay Thai
Located up in Ubon Ratachatani not much is known about Ole Laursen’s camp. The Danish fighter, who was born in the Philippines, was one of the stars of Martial Combat and conducts his entire fight camp in rural Thailand.
Malik Mawlayi, a BJJ purple belt, also spends several months a year at Legacy and like Laursen was unbeaten in last year’s Martial Combat series. Other fighters to represent Legacy include Alex Niu and Isamu Himura who have always given a good account of themselves.
Although Legacy is primarily a Muay Thai camp it tends to produce fighters with surprisingly good submission skills.
Evolve MMA is the top MMA camp in Asia and is widely regarded as the "Greg Jackson’s MMA camp of Asia." No other MMA academy in Asia, and possibly even the world, can boast of such an impressive team of world champions, instructors and fighters. Evolve MMA has authentic world champions across every major discipline of MMA. DREAM Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki is probably its most well known fighter as is UFC’s Rafael dos Anjos.
Evolve MMA has no fewer than 49 instructors, many of whom can lay legitimate claim to being the best in the world at their specific discipline. On the stand up side, there are Muay Thai legends Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn, Anuwat Kaewsamrit and Orono Wor Petchpun among a roster full of other Muay Thai world champions. These world champions work with the MMA fighters regularly to improve their striking.
On the grappling side both Zorobabel Moreira, Leandro Issa, Alex Silva are a few of the BJJ world champions alongside co-leader of the Evolve Fight Team, Rafael "Gordinho" Correa de Lima, a highly decorated, a BJJ Mundials Blackbelt winner and five times national champion.
The Evolve Fight Team is also littered with rising stars such as Leandro Issa, Brian Choi, Zorobabel Moreira, Mitch Chilson, and Yodsanan Sityodtong as well as hot prospects such as Eddie Ng from Hong Kong and Tipsuta Wongkhamma from Thailand.
Evolve MMA boasts a staggering 94% win rate in professional mixed martial arts. UFC’s Rich Franklin described it as the best MMA gym in the world. World renowned MMA coach, Matt Hume, says it is the greatest concentration of talent on the planet. With accolades like that, Evolve MMA will be one of the teams to watch on ONE Fighting Championship.