In this bi-weekly column 'ONE Moment with Rich Franklin', ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC)'s Vice President (VP) talks about his life lessons through the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). The 'Ace' is a former World Middleweight Champion with a professional record of 29-7.This week, he shares his thoughts on life with Asia's largest mixed martial arts (MMA) organization.
Q: How life-changing has your move to ONE FC been?
A: To be successful, you need to adapt and overcome the changes life challenges you with. I am working considerable hours on the opposite side of the globe from my home, in new markets and different cultures.
This change is almost as significant as my move from teaching high school math to MMA in the first place. The change is just the beginning though; ONE FC is aggressive and innovative in its expansion of MMA in Asia. The landscape of this sport will be much different a couple years from now.
Q: As VP of ONE FC, what are your goals for Asian MMA and how do you hope to positively impact it?
A: Despite the youth of MMA in Asia, there is great talent here. However, MMA will grow with awareness and ONE FC will pioneer that growth. We conduct seminars in every city we do a show, which is one way we aid in fighter development. Educating the fan base will be a big part of the expansion of MMA in Asia. We control 90% of the market share in Asia, but our goal is to capture every MMA fan possible.
Q: What are your thoughts on Asian MMA?
A: Martial arts in Asia clings to its traditional roots. Asia is the birthplace of martial arts and each culture has its respective art. These arts are that exactly – part of the culture. The concept of blending these arts together is a fairly new concept to these cultures, and will take some getting used to.
We are at a transitional phase in Asia and we have only scratched the surface of possibilities. I saw the popularity of MMA grow in the States, and we will see the same here, on what I predict to be a much larger scale!
Q: Who do you think are the next big star(s) in ONE FC?
A: I think it is too early for me to make a prediction like that. I am still getting to know the fighters, since I have only attended two live shows. I have yet to see all of our current champions fight, let alone scout future talent on the undercard. I am excited to see the championship bouts on the upcoming Dubai card. It will be the first time I have seen a championship bout in ONE FC.
Q: One reason why MMA fans worldwide should switch their attention to Asian MMA?
A: If you're only asking for one reason, I will answer 'ONE FC'. Look at the last show we did in Taiwan – there is no highlight reel for that card because the entire show was exciting. There were 10 bouts and 10 finishes!
If you missed it, watch it and I won't have to give you a reason to switch. Our scoring and judging style keeps the fights moving toward finishes and it makes for exciting match-ups. The global rule system adds another dimension to the fights that you will not see anywhere else.
ONE FC: REIGN OF CHAMPIONS will be held on 29 August at Dubai World Trade Centre. Get your tickets for the blockbuster event at www.platinumlist.net or watch all the action live on STAR Sports or on livestream for US$9.99 at www.onefc.livesport.tv.