ONE Championship CEO Victor Cui believes the inaugural staging of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the Philippines over the weekend has benefited his own organization.
Instead of being a hindrance to the company’s growth in the country, the UFC, according to Cui, somehow helps boost its ticket sales as it promotes the fastest-growing sport in general.
“We can’t do enough promotion,” Cui said. “I think them coming to market only does us better.”
ONE vice president Rich Franklin earlier stressed the organization was not threatened by the arrival of the world’s premier MMA organization in the country.
Cui even feels it’s a win-win situation for what is regarded as Asia’s largest MMA promotion as well as the fans.
“Every time they do an appearance, our sales also get higher because more people know more about the sport,” said the Singapore-based Cui, who watched Fight Night Manila live at the Mall of Asia Arena with some friends.
The historic event saw a sellout crowd of more than 13,000, an occurrence ONE Championship hardly meets when it hosts cards in the country.
“We’re still new,” Cui said of the less than four-year-old organization, far younger than the UFC, which was founded in 1993. “For sure, it helps the sport.”
ONE held a card last month with Valor of Champions where Filipinos Mark Striegl and Eugene Toquero emerged victorious.
Cui hinted of pitting Filipino-American Brandon Vera against a top heavyweight contender for the vacant title when ONE returns to the Philippines in December.
“I’d like to see a Filipino fighting for a world championship, I’d say at heavyweight,” he smiled.”