Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

An appreciation for the One Fighting Championship

I've covered a lot of sporting and non-sporting events in the Philippines and abroad and there have been good and bad outfits running them. And there are truly excellent and classy ones. And one of those is the One Fighting Championship. From the moment I worked with them in the Manila event Pride of a Nation, I thought that they were well organized and very friendly. Even on fight day itself, looking at the set up inside the venues I marveled at their organization and how they moved around like clockwork. Doing this a second time around with the event being held in Singapore was a treat. 

One of the neat devices that was available for the media was this miniature radio where we could hear the live commentary from announcers Steve Dawson and Jason Chambers. Plus, they had material available for all to use. 

The ear piece for media use that had the
audio commentary.
The Rise of Kings was a fantastic if not a vastly superior follow up to Pride of a Nation that for all its landmark implications in the Philippines came with its share of problems. The crowd was fantastic and very classy. They applauded for all fighters and showed their displeasure with unsportsmanlike play. It helped that all the fights were not just well fought but also entertaining. There's a concern that some of the fighters are either too green or over the hill but in this night of The Rise of Kings, it was all perfect.

I spoke to One Fighting Championship CEO Victor Cui several times during the match and I had to commend him for the professionalism in which his organization went about their business. He then gave me a scoop by saying that there will be about eight One FC events next year with some possibly held in places like Istanbul, Turkey and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The Rise of Kings was their seventh event and they have held the fight in four Southeast Asian countries: the home base of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Cui said that the clamor has been great but he will have to assess the situation as he'd prefer to keep it in Asia proper. "But you can never say no to opportunities that will be good for the brand." As the One Fighting Championship prepares for a December fight event in Kuala Lumpur, they are also looking to next year where they will make a triumphant return to Manila. There's a lot of work to be done for sure.

Minutes after the fight, Cui gave a few interviews at the media area after which he was whisked off for a post-event meeting. Talk about a hungry organization that knows that time if gold.

Now if they can get a media center where the wifi works fantastically (it conked out for some reason in both Pride of the Nation and The Rise of Kings) it would be perfecto!

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