The stakes just got even higher for local mixed martial artists involved in the ground-breaking Cambodian Featherweight Grand Prix competition, which forms a major part of the ONE FC: Rise of the Kingdom fight card set to pack out Koh Pich Theatre next Friday.
Singapore-based ONE FC, Asia’s largest MMA organisation, announced during a media conference yesterday that partners NagaWorld would be sponsoring all four fighters in the Grand Prix as well as funding a monthlong training camp at prestigious Phuket MMA gym Tiger Muay Thai for the winner.
“Tiger Muay Thai has trained fighters such as [UFC stars] George St Pierre and Roger Huerta,” ONE FC director of public relations Loren Mack told reporters yesterday.
“They’re going to make sure that the Cambodian fighter gets the best training in the world.
“So it’s fantastic news for ONE FC, it’s fantastic news for NagaWorld, but of course it’s great news for every single fight fan in Cambodia.”
NagaWorld executive director Pern Chen noted that one of the main reasons they were sponsoring the Grand Prix was their belief that Cambodian fighters had a lot of potential.
“Up to now, they have not had a chance to showcase their talents,” Chen said.
“We believe in the vision of ONE FC as well. With ONE FC coming to Phnom Penh, it gives us an opportunity to . . . create coverage and exposure for these fighters.”
Financial details of the sponsorship deal were not disclosed.
Meanwhile, Mack also highlighted the growing global hype surrounding Cambodia’s first hosting of a ONE FC fight night.
“This is the first time that millions of people around the world are going to get a taste of Kun Khmer [and other Cambodian fighting disciplines] being integrated into mixed martial arts. So there’s a lot of excitement there,” he said.
CBS station MyTV has been screening live action from ONE FC shows for the past year and will broadcast the entire Rise of the Kingdom card for the local audience.
Fights start from 7pm. Fox Sports will also show the matches accompanied by English commentary.
Tickets are on sale at NagaWorld during the weekend, CTN TV studio during the week and the indoor hall of Old Stadium on Sunday.