The Cambodian Mixed Martial Arts Association will organise the first ever Khmer Fighting Championship on the national scale to integrate the traditional fighting forms with the growingly popular unified version.
The president of the CMMAA and secretary-general of the National Olympic Committee, Vath Chamroeun, said the event will be held every week between September and November involving cage fights at Nagaworld and the fight schedules, and the exact dates will be released soon.
The CMMAA is also in talks with one of the country’s TV channels, HDTV, to join as partners for the live coverage of every fightwhich are expected to be staged on a weekday.
“One of the biggest supporters of Cambodian sports, Cambrew have stepped in as the main sponsors of the KFC with Nagaworld’s backing as the co-sponsors. I am glad to announce that there are several individual donors as well,” Vath Chamroeun said yesterday.
While every fighter earns a small fee, a cash prize of anywhere between $5,000 and $7,000 will go to the ultimate champion, and the success will also give him a direct entry into Singapore’s ONE FC.
“It is a very good incentive for the winner to get a chance to be in Asia’s biggest MMA promotion. This has been made possible by our agreement with ONE FC,” the CMMAA president said.
Along side the main competition, female fighters will be involved in exhibition bouts.
Cambodia has a rich heritage of varied forms of fighting, like bokator and Kun Khmer. The integration of these traditonal practices will be vital for their own preservation.
The central idea behind the national championship is to ensure a smooth transition for traditional fighters to the modern challenges.