ONE Fighting Championship will be making its return to Singapore on March 31 and some of the fights on the main card have been announced.
The promotion will be back at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and, as in the first edition, will feature a promising line-up of high-profile and rising fighters. The main event will be a clash between UFC veteran and former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Renato “Babalu” Sobral who will fight DREAM Middleweight Grand Prix finalist Melvin Manhoef. Sobral, who has just come off a successful run in Strikeforce, said he was looking forward to fighting in Asia again.
“I'm very excited to be back in Asia. I've been away for about five years. I have a lot of friends who train here in Singapore and they've told me a lot about the country. So I am excited to be a part of this.”
When asked about fighting Manhoef, who is an accomplished striker, Sobral said that he had a solid gameplan for the fight.
“He's a good striker and I'm a good wrestler. I'm taking him down and finishing his ass off.”
Also part of the main card will be the debut of Singapore's first professional female MMA fighter, Nicole Chua. The hometown charge will be fighting out of Evolve MMA and will join Mohammed Radeem as one of the first few Singaporeans to compete in the sport professionally. The event will also feature a match between undefeated Filipino fighter Kevin Belingon and DREAM Japan Grand Prix Finalist Masakazu Imanari. To add to that, fighters such as the Filipino URCC champion Edward Folayang, Zorobabel Moreira and Eddie Ng will be back in the cage after their success in ONE's inaugural event last year.
ONE FC owner and CEO Victor Cui also used the launch press conference as an opportunity to announce a media partnership between the promotion and ESPN Star Sports which will last ten years – one of the longest ever seen in the sport and the largest in Asian MMA history.
“I was with ESPN Star Sports for six and a half years and it is a phenomenal company to be with. There is nothing that ESPN Star Sports does that they don't do well. This partnership will put all of ONE FC's events on the network.”
Tickets are available from $38-298 on SISTIC and you can find out more about the fighters on ONE FC's website.