Sports lovers in Vietnam will soon be able to watch Mixed Martial Arts battles held on their home turf, as the world's largest martial arts organization is slated to bring a major MMA tournament to the country later this year.
Singapore-headquartered ONE Championship, Asia's largest global producer of different martial arts tournaments, said earlier this week it will bring its MMA event to Vietnam this September, as part of a plan to expand further in the continent.
ONE Championship was launched by Chatri Sityodtong in 2011 as a pioneering MMA promotion in Asia with a vision to showcase different values of martial arts. The live sports producer claims to be the world’s largest martial arts organization that features bouts across the full spectrum of martial arts such as Muay Thai, kickboxing, karate, among others.
ONE Championship has so far held 83 MMA events in such Asian destinations as Jakarta, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Taipei, Phnom Penh, Beijing, Guangzhou, Yangon, Macau and Bangkok. The scheduled tournament in Vietnam will be the largest of its kind in Asia, Sityodtong said at a press briefing in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday.
The chairman said he had little detailed information to share, but the event schedule on ONE Championship’s website shows that the tournament is likely to be named “Immortal Triumph” and is set to take place on September 6.
The event will have its format adjusted to ensure it fit Vietnam’s regulations, something One Championship always does when it comes to a new host country, Sityodtong said.
MMA fighting has become more and more popular around the world, while Vietnam also has a rich culture of martial arts, and many MMA training centers have been opened in recent times.
“This is the right time for ONE Championship to come to Vietnam,” Sityodtong said at Wednesday’s press conference.
In February, Tran Quang Loc was the first professional MMA fighter of Vietnam to debut on a stage of ONE Championship - ONE Warrior Series.
Another MMA organization, Hong Kong-based JUST MMA, previously planned to hold an event in Ho Chi Minh City on June 15, but eventually had to scrap the plan due to licensing issues.