From the 1st to the 3rd of June 2012, One Fighting Championship held the ONE Asia Summit at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino in Singapore. Industry leaders from across Asia, (over 150 from 20 some countries), were flown in for the three day meeting to discuss the growth of the sport in Asia, and network with other industry leaders who many knew only over the internet.
Representatives from Pakistan, Bashir Ahmad and Zain Shah of PAKMMA and Pak Fight Club respectively, were in attendance at the summit.
The first day of the summit was mostly people arriving at the hotel and getting settled in. In the evening, a cocktail party was held where the attendees got together to break the ice and get to know one another. Throughout the entire summit, business cards were being exchanged at every moment. The cocktail party, as well as the rest of the summit, was MC’d by History Channel’s “Human Weapon” host, Jason Chambers.
Day Two of the summit lasted from 9 am to 5 pm, during which time experts and guests from across the industry, ranging from gym owners, sponsors and promotion leaders, gave talks on various subjects regarding business matters related to MMA. They also discussed how to build the sport in Asia and how to get people to work together for a shared goal of creating a proper infrastructure for MMA.
After the presentations, the entire group of attendees went out for dinner at a private dining hall. The relaxed atmosphere gave the ONEFC network the opportunity to grow even more tightly bound as a team, and as posted on PAKMMA twitter, it “Became less like a network, and more like a family.”
The final day consisted of one more panel discussion, before the attendees were broken up into two groups to have more informal discussions on creating opportunities for gyms and fighters and on creating an amateur circuit. After this, there was lunch and a final wrap up by ONEFC CEO Victor Cui.
So that was the cut and dry synopsis of the summit for you PAKMMA fans out there. Now I will get a little more informal and tell you a more personal account of the experience and give a shout out to the great people I met at the summit.
First and foremost, big thanks to Victor Cui for making this happen. The summit was all expenses paid and was held at the nicest hotel in Singapore. I would have stayed at a homeless shelter if that were the requirement to make this sport grow, so to be taken care of so well means a lot.
The people at the summit were great and were all very passionate and supportive of what we are doing in Pakistan. Everyone understood the trials and tribulations we face, and we as a community I believe have earned their respect. For that, I thank you guys and the entire ONEFC network. Although I (Bashir Ahmad) may be the face and pioneer of all this, without you I am just one weird dude who decided to leave America to start MMA in Pakistan.
For all you people reading who want to get filled in on how this started, you can start by reading this.
Then you can contact me and add a story about us on your website! ; )