KUCHING (May 27): Thailand Fighting Championship (TFC) co-owner Will Chope ‘The Killer’ is thrilled to bring the first international mixed martial arts (MMA) event ‘Road to Thailand Fighting Championship 1.0’ to Borneo, and Sarawak in particular.
The American wants to see and give more opportunities to fighters in Southeast Asia and South Asia to take part in the prestigious TFC, set to be staged in Bangkok, this December.
“The TFC is a regional combat sports championship based in Thailand. We have organised almost 20 events but we are trying to use ‘The Road to TFC’ to go international to find regional fighters in SEA and South Asia and fighters who do well, to perform in the bigger event in Bangkok.
“This year, we are holding four TFC MMA Fighting Championships, which are the qualifiers to the grand final in Thailand, with the first one in Sarawak (May 27) followed by TFC2 in Sri Lanka in June, TFC 3 also in Sri Lanka in August, before returning to Kuching for TFC 4.
“The grand final will be held at the World Siam Stadium, which is famous for hosting muaythai championships,” he told The Borneo Post after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with other strategic partners Sarawak Mixed Martial Arts Association (SAMMA), ISKA Borneo, DJl Flyzone and Malaysian Urban Search and Rescue Mission (MUSAR).
Chope represented TFC, while SAMMA was represented by its president Tsan Nieng Khai, ISKA Borneo by its president Alvin Chong, DGI Flyzone by its authorised Sarawak Service Centre director Chen King Wei, and MUSAR by its Sarawak representative Teddy Medical Centre Voon Rescue MUSAR owner Dr Sim Chap Hoong.
According to Chope, TFC would be selecting 10 to 12 fighters for the grand finale, with four from Sarawak.
Meanwhile Tsan, who is the event organiser, was delighted to work with Chope and other strategic partners in bringing the MMA championship to Sarawak with the objective of further promoting this mixed combat sport in the state.
“This is also a good platform for local athletes to perform at a higher stage and we want to promote the MMA Sports Hub (SMASH), which was set up five months ago, as not only the biggest hub in Sarawak and Malaysia, but also in Southeast Asia.
“In SMASH, which covers 25,000 square feet, we have two competition cages, one Olympic-size boxing ring for muaythai and boxing, food and drinks area, section for functional training, and we can also have Zumba and yoga sessions here,” he added.