MMA In Bangkok
This week was one that I’ve been aiming at for a long time. When my wife and I decided to travel it was a goal of mine to continue working with MMA in Bangkok and other Asian Cities. MMA has been a big part of my life over the past decade and I don’t want to lose touch with it. One of the reasons we started this adventure based in Bangkok was because it provides the opportunity to work with the Full Metal Dojo and ONE FC MMA Promotions. This week I worked on ONE FC’s first event in Thailand.
ONE FC Enters Bangkok
On Wednesday they had a Fighter Face Off Promotion at Siam Paragon which is in the centre of the city. It drew a large crowd which was great because Thailand is still taking it’s time to accept MMA. Some people high up in Muay Thai have tried to get MMA banned. ONE FC have made great progress by getting the Government to allow and endorse MMA as a ligitimate sport in Thailand.
After the Face Offs I also got to meet Rich Franklin. I have a lot of respect for what he did as a Fighter in the UFC when there was no money in the sport and for what he is doing now as Vice President of ONE Championship. I grabbed a quick selfie and I couldn’t help grinning like a stupid Fanboy.
Training & Rehearsals
Thursday was all about preparing for the big event. Matt Hume and Olivier Coste agreed for me to join in on the Officials Training. This was a great experience as Matt Hume ran through some previous fight footage and we analysed the judging criteria and how it applied in ONE FC events.
In Australia most events follow the same unified rules as UFC. Judging is done on a 10-9 system which evolved from boxing and it can lead to unfair decision wins. ONE FC judge the entire fight to make a decision rather than scoring round by round. This gives a more accurate result. Close matches can still be difficult to judge but I find this to be a better system.
After the Officials Training we went out to the Impact Arena and did 2hrs of rehearsal to ensure everybody knew what their role was and how to do it. This was great for me as I was working as Cage Assistant (not my normal role of Judge) so I felt much more comfortable after doing this. The rehearsals were fun as we had a couple of young kids playing the role of the fighters. It was also a good opportunity for me to meet the other Officials, some local and others from Japan, Phillipines & Singapore.
ONE Championship Bangkok
Friday was Fight Day! We met at the Berkeley Hotel and then got a Police escort out to Impact Arena (that’s a first for me).
Another quick rehearsal to ensure we all knew what to do during the show, then the usual wait for the doors to open. The event ran smoothly with the first couple of fights ending quickly in the opening round. As Cage Assistant my role also included cleaning up the blood and there was a lot of blood after the first fight was over. I quickly found my groove thanks to the instructions of Olivier Coste (Referee).
My position included opening and closing the cage door for the fighters, ring girls, cameramen and announcers then cleaning up the blood, sweat, water and ice inbetween rounds to prevent delays. It kept me busy but I had a great view of all the Fights and plenty of smiles from the Ring Girls.
Midway through the event there was a concert from a local Rock Band named Big Ass. The crowd loved it and it helped fire them up for the main card fights.
I had a great time at the event and hopefully will be able to work with the ONE Championship Team again in the future. We are about to do a quick trip to the United States and then Tour Europe but will then return to Thailand and base ourselves in Asia for the remainder of the year so that I can continue working with FMD, ONE FC and any other MMA Promotions in the area.
After the event I briefly got to meet Lenne Hardt. This lady has the craziest voice for announcing the fighters as they walk out to the cage. Her voice and delivery ignited the crowd. I’ve been a fan of her work since the old Pride days and it was awesome hearing her live
AJ’s MMA Resume!…
I am currently travelling around Asia while based in Thailand. I’ve Judged over 1,100 MMA Fights and I’m looking for new promotions to work with. For more information about my MMA work history you can download AJ’s MMA Resume and contact me via email or AJ Perry’s Facebook