The next big China's Mixed Martial Arts fighter? Photo: AFP
The next big China's Mixed Martial Arts fighter? Photo: AFP

ONE Championship, a major Asian promoter of mixed martial arts, has signed a partnership deal with StarTimes, a Beijing-based media group dedicated to broadcasting Chinese culture in Africa.

“There is huge potential for growth in Africa and obviously in China where we have focused our efforts,” said ONE Championship chief executive Victor Cui at a press conference in Beijing on Friday.

ONE Championship touts itself as Asia’s largest sports media property, hosting mixed martial events across Asia and broadcasting to over 1 billion viewers.

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Guo Ziqi, vice president of StarTimes, one of China’s largest pay TV firms which provides digital TV services to 8 million subscribers in sub-Saharan Africa, said: “Our Sports Arena channel has become dedicated to combat sports such as MMA which are gaining popularity in Africa.

“We showcase the absolute best in local and international MMA talent, including the top Chinese martial arts stars. African MMA athletes fighting in Asia are also excited to have a great opportunity to be seen in action by their fans back home.”

The conference was also attended by MMA cage fighting stars, Cameroon kickboxer Alain “The Panther” Ngalani, Canada-based karate black belt James “The Falcon” Kouame, and Chinese fighters Li Kai Wen and Ma Jia Wen.