The UFC takes a big leap for the good of Mixed Martial arts by landing their first event in Singapore with the 34th installment of UFC Fight Night. The UFC has been trying desperately to get the UFC spread across all 4 corners of the globe, and this is another step in that direction. With that said, the card they’re bringing seems to have the star power of an underground amateur fight circuit – and that’s putting it lightly.
Out of the 10 rumored bouts (found here, only 5 fighters have had UFC experience, and none of the bouts feature two of those fighters against eachother; in other words, this event has a WHOLE lot of debuting acts that not many casual fans even know about.
Ontop of this, the main event is between a Korean up-and-comer with a 2-0 UFC record against a still fairly unknown Strikeforce stand-out in Tarec Saffiedine, who was Strikeforce’s last welterweight champion. Not only are these unknown to the common American fans, but they stand to be the biggest draw of the card. Luckily, this event is on the other side of the world.
If you’re an aspiring Japanese MMA fan, the main event may not be biggest aspect of the card; it’s most likely the debut of Tatsuya Kawajiri. “Crusher” is an extremely skilled and experienced fighter from Japan who could very well be Japan’s best fighter (other than Shinya Aoki). Debuting in the UFC is a big deal, but the problem is that the majority of UFC fans do NOT know who Tatsuya Kawajiri is.
It seems as if the UFC knows exactly how weak of a card this is and how much star power it is lacking. This event, while it being a Fight Night card, will in fact NOT be aired on American television. Instead, American residents can view the Singapore card on subscription-based network.
I think it’s great that the UFC is branching out and testing the waters in new areas, as there is a LOT of hidden talent out there. But this card in Singapore is an absolute joke. I know the fans there may show up to support their local favorites and townsmen, but I don’t see how anybody from the Western hemisphere would pay much attention to it. I find it a little disgracing that the UFC makes such a huge debut in a country known for their martial arts with a rag-tag card. Either way, fights are fights, and I know I will be paying close attention, regardless of whether or not any of the fighters are recognizable.