Angela Lee and MMA’s project to crack the $18 tn-plus Asian market

The Canadian fighter is a heart-pounding expertise, and could become a huge stellar in areas where martial arts are a huge part of the culture

Angela Lee misses parties to think of her as a typical young woman, but thats difficult to accept considering what shes already done.

Im a normal person or persons happens to be a fighter and a world champ, Lee, 20, tells the Guardian. The Canadian-born, Hawaii-raised soldier adds this with a snicker and undeniable seriousnes. Numerous parties in her life, including those who make money off her, paint a picture of an athlete positioned to breakout large-hearted in Asia her father is from Singapore and her mother is South Korean at a time when the continent is beginning to follow mixed martial arts in ways it was unable to before.

Asian gatherings are just now starting to engage in Asian content. All weve ever had access to was North American and European content. We were not prolific in producing character Asian material. Im talking world-class material. Boasts or soap operas, its very new, articulated promoter Victor Cui, the CEO International of ONE Championship, an MMA advertising focused on house idols such as Lee in Asia. The acces I look at it is this: Asia is very used to seeing world-wide icons in martial arts, like Michelle Yeoh in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Determining a talented female martial artist is not something foreign in Asia, which is why I repute Angela is so quickly accepted.

I dont think theres a ceiling to Lees potential, lent Cui, a former ESPN executive.

Lee, who is unbeaten seven fights into her professional MMA career, deserves at least a mention alongside “the worlds largest” heart-pounding potentials in the play. Lee captivated the championship region in ONEs atomweight disagreement last year, and after protecting it for the first time in March she is positioned to become the first breakout boxer of Asian descent in many years, with possibilities for widespread fame looming.

At the start of Lees career in Asia she was quizzed on her background and patrimony. Soon she learned how to respond. She was half-Korean, half-Chinese Singaporean, she told people, born in Canada and raised in Hawaii. Thats kind of a sip, Lee excused, but as the media and fan cornerstones in different parts of Asia began to understand her narrative they instantly accepted her. Im a mix of everything and I think thats a plus. It gives me more know-how culturally knowing that Ive been to these different places around the world.

Lee was also influenced by the women colonists who originated before her Gina Carano, Cris Cyborg and Ronda Rousey. It constituted me want to pursue this even more, Lee did. I was training and contesting and seeing them do their thought on Tv and being able to travel and do what they affection, it just really invigorated me. I never had a supposed in my attention that I wasnt going to make it.

My great grandma actually watches the fights. Shes not scared of anything. I think thats why it kind of pass in our blood in my family. Were all soldiers in some sense.

Unlike Carano, Cyborg and Rousey, from her earliest experiences in martial arts Lee was molded as a contestant with a full arsenal. That foot developed a dynamic and vigorous boxer, who to this place has sought to finish her rivals in a variety of ways.

Coming from a martial art family and being introduced to the sport at such a young age, I exactly kind of grown up in it, Lee added. This is all I kind of knew. Martial arts was a great part of “peoples lives” it ever has been. I didnt got a second alternative when it came to career choice. I didnt understand myself being a coach or a medical doctor or something like that. I knew I wanted to do something MMA related.

Observers of mixed fighting have anticipated an emergence of young contestants who would be well versed in all aspects of MMA from impressing to wrestling from the moment they first stepped into the enclosure. Lee is certainly an example of that, and her endowment has been a boon to ONE Championship. The advertisement, a partner to the Singaporean authority, signed Lee ahead of her professional debut in 2015 and rapidly redoubled down with a contract that cleared Lee among the highest paid female boxers in MMA.

My advantage is that from the beginning I learned mixed martial art as a whole, Lee supposed. You can see it from the transition from the standup to the floor and everything in between.

Because of Lee and their stable of 450 boxers, ONE has knowledge explosive growing during the past five years old, claiming between 10 to 50 occasions the show in Asia compared to the industry leading UFC.

We have been more fortunate in that there is one common denominator in countries around the world, which is martial art, pronounced Cui. Its the only play that is truly Asian. Its been the dwelling of martial art for the last 5,000 times. Every country we go to at its core has some sort of martial arts that theyre ferociously proud of.

So we are really get into a country and we dont need to teach anybody that athletic, whereas if we were fetching ice hockey to every country we would need to teach them who the Edmonton Oiler were everywhere we go. But whether youre a five-year-old kid or a 105 -year-old grandmother you know what the best martial artists are like and when two beings come together theres good-for-nothing to explain.

Considering MMAs business model is less than a one-quarter century old, the potential for Asia to challenge UFCs dominance should not be dismissed.

Were at the very early days, literally scratching the surface of what the possibilities of is, Cui responded. I think youre go to more and more our material and TV ratings starting to dominate because of the combination of our live broadcast, the athletic, our local heroes and the clarity of the rules. If we continue to to exponentially flourish on social media with content, humanity, for us to affect a billion intuitions during the first quarter and it took us a year last year I was actually shocked.

The potential gathering in Asia has Cui most excited. During a panel discussion on Asias entrepreneurs earlier this month in Los Angeles, Cui have also pointed out that China was positioned to invest $18 tn on plays in the next 20 years. In 2016, Cui moved its term of office from Singapore to Shanghai to focus on developing their Chinese business.

The advantage with Asia is the rest of “the worlds” does want to see who the next Bruce Lee is, Cui told. They want to see who the next Asian athlete is[ in fighting athletics ]. There is a legal interest among love to assure what Asians are going to be best available in “the worlds”. Thats not common in any other boast. No one is waiting for the next Chinese endorse in tennis.

In March, Lee saw Shanghai to conduct a workshop with Nike. Unlike in the US, where big labels have remained reticent to fully support MMA especially after embarrassing misfortunes with the likes of agitated former UFC champion Jon Jones that motivated Nike to pull back from MMA in Northern america the Asian back of the business has been ripe for advertisement. Disneys Marvel, for example, partnered with ONE Championship to launch its films to Asian audience.

Lee is also a big plus for any advertising is planning to make inroads in Asia.[ Brands] are becoming more inclined to have an Angela Lee working with them, announced Cui. If she used fluent in Chinese that would be amazing.

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