The UFC’s first foray into the Singapore market was widely a success. The bouts were entertaining and as UFC broadcaster Jon Anik stated on the broadcast “there are many people in the audience who have never seen the UFC before and are now sitting with their mouths wide-open.” The main card featured plenty of finishes and culminated with a five round war between Tarec Saffiedine and Hyun Gyu Lim. Check out three takeaways from the fight night (or morning) that was.
1. Asian MMA is Not Dead
If you read my “three things to watch at UFC Singapore” article you would have seen that I questioned if mixed martial artists from the Asian circuit could cut it in the UFC. At UFC Singapore they proved that they could do far more than just cut it. Tatsuya Kawajiri, Kyung-Ho Kang, and Katsunori Kunimoto were the asian stars of the fight card each turning in impressive performances. Kawajiri showed the dominant ground game that made him the vaunted fighter he was in Japan putting Sean Soriano to sleep in the second round with a rear-naked choke. Kang showed evolution in his ground game submitting a tough submission specialist in Shunichi Shimizu. Last, Katsunori Kunimoto turned in a great performance against Quinn Mulhern showcasing a karate style that captured the mind of many fans. The Asian MMA scene is far from dead.
2. Tarec Saffiedine and Hyun Gyu Lim are Destined for Big Things
Tarec Saffiedine ultimately came out on top of the judges scorecards but both him and Hyun Gyu Lim walked out of the cage a few levels higher in the UFC rankings than when they entered. Saffiedine showed the technical striking skills that brought him the StrikeForce Welterweight title while Lim showed heart and the ability to finish a fight at a moment’s notice. Saffiedine will undoubtedly get a top contender in his next bout where Lim will probably have to work his way back up. One thing is for sure, they both will be in a better place because of the five round war they went through.
3. UFC Fight Pass Shows Potential but Still has Room to Improve
The UFC fight pass stream for UFC Singapore was high quality to say the least. I don’t have the fastest internet connection in the world and I was still able to get a crisp 720p without any stuttering. With that I say well done to the tech team at the UFC but there were some things that didn’t live up to the potential. For one the prelims did not have any special options for the stream. The UFC has boasted giving fight fans complete control over their viewing experience by providing options to change the camera angle and audio of the broadcast. These features were not even presented during the prelims. When the main card aired these features were there to be selected. Unfortunately, if you tried to view a different camera angle you were greeted with a “Feed Not Available” screen. The UFC needs to come through on these features if they want fight fans to cough up 9.99 a month for this service. Even with the minor hiccups I’d say that Fight Pass’ first live showing was a successful one.