When people talk about the top MMA camps the names which consistently come up are Jackson’s Submission Grappling, American Top Team, and American Kickboxing Academy. However competition has emerged from the unlikely location of Singapore in the shape of Evolve MMA which is rapidly gaining recognition as being amongst the very best places to train in the world.
The Evolve Fight Team is widely regarded as number one in Asia and has posted victories in a diversity of promotions in 2011 including the UFC, DREAM, ONE FC and DARE Championships.
Evolve MMA was founded in 2008 by Thai entrepreneur Chatri Sityodtong and is one of the fastest growing businesses in Singapore with an enormous client base and three different state of the art locations.
It is also a part of the rapidly expanding ONE FC Network and the recently announced partnership with DREAM will mean more to Chatri than most because DREAM Lightweight champion Shinya Aoki is a member of the Evolve MMA fight team and Japanese veteran Ryo Chonan is also currently training in Singapore.
“The ONE FC Network makes everyone’s life a lot easier and the fact that I need to talk to only Victor (Cui) to get my fighters on ROAD FC, DREAM, CFC, URCC, etc. definitely expedites things. It also gives the Evolve Fight Team a chance to compete internationally against high level competition which is great exposure and excellent experience and it has even been helpful for finding sponsorship for the Evolve Fight Team.”
Both Chonan and Aoki are busy preparing for fights at the DREAM New Year’s Eve show but Chatri, who speaks passable Japanese, believes that fighters like this could soon be appearing much closer to home with a cross promotion between DREAM and ONE FC currently scheduled to take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on March 31st.
“Shinya has told me that he would love to fight in Singapore since it is Evolve MMA’s home market. DREAM is a fantastic show in terms of the live show and TV production. The level of fighters is very high. The people at DREAM really know how to put up exciting fights between excellent world-class MMA fighters.”
Right now Chatri and his team are fully focused on preparing Korean featherweight Brian Choi for his fight at Road FC 5 in Seoul this weekend. You can get an insight into his training routine here:
Brian Choi only made his professional debut last year but has already amassed a perfect record of 3-0. He comes from a wrestling background and has professional boxing and Muay Thai experience and a blue belt in BJJ.
Road FC were able to add Choi, who has a contract with ONE FC, to their card because they are a part of the ONE FC Network and South African Muay Thai specialist Vuyisile Colossa will also be in action at the JangChung Gymnasium on December 3.
Chatri anticipates a hard fight against highly rated Korean Bae Young Kwon but believes that Choi’s preparation has been perfect,
“It will be a very tough fight because his opponent is supposed to be the number one featherweight in ROAD FC but Brian is tough as nails. He’s had an excellent training camp and we also have an excellent game plan for this fight. Honestly though, it is going to be a tough fight.”
Evolve MMA enjoys a reputation as being the top camp in Asia and Chatri says he is inundated with applications from fighters. As well as Aoki and Choi the Evolve MMA Fight Team also includes Brazilian BJJ world champions Zorobabel Moreira and Leandro Issa, former boxing world champion Yodsanan Sityodtong and Eddie Ng from Hong Kong.
They have all signed with ONE FC meaning that they will be eligible to compete on the biggest domestic shows in the Philippines, Australia, Korea and Japan as well as on any of the ONE FC events which are currently scheduled for Jakarta in February, Singapore in March and Kuala Lumpur in April with more dates about to be announced.
Trips to Seoul for Choi’s fight and Tokyo to corner Aoki are on the immediate horizon but 2012 looks set to be the busiest year yet the Evolve MMA fight team. Chatri is looking forward to the challenges ahead and believes his fighters are all set to benefit from being a part of the ONE FC Network,
“The Evolve Fight Team is super excited. We get to compete internationally against top level competition. Cui has been very strategic with ONE FC and I am certainly impressed with his execution abilities, 2012 is going to be a huge year for Asian MMA.”
PHOTO CREDIT – EVOLVE MMA