Two combat sports legends, Kazushi Sakuraba and Peter Aerts, in their respective disciplines are joining forces with Apex Fighting Championship to rebuild the Asian market for mixed martial arts. A press conference was held recently at the Seoul Plaza Hotel in South Korea to break down their plans for the future.
In addition to those two juggernauts that were in attendance at the presser were APEX CEO Ji-Hoon Park, former PRIDE FC rules director Shimada Yuji, former K-1 rules director Onari Atsushi, ex-WBC featherweight boxing world champion In-Jin Ji, and Apex sponsored fighters Doo-Won Seo and Ji-Hoon Kim.
In-Jin Ji, Kazushi Sakuraba and Peter Aerts will focus on finding, nurturing and mentoring young talent by putting on technical seminars four times a year for these individuals in Korea.
Emphasizing on fighter development, they will enlist the ‘The Gracie Hunter’ Sakuraba (Saku39 Grappling Championship) to look over the MMA and grappling aspects as well as have 3x K-1 Grand Prix Champion Peter Aerts (Peter Aerts Spirit) and In-Jin Ji overseeing the kickboxing and striking department.
The promotion is working on having six professional tournaments a year (MMA,Grappling,Kickboxing) starting from the end of this year or the beginning of next year.
Apex CEO Ji-Hoon Park stated that at their first event it is a high possibility that “The Korean Pitbull” Doo-Won Seo (10-8 MMA record) will return to action after a long layoff.
“I’m nervous being in front of everyone since I haven’t been in the spotlight for a while. However, I am glad to be working with Apex and looking forward to the future” Seo stated about his return to MMA.
The new promotion has many aspects still unclear at this moment but they are bringing in experienced and proven individuals to run the show and that is a good sign for all the amateurs and professionals planning on entering any of the competitions or learning from these wise men.