HOME TO A BURGEONING BJJ SCENE, IT IS POSSIBLE THAT MYANMAR COULD BE THE NEXT SOUTH EAST ASIA COUNTRY TO EMBRACE MMA.
ONE Championship’s schedule for the second half of the year tends to be significantly heavier than the first, but so far we don’t know exactly where Asia’s biggest MMA promotion will be heading after June.
One country which appears to be on the radar is Myanmar, with ONE vice president and former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin participating in a ‘meet and greet’ in Yangon this evening.
The event is set for Balance Fitness in the country’s capital and will run from 5pm to 7pm.
Given that Franklin is based in the US it seems unlikely that ONE would be sending him to Myanmar unless the country was high on the list of potential cities for upcoming events.
So far Victor Cui’s organization has been to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Manila, Taipei, Dubai, Beijing and Phnom Penh with a show booked for Guanzhou in China this month.
Myanmar would be the tenth country to host a ONE event with the 30,000 capacity Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium in Yangon a likely venue.
Myanmar has a strong culture of stand up fighting and Lethwei shows take place in the capital on a regular basis. The sport is similar to Muay Thai but fighters do not wear gloves, there are no judges and headbutts are allowed.
Yangon is home to a burgeoning BJJ scene and after the surprising expansion of MMA in Cambodia, where shows take place every single weekend, it is possible that Myanmar could become the next South East Asian country to embrace the sport.