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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Silat veteran sets up MMA association in Singapore

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Former silat world champion Sheik Alauddin has set up the Mixed Martial Arts Federation of Singapore. He said such an organisation can help to create a framework of common standards and rules to govern the growing sport.



SINGAPORE: The sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) has seen rapid growth in Singapore in recent years, with at least three organisers set to hold major events here in the coming months.

Former silat world champion Sheik Alauddin has set up the Mixed Martial Arts Federation of Singapore.

He said such an organisation can help to create a framework of common standards and rules to govern the growing sport, even though it is not yet recognised as an official national sports association by the Singapore Sports Council.

The sport of MMA continues to draw fans among Singaporeans -- home-grown fight organiser ONE FC and top international promotion, the Ultimate Fighting Championships, are set to hold more events here in the years ahead.

The lure of prize money and a career as a professional fighter has also drawn more Singaporeans to take up the sport. However, this means a regulatory framework to guide the new sport is fast becoming a necessity.

Sheik Alauddin is a veteran martial artist, having represented Singapore in silat and won world championships. He believes his month-old Mixed Martial Arts Federation of Singapore can help to guide the development of the sport, especially for amateurs.

"There are a lot of mixed martial arts clubs, individuals who train and set up mixed martial arts (clubs) in Singapore. And I think there is a need to come in and give them the support in terms of the organising of events, regulating whatever they have been doing and looking at the sports safety," he said.

Doping is another area of focus for the federation. The federation plans to further build up its expertise and work with more partners as it establishes itself in the Singapore MMA scene.

The federation will also seek to play a role in youth development and the grooming of local talent.

The sport has already drawn young exponents from traditional disciplines such as silat, with the opportunity to turn pro and make a living as a fighter. Grasio Club, an affiliate of the Singapore Silat Federation, have already attracted some 30 members.

Mohammad Shahlan, an MMA exponent, said: "(It is) good to give Singaporeans an opportunity to get into the growing MMA sport because I believe that MMA is a very fast-growing sport."

The federation is also considering organising amateur tournaments in future to provide more opportunities for upcoming fighters.
http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/sport/silat-veteran-sets-up-mma/885508.html


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