REBEL Fighting Championship 
(as featured in the 13 March 2019 Issue Of The Straits Times)

REBEL Fighting Championship (FC), a dynamic Asian Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sports entertainment company headquartered in Singapore, looks to make an impact and rise in the Asian sports scene with major announcements about its plans for expansion in 2019. Founded in 2013, REBEL FC has presented an innovative concept of MMA shows that include live bands, martial arts demonstrations and pyrotechnics combined with engaging narratives that immerse the REBEL FC fans into the journey of the fighters from being a promising prospect to an international champion. Having already hosted eight live events so far - two in Singapore and six in China – and reaching audiences of more than 13 million viewers through TV and Digital platforms for each of the last two events in 2018, REBEL FC is now ready to enter a new evolutionary phase.

This groundbreaking endeavour involves REBEL FC moving into the fast-growing reality television show market in China with the announcement of a partnership with China’s famous combat sport show producer and director, Mr. Zhang Nan. This new partnership extends an already successful working relationship between REBEL FC and Mr. Zhang, who, as part of Qinghai Satellite Television, partnered REBEL FC to broadcast the live events, REBEL FC 7 and REBEL FC 8 in 2018. Both events garnered around 5 million TV viewers each, with Qinghai Satellite Television playing an important role in helping REBEL FC achieve these figures. Qinghai Satellite Television has 20 million combat sports viewers, and was ranked as the top broadcast platform for combat sports in China in 2018. Its combat sports programmes were the sixth most popular among all the shows in China during the evening primetime slots last year.

This new venture will consist of an MMA reality show series that will have REBEL FC touring through all provinces of China across to seek out promising MMA talents to fight in a tournament format for a contract to be part of REBEL FC’s professional events. REBEL FC will also be the first Singaporean company and Southeast Asian country to produce and broadcast an MMA reality show in China. 

Considered one of the most watched programmes in China, reality shows have attracted massive viewerships of millions of people, with episodes garnering up to 200 million viewers, enabling the generation of major sponsorship deals of up to SGD 150 million. REBEL FC looks to leverage on this reality show to invest in the development of the sport of MMA throughout China and bring MMA to the mainstream, as stated by REBEL FC’s CEO, Mr. Justin Leong:

“We are looking for the next Bruce Lee in China and, since China is the birthplace of martial arts, it’s definitely the perfect country for the inaugural season of REBEL FC’s Reality Show. We will be announcing the cities where the talent auditions will be taking place as well as production and broadcast partners for TV and internet streaming, once we have firmed up the production aspects of the series with Mr. Zhang,” elaborates Mr. Leong.

We are certainly looking forward to working with REBEL FC again after our fruitful partnership in 2018. Being part of the process to promote and groom China’s MMA talent is something we can be proud of when the winners go on and make an impact on the global MMA arena,” adds Mr. Zhang.

Winners of the REBEL FC reality show will be rewarded with the opportunity to part of REBEL FC’s signature live events and showcase their skills in an International platform against top-tier professional athletes.

2019 will be a watershed year with many landmark initiatives for REBEL FC. As part of REBEL FC’s overall strategy for 2019 is the plan to uplist to NASDAQ, the 2nd largest stock exchange in the world, by Q3/2019. This initiative is in line with REBEL FC’s vision to further grow the sport of MMA in China and the whole Asia Pacific region. Facilitating the NASDAQ uplist and overall market strategy, Mr. Leong recently welcomed Benjamin Cher, REBEL FC’s newest board director. Mr. Cher is the founder and CEO of Aetius Capital, a Singapore-based private investment firm, who also held senior roles at Credit Suisse AG and Temasek International.

REBEL FC is currently in the process of establishing strategic partnerships to organize four events in the second half 2019, which shall be announced in the near future.

Text adapted from REBEL FC editorial in the Business section of The Straits Times (below) on 13 March 2019.