What happened to the MMA tours?

It seems the mixed martial arts (MMA) fans got mixed signals as the event organiser cancelled the tour to Singapore. The Singapore leg of the tour is part of the 11-city global tours.

But was there ever an event to begin with?

Late last week, Ultimate Fighting Championship, the organisers of MMA fights posted on its Facebook page about false advertising done by event organisers in Singapore. It said:

Singapore fans- There is a rumor of a $700 USD seminar with Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre and Anderson Silva. Please note that this is false advertising. This is not a UFC-related seminar nor are the fighters involved. Please do not buy tickets to this event. We are investigating this further.

UFC was unable to respond to Marketing at the time of writing.

When contacted by local newspaper The Straits Times, the Singapore organisers LAMC and Ch'i Life Studio Asia emphasised that the show will go on. Robin Leong, owner of Ch'i Life Studio Asia told The Straits Times that the “tour has nothing to do with UFC at all. The organisers are dealing directly with the fighters' managers."

UFC on its Facebook page later clarified: “We are looking into this. We spoke directly to fighters and managers and none knew of such seminar. We want to be sure fans don't lose anything as this not a cheap ticket for something we can't confirm is legit.”

Meanwhile, Nike which was claimed to be the sponsor of the event by the organisers it had not been approached nor was it even aware of the global multi-city tour involving the MMA fighters.

“Nike has never been approached nor is even aware of a global, multi-city tour involving UFC and Nike athletes including Jon Jones and Anderson Silva, as was incorrectly cited in the Straits Times today. Additionally, Nike enjoys a positive and professional relationship with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), despite the same article's claims,” a Nike’s spokesperson said.

The seminar was said to include three MMA superstars, Jon Jones, Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre for a two-hour, hands-on training. There was also a meet-and-greet fan session at the Marina Bay Sands' ArtScience Museum and was to be held in end May 2014.

However, a little over a week later, Ch'i Life Studio and organisers LAMC productions have started pulling back from the event promotions.

In a joint statement to Marketing, the event organisers said: “Due to circumstances beyond our control, we will not be promoting this event. Should there be an event taking place, we will no longer be involved."

According to the Straits Times, the tickets to the Hong Kong tours have also been listed as unavailable.

In an earlier interview done by Marketing, UFC Asia managing director Mark Fischer said the organisation will push aggressively into Asia in 2014. UFC also recently shifted its Asia headquarters from Beijing to Singapore and in 2014, UFC was also said to be planning dozens of events across the region and in several new markets like Manila, Seoul and Jakarta.

(Photo courtesy: UFC)