Media Release

ESPN STAR Sports Announces Sponsorship of the

Asian Mixed Martial Arts Federation Certification Program

13 April 2010, Singapore: ESPN STAR Sports (ESS) today announced a sponsorship with the governing body for mixed martial arts in Asia – the Asian Mixed Martial Arts Federation (AMMAF).

The sponsorship involves the organizational support and funding for Asia’s first-ever “Mixed Martial Arts Referee and Officials Training and Certification Program”.  The certification will be officially recognized by the AMMAF and the Australian Mixed Martial Arts Officials Association (AMMOA) and will assume the lead role in establishing safe practices and fair officiating within the rapidly growing sport of mixed martial arts.

The Certification will be held over two days on 10-11 May, 2010 in Singapore and will involve participants from across Asia.  The program will be taught by one of Asia’s most experience MMA referees, Steven Perceval, who carries a 4th Degree Black Belt in HapKiDo and a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Perceval has refereed in over 200 MMA bouts around the world and in December 2007 he travelled to California, USA to attend and successfully graduate from an MMA referee and judging course taught by MMA legend and referee Big John McCarthy.

“This May through October, we will be organizing Asia’s ultimate MMA event – Resorts World Sentosa Martial Combat.  We believe in the development of standard MMA rules across Asia and an unwavering commitment to safety,” says Harvey Davis, Vice President ESPN STAR Sports, Event Management. “The AMMAF Referee and Officials Certification is absolutely pivotal to the future growth of MMA in Asia and we are proud to be sponsoring this program, he added.

Ray Elbe Tiger Muay Thai and MMATiger Muay Thai Gym partner and fan favourite MMA fighter Ray “The Magical” Elbe said; “MMA is about to experience explosive growth in Asia and the support from ESPN STAR Sports is one of the keys to success.  As one of the founding members of the AMMAF, we see this certification program as establishing the highest safety standards for both fighters and officials. “

The AMMAF is committed to providing a formal network of information sharing and mutual support for the development of Mixed Martial Arts.  It strives to initiate and promote safe sport practice, rules and regulations, strategies and plans for the growth of Mixed Martial Arts in Asia.

The AMMAF Founding Members are: Tiger Muay Thai (Phuket, Thailand), Legacy Gym (Ubon, Thailand), NeoFight (Korea), URCC (Philippines), UMAC (China), and Evolve Gym (Singapore).