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Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

No Holds Barred: Chatri Sityodtong on Evolve University and ONE FC: Kings and Champions 



On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Evolve MMA founder Chatri Sityodtong.

It's a very busy time for Evolve MMA and Chatri. They not only have five fighters on the ONE FC: Kings and Champions card this Friday, April 5, in Singapore, but also have just started Evolve University, the world's largest online university for the martial arts and combat sports.

"The thing that makes Evolve University different from anything else out there is not only the scale of things that we've done, but every single one of our courses is taught by world champions," said Chatri in this interview, which was recorded over Skype Wednesday (Tuesday night New York time).

"From our research, we believe that we are the world's largest online university for martial arts taught by world champions exclusively," with courses in muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, MMA, submission grappling, and wrestling.

So far, the response has been phenomenal. In the first five days of its existence, the number of people who have signed up for Evolve University around the world is in the "thousands," he said.

While Evolve University aims at providing world-class instruction in these various disciplines, the emphasis is also on promoting the positive values of the martial arts.

"I want to be able to change millions of people's lives," he said. "Look at the senseless violence that we're in today. Every day you see every city, there are innocent victims being victimized for no reason. I really believe the world will be a safer place if everyone knew the basic principles of self-defense and learned martial arts and gained self-confidence and mental strength, and discipline, focus, and energy. And martial arts really does give you a warrior spirit. It gives you that desire to fight and conquer adversity that we all have in our lives."

The five Evolve MMA fighters who will be competing at Friday's ONE FC: Kings and Champions are Shinya Aoki, Eddie Ng, Leandro Issa, Alex Silva, and Jake Butler.

ONE FC: Kings and Champions will be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. The show will be televised live in Asia on Star Sports, which is available in 28 countries to an estimated 500 million viewers. It will also be webcast live around the world as a pay-per-view on http://www.onefc.livesport.tv.

In the main event, submission specialist Shinya Aoki will challenge for the ONE FC lightweight belt against champion and fellow Japanese fighter Kotetsu Boku. Evolve MMA's Eddie Ng of Hong Kong will take on the colorful Arnaud Lepont of France. Evolve MMA fighter and BJJ specialist Leandro Issa will try to rebound from a loss in his last fight when he faces Dagestan fighter Yusup Saadulaev. Another BJJ world champion and Evolve MMA fighter Alex Silva will fight Wushu world champion Rene Catalan. And American wrestler and now Evolve MMA fighter Jake Butler will fight the more experienced Swain Cangco of Saipan.

Also on the ONE FC: Kings and Champions card, in what is likely a classic striker vs. grappler matchup, the explosive Melvin Manhoef fights Brock Larson. The ONE FC Bantamweight Grand Prix continues with the semifinal round, as Jens Pulver fights Masakatsu Ueda and Kevin Belingon fights Thanh Vu. Also, Pakistani MMA pioneer Bashir Ahmad takes on Shannon Wiratchai of Thailand, and Chen Yun Ting of Malaysia fights muay Thai star Ronald Low of Singapore.

We also discussed this card with Chatri, as well as why martial arts are part of a lifelong process and journey, the growth of MMA in Asia, why Asia will become the epicenter of MMA, the current global duopoly in MMA, and much more.

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ONE Fighting Championship. ONE FC is Asia's largest and most prestigious mixed martial arts event. ONE FC features the best Asian fighters and has initiated the ONE Asia Partnership Network, which includes most of the major MMA promotions and MMA gyms in Asia. For more information, go to their web site, at ONEFC.com.

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American Top Team. Whether you're a beginner or a champion, train with the champions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, wrestling, grappling, and mixed martial arts at American Top Team. Check out their web site at http://americantopteam.com/.

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