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WSOF expands into UK and Costa Rica, One Championship brokers ESP deal

The World Series of Fighting – Global Championship (WSOF-GC) has secured two new strategic partnerships that will enable the mixed martial arts (MMA) series to expand into the UK and Costa Rica, while rival series One Championship has agreed a deal with the Asia-Pacific arm of the ESP Properties agency.

WSOF-GC has confirmed a deal for MMA promoter the International Combat Elite Fighting Championship (ICE FC) to become an affiliate and host events as the exclusive representative for WSOF Global in the UK.

In addition, WSOF-GC has agreed a strategic agreement with Costa Rica-based Calvo Promotions for the MMA promoter to showcase its own fighters on the global stage.

WSOF-GC president Shawn Wright said: “We have always said that we are here to develop the sport and find those fighters that deserve global recognition. We have added seven great promotions since the beginning of 2016 and we do not intend to slow down. We will continue to grow and give our fans access to events and assist our affiliates with grooming talent to create the future stars of MMA.”

Meanwhile, One Championship has appointed ESP Properties APAC as its agency in select Asian territories. ESP Properties will work with the series to bring One events to new territories such as Yangon and Vietnam.

The partnership comes after the two parties linked up in 2014 to help the series secure local partners in Cambodia, including an agreement with the Cambodian Broadcasting Service. Earlier this year, ESP Properties also brokered a deal for Myanmar private commercial bank AGD Bank to serve as presenting sponsor for the Union of Warriors event, which took place in the country in March.

Victor Cui, chief executive of the One Championship, said: “ESP Properties’ strength of relationships in select countries in Asia combined with our sports entertainment expertise make this a strong partnership. Together we will be able to introduce the sport of MMA to even more corporate partners and fans.”

Toh Jin Wei, managing director of ESP Properties APAC, added: “With the strength of the network and the attractive proposition that One provides, I’m sure we will be seeing an increased number of events in the future.”