Mark Eddiva is on ONE Championship’s radar, says Victor Cui
MANILA, Philippines – The free agent market in the Asian mixed martial arts (MMA) scene has become more lucrative with extra options for various companies in search of talents after Filipino fighter Mark Eddiva parted ways with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
The 30-year-old Baguio City native was quietly released by the world’s premier MMA organization this past April following 3-straight setbacks inside UFC’s famed Octagon.
[Deleted] Mark Eddiva (Feather)— UFCFIGHTERSiNFO (@UFCFIGHTERSiNFO) April 21, 2016
[Deleted] Julian Erosa (Feather)https://t.co/nZfB0IsOE2
Following his successful promotional debut versus Jumabieke Tuerxun in March 2014, Eddiva succumbed to a second-round stoppage loss to Edimilson “Kevin” Souza two months later before yielding to Levan Makashvili via split decision in May 2015.
To compound the misery, his disappointing defeat to Makashvili happened in UFC’s inaugural venture on Philippine shores.
Eddiva received the pink slip from the UFC when he suffered an 84-second submission loss at the hands of Kiwi combatant Daniel Hooker last March.
With Eddiva’s departure from the UFC, ONE Championship seems to be interested in extending an offer to the multi-medalist Wushu practitioner.
ONE Championship chief Victor Cui emphasized that Eddiva fits the Singapore-based promotion’s objective to be the frontrunner of MMA in the eastern hemisphere.
“We’re about building Asian heroes. We’re about showcasing the best of Asia. We’re about showcasing the beauty and the values of martial arts that we love,” he told Rappler.
"Their goal is to make the Americans win"
The Filipino-Canadian promoter criticized Western organizations about their bland buildup of Asian MMA competitors.
“If you’re not Asian-based organization and an [Asian] athlete chooses to fight in America or whatever, you have to understand the company’s priority. Their priority is not to make fighters from Myanmar, Philippines or Indonesia,” Cui explained.
“If you go fight in the States under an American promotion, their goal is to make the Americans win. That’s where they are going to put their marketing dollars and that’s how they are going to develop them,” he added.
Prior to his UFC stint, Eddiva was a highly-touted prospect, finishing his first 5 professional matches with 3 knockout wins and two submission triumphs.
In his first overseas bout under the Legend FC umbrella in January 2011, Eddiva impressively endured two solid knee shots to the head before fastening a rear-naked choke to submit China’s Alex Lee in the dying seconds of the first round.
“When we take fighters, we look to develop those fighters here and give them opportunities to shine,” Cui stated.
Cui believes that Eddiva will be a great addition to ONE Championship’s stacked featherweight division, which has been often described as a shark tank.
The aforementioned weight class houses ONE Championship featherweight titleholder Marat Gafurov, Eric Kelly, Ev Ting, Jadambaa Narantungalag, Herbert Burns, Timofey Nastyukhin, Rob Lisita and Martin Nguyen.
Meanwhile, Eddiva’s Team Lakay colleague Edward Kelly also struts his wares at featherweight.
“That’s the challenge [for Eddiva]. If you’re going to look at our featherweight division, it is a full-on shark tank,” Cui said. “There are too many guys. We don’t have a shortage of talent at featherweight.” – Rappler.com