Road FC CEO Jung Mun Hong “We are close to booking ‘Mirko Cro Cop vs Melvin Manhoef’.”
Road FC is now looking beyond Asia.
Road FC, the only major organization in South Korea is now heading toward global expansion. The upcoming Road FC 011 is the first step in that direction, showcasing a bevy of international and domestic MMA superstars. Road FC 011 will be the biggest MMA event to date in South Korea.
The reason Road FC has been able to grow exponentially in just 3 years lies solely on the shoulders of Road FC CEO Jung Mun Hong. He has put his personal life on hold to dedicate himself and his personal funds to the Road FC organization. His hard work and determination seems to have finally paid off.
Below is an interview conducted with Road FC CEO Jung Mun Hong.
A lot of people are proclaiming Road FC 011 as the best card Road FC has produced. It seems you are reaching closer and closer to your goal.
I am in this business to make Road FC become a global organization that garners respect from all over the world. At the same time, I wonder if I am insane for having these ambitions. Every time I feel that, I tell myself it will work out.
It seems there are a lot more international fighters now in the Road FC roster.
It just happened that way. The next event might be majority foreign fighters, from now on it is a battle of survival. Mixed Martial Arts is not just about winning and getting favorable fights. The essence of MMA is to challenge someone stronger than you. Lately, there are a lot of fighters who are picking and choosing their fights; I really do not think this is right. Fighting someone you are supposed to beat is not MMA but assault. I will never permit fighters who want to pick and choose their opponents to take part in the Road FC organization.
As more international fighters participate in Road FC there may be less space for Korean fighters.
I just need to be responsible. I will keep my promise. I promise to take care of everyone who put faith in this organization and me. Road FC needs to focus globally to evolve and grow and this makes it difficult to put a lot of Korean fighters on the main card. To combat this, we have created a separate league and already have broadcasting deals in place. If a fighter wants to be on the main card, he must have the skills and name value to do so. This is the same for international fighters.
It seems Road FC has become one of the biggest organizations in Asia.
I am very thankful about that. I feel we are almost there. The next few events will confirm this. Road FC will work hard to constantly evolve.
Is there a reason Road FC has moved its broadcasting rights to the SuperAction channel?
They offered us a very good deal and contract. Honestly, it is close to impossible to find a channel that shows Mixed Martial Arts content in a consistent basis in South Korea. It is a relief to just not have to pay someone to broadcast Road FC. The reason we could close this deal was that viewership for Road FC has increased tremendously in the past 3 years. I just want to say thank you to CJ Media’s Lee Jae Song, Gyu Gyo In, and Park Sung Young.
Recently, the popularity of the ‘Road Girls’ has exploded. It seems you are marketing the ‘Road Girls’.
It wasn’t the direction I wanted to take, but there is only so much attention you can get with just the fighters. This is why we decided to try to diversify our marketing strategy. Recently, I have opened up a management company with Park Sung Min. Our first clients are Doo Won Seo and the ‘Road Girls’. The ‘Road Girls’ are actually going to release an album soon. We are confident we can make our clients become stars.
I have heard you are campaigning against school bullying.
I don’t think I deserve that position, but I will try my best. I believe this is a good way to use MMA for a just cause and also to change the perception of MMA in South Korea.
Recently, Road FC is gaining more and more attention by top-level international fighters.
I don’t plan to give extra perks to international fighters. Just like always, we are fair in regards to our fighters. We try our best to treat fighters with respect. I want every fighter who has participated to come out with good memories of Road FC.
How are ticket sales for Road FC 011?
I was worried, but there are actually not many tickets left. I just want to thank the Ilsan directors for all their hard work. MMA gyms, even kickboxing, and BJJ gyms have helped with ticket sales. I am so happy because it feels like Road FC is being regarded as the leader of MMA in South Korea.
What fighters do you think the fans may see in the next Road FC?
We have already revealed that Bae Myung Ho and Ji Hoon Kim will be fighting on the card. I do not want to reveal too much, but the next card will eclipse the Road FC 011 card. We are very close to getting ‘Melvin Manhoef vs Mirko Cro Cop’ done for the next event.
Tell us your future goals?
I am so proud that Road FC is becoming more popular and that more fighters are beginning to know the Road FC organization. Road FC will go beyond Asia and become a global organization. It is almost hard to believe we made it this far, but I will never become complacent.