Once derided as "human cockfighting", the combat sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) is gaining global popularity and spurring investors to pour large sums into promotion companies.
In July, talent management agency WME-IMG bought U.S.-based Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in a deal valued at about $4 billion.
Soon after, Singapore-based MMA promotion company ONE Championship received investment from a consortium led by Heliconia Capital Management, which is wholly-owned by the Singapore government's investment arm, Temasek Holdings.
Local media reports suggested the funding was an eight-figure sum.
While much of MMA's current popularity can be traced to the UFC, ONE Championship has been making inroads in Asia, hosting sold-out events around the region.
The promotion's founder Chatri Sityodtong told CNBC that the promotion's next focus is conquering Asia's largest consumer market and the "spiritual home of martial arts" – China.