ASIA'S biggest MMA organization, ONE Championship, has already had nine blockbuster shows here in the Philippines.

With the popularity of MMA continuing to grow rapidly in the country, ONE Championship chairman Chatri Sityodtong believes that it’s time to branch outside Metro Manila, where it has held all its events since 2012.

“The Philippines is one of our biggest markets because the fans in the country are just so passionate about mixed martial arts,” Chatri said in a statement.

“The country is a very important market for us. I truly believe that ONE Championship can become mainstream where every single Filipino is enthralled with what ONE Championship has to offer.”

One of the targeted places of ONE Championship is the boxing capital of the country, Cebu City.

“Our operations team has looked at various stadiums across the Philippines.

We’ve scouted places that could meet our standards in terms of size and quality. I will not be surprised if in the future, we will see more events in the Philippines, not just Manila but in other cities,” he said. “We’re looking at Cebu City as a possible future destination.”

Cebu has been host to some of the biggest boxing shows in the country, that features the likes of Filipino superstars Donnie Nietes, Nonito Donaire Jr. and Johnriel Casimero.

Cebu has also had MMA events in the past, with the URCC, and also local shows promoted by Yaw-Yan Ardigma CEO Benigno “Ekin” Caniga.

The ONE Championship returns to the Philippines for its 10th show on April 21 that will be headlined by ONE lightweight champion Eduard Folayang’s first title defense.