COVID-19: 'ONE: Inside the Matrix' to be 1st sports event with fans since circuit-breaker

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·3-min read
ONE Championship's men's strawweight champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao (left) battles Australias Josh Tonna during the "Reign of Dynasties" closed-door event on 9 October 2020. (PHOTO: ONE Championship)
ONE Championship's men's strawweight champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao (left) battles Australias Josh Tonna during the "Reign of Dynasties" closed-door event on 9 October 2020. (PHOTO: ONE Championship)

SINGAPORE — The “Inside the Matrix” fight event by Singapore-based mixed martial arts company ONE Championship next Friday (30 October) will be the first sporting event in Singapore to allow a limited live audience since the COVID-19 circuit breaker period.

The fight company announced in a media release on Friday that there will be 250 “Superfan” ticket packages to watch the event at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

“In line with Singapore’s approach to resuming activities in a calibrated and safe manner in Phase 2, the event will implement all necessary measures to ensure the safety of all attendees, including piloting the use of antigen rapid tests prior to the event,” the company said in the media release.

ONE Championship’s live-audience event comes after a live, closed-door production on 9 October, “Reign of Dynasties”, also held at the Indoor Stadium.

Strict protocols were implemented during that event, such as frequent testing, the creation of a bubble and strict regulation of who can enter the event venue.

For instance. overseas-based fighters were tested four times – before they flew to Singapore, upon arrival, before and after the fight – while others were tested twice.

Pre-event testing at selected large-scale events

Singapore had announced on Tuesday that it is piloting the use of pre-event COVID-19 testing at selected large-scale events, ahead of its eventual entry into Phase 3 of reopening after its circuit-breaker period in April and May.

Attendees will be tested at the event venue, at no cost. The antigen rapid tests are expected to return fairly accurate results within 15 minutes, which means event attendees can expect the entire process to end within 30 minutes, including time taken for registration and swabbing.

They will also be more comfortable to endure, compared to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, as a nasal swab will be used to take a sample from the lower part of the nose.

Matches at ‘Inside the Matrix’

Next Friday’s “Inside the Matrix” will feature six match-ups, four of them title bouts:

  • The main event will see middleweight champion Aung La N Sang of Myanmar defending his title against undefeated top contender Reinier de Ridder of the Netherlands;

  • Singapore’s lightweight champion Christian Lee will make his first title defence against undefeated Iuri Lapicus of Moldova;

  • Featherweight champion Martin Nguyen of Vietnam will put his title on the line against compatriot and former LFA featherweight champion Thanh Le;

  • Women’s strawweight champion Xiong Jin Nan of China will take on Singapore’s Tiffany Teo in a highly-anticipated rematch;

  • Eduard Folayang of the Philippines will face Australia’s Antonio Caruso;

  • India’s national wrestling champion Ritu Phogat will take on Cambodia’s Nou Srey Pov.

The 250 “Superfan” in-person ticket packages will be priced at $148, which includes a safe seating plan as well as the addition of special ONE Championship merchandise worth over $60.

Five lucky ticket holders will also stand a chance to win JBL Reflect Flow True Wireless Sports Earphones worth over $230 each. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.sg

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