Mixed martial arts, muay thai and boxing are not the only combat sports disciplines gaining popularity in Singapore.
Kickboxing is upping the ante as well with Singapore hosting a national kickboxing competition for the first time.
Organised by Singapore Fighting Championship (SFC) and sanctioned by World Association of Kickboxing Organisations (Wako) Kickboxing Singapore, the event will be held on Feb 25 at Trifecta Martial Arts along Turf Club Road.
Nine bouts will take place at the event, titled "Fight for Hope" because all profits from the ticket sales will be donated to the Children's Wishing Well.
The event also serves as a test for kickboxers to be selected for the April 24-30 Wako Asia Championships and the Sept 17-27 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. Both competitions will be held in Turkmenistan's capital Ashgabat.
Kickboxing differs from muay thai in that the use of elbows to strike is prohibited. Kneecaps are only allowed to be used during clinching.
SFC's owner Arvind Lalwani, who is also the national kickboxing coach, said: "We have kickboxing talents here and we want to showcase them while building the kickboxing scene here."
Joel Lye, Wako Kickboxing Singapore's vice-president, added that he is aiming to send two to three athletes to the upcoming international meets.
He said: "To build and grow our national team - we currently do not have one now, we want to identify some more talents by giving our local fighters the chance to perform.
"Some of them may have some history fighting in muay thai and we have seen some of them during training sessions. But we've never had the chance to see them compete in kickboxing because there wasn't a platform for them."
He also said that they intend to host four such events this year.
Terrence Teo, who is currently the only athlete on the national roster, is glad there are more opportunities for local kickboxers to develop and gain experience.
The 26-year-old said: "In Thailand, they have fights three times a week, so to them, it's easy to find and take part in fights. But in Singapore, it has been hard to gain experience and exposure.
"For me, I just want to fight as much as I can to gain experience."
- Tickets ($40) are available at fightforhope.peatix.com