MMA: Fighter World Tour featuring top UFC stars will go on, say organisers

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and sports apparel giant Nike appear to be locked in a battle over a world tour involving three of mixed martial arts' biggest names.

Jon Jones, Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre are expected to be part of the Nike-sponsored Fighters World Tour, which will see the three stars showcase their talents in 11 cities, including Singapore, starting next month.

But in a Facebook post on Thursday morning, UFC said the event was "false advertising", and advised fans not to buy tickets as none of the three UFC fighters are involved.

However, Singapore organisers are disputing the claim, saying that the show will go on. Said Robin Leong, owner of Ch'i Life Studio Asia: "As we've said from the start, this tour has nothing to do with UFC at all. The organisers are dealing directly with the fighters' managers."

He added that he cannot comment further until Nike's head office in the United States issues a statement in the "next 24 to 48 hours".

The tour, which starts in Paris on May 5 and ends in Manila on June 7, is sponsored by Nike and promoted in Asia by LAMC Productions, Ch'i Life Studio Asia and Rockstar Touring.

The ArtsScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands is slated to host the high-profile trio on May 31, with fans having to fork out $888 for a two-hour, hands-on training clinic or $128 for a meet-and-greet session.

The tickets were supposed to go on sale on Wednesday, but Leong said this has been delayed pending Nike's announcement.

The sporting brand and UFC have previously been at loggerheads, as the MMA promotion have reportedly insisted on charging a fee to businesses who want to sponsor their fighters. Brazil's Silva and New York native Jones are both sponsored by Nike.

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