Singapore comes alive as a sports hub

Singapore comes alive as a sports hub
The Sports Hub, photographed on 22 November 2013. The highly anticipated Sports Hub opens in April 2014, incorporating the National Stadium, Indoor Stadium, sports halls, aquatic centre and water sports centre.

SINGAPORE- From watching rising stars grow to seeing an evergreen veteran retire; from big international stars coming to town to the return of a national hero, 2014 promises to be a bumper year for sports in Singapore.

Wang Meng Meng examines 10 things to look forward to in the new year.

UFC comes to town (Jan 4)

The 2014 sporting calendar will start off with a mighty wallop, as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the world's largest mixed martial arts promotion company, makes its Singapore debut at the Marina Bay Sands on Saturday.

This is the first time UFC will stage an event in South-east Asia, and it will be headlined by a welterweight bout between South Korean Lim "The Ace" Hyun Gyu and Belgian Tarec "Sponge" Saffiedine. Expect hard-hitting, no-holds-barred action.

Peter Lim finally scores? (Jan 15)

Word has it that the Singapore millionaire has a fleet of 25 Ferrari cars and two private jets, but still lacks the ultimate fashion accessory of the rich - the football club.

The 60-year-old made headlines last week when he offered €306 million (S$530 million) to clear Spanish club Valencia's debt, with an additional €50 million for player transfers next month.

Lim, who had failed in a 2010 bid to buy English giants Liverpool, has given Valencia a Jan 15 deadline to accept his offer. If he succeeds, he will join fellow ASEAN owners such as Malaysia's Tony Fernandes (Queens Park Rangers) and Vincent Tan (Cardiff City), as well as Indonesia's Erick Thohir (Inter Milan).

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