MMA trio caught in the firing lane

MMA trio caught in the firing lane
Belgian mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Tarec Saffiedine (left) getting up close and personal with his opponent, South Korea’s Lim Hyun Gyu, at their weigh-ins for their welterweight main card event of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Fight Night Singapore, the organization's inaugural show in South-east Asia, at the Marina Bay Sands on 3 January 2014.

SINGAPORE -The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and sports apparel giant Nike appear to be grappling with each other over a world tour involving three of mixed martial arts' (MMA) 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 yesterday morning, UFC said the event was "false advertising", and advised fans not to buy tickets as none of the three UFC fighters are involved.

The Las Vegas-based company added that it spoke directly to the fighters and "none knew of such a seminar".

The high-profile trio, who are active on social media, have yet to address the matter publicly.

The tour, which is scheduled to start 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.

Nike's head office in the United States is expected to respond in the coming days to UFC's allegations.

In a brief statement to The Straits Times yesterday, organisers of the Singapore leg said they appreciated the "overwhelming interest" in the event from the public but cannot comment further until Nike's announcement.

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