Asian MMA

Pool of negativity won’t deter Singapore’s Royston Wee


It’s been a little over a fortnight since UFC Fight Night 48 in Macau delighted the masses but the debate as to whether Royston Wee’s (4-0) win over Yao ZhiKui (1-2) was justifiable continues to surge.

News sites, forums and chat rooms have been ransacked by fans and media like a California wildfire, with both sides of the coin continuing to offer their take on the controversial outcome in the 135-lbs encounter.

Unsurprisingly, the situation resulted in more than just a few raised eyebrows and head scratching. After the bout, UFC president Dana White breached his company’s regulatory protocol by discharging judge Howard Hughes of his duties, following a similar outcome that culminated in Elizabeth Phillips’ tussle with Milana Dudieva in the first fight of the night.

Now standing in the middle of it all, is Royston Wee.

Before the event, Wee’s profile was anonymous. He was probably asking himself: “Who am I? And why am I here?”

With the drama that has ensued post-fight, however, the 27-year-old has garnered lots of attention, and might be answering that question a lot these days. But that’s not because he’s an unaccomplished fighter. He has won two in a row under the UFC banner, a significant achievement given his previous trails in small promotions in Malaysia.

Looking deeper into the realms of the Bantamweight contest, Royston Wee is adamant that the result was correct. He believes it’s one that’s not worth garbling on.

“Every time you watch a fight and it’s so close and it’s a split decision, it’s always pretty controversial,” Wee said. “Some people may think I won while others disagree so it’s really hard to decide when it comes to a split decision. But after the fight, when I went back, I did watch it and I thought the first two rounds were mine and the last one was Yao ZhiKui’s.”

“The first two rounds were really close but I felt I had the upperhand in terms of the control. So I thought I won the fight.”

Subjected to large amounts of criticism and negativity since then, Wee still remains a virtual unknown as far as UFC talents go and trusts he will be getting the same treatment in his future fights. The Singaporean, though, was prepared for all of this far before he put pen to paper with the Las Vegas-based outfit.

“When you get in the UFC, there’s definitely going to be at least some attention on you. Being the first Singaporean with a really small record coming into the UFC, and after that performance, I figured I’ll be getting a lot of attention from the public,” Wee stated. “But I’m pretty used to it now. There’ll always be supporters and there’ll always be haters. So why waste all your energy thinking about what haters say?”

“I mean that’s not to say I don’t like to take in criticisms. Honestly, that’s what’s going to help me improve. But I’m not one to dwell on it, though.”

It’s well worth noting the split call didn’t do anything to deny Wee a shot at history, either. He’s still the first and only Singaporean to daunt the UFC flag and one, with a winning record.

Perhaps Wee will always be dogged by the question of how he got into the UFC in the first place instead of others perceived to be ahead of him, but he’s used to hearing all the doubts by now.

The win over ZhiKui clearly carried a lot of weight and presently it’s a fight for respect. However, while nobody is anticipating the 27-year-old to have an easy time in the UFC, Wee is convinced he belongs and is back to the drawing board to fix his faults.

The idea, after all, is to get better each time out.

“I will revise the fight, see what I did wrong and what I didn’t do and just correct all the mistakes from there. I would be back in the gym again, devising plans and to improve with my coaches and staff,” he said. “It’s really an honor to represent Singapore and to fight in such a huge promotion. I’m grateful and I want to thank everybody who has supported me. Like I said, I just want to improve and to make my fights better in the future.”

“I think the victory was well deserved and hopefully, fans can see a much better me in the future.”

*For fight fans in Singapore, tune in to the latest episode of ‘The Fight Club’ on Starhub channel 225 next Tuesday at 7pm.’s own Thinesh John is joined by pro MMA fighters Danielle West and Josh Robinson in recapping UFC Fight Night 42 in Macau and ONE FC 19: Reign of Champions in Dubai.

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20, Asian MMA enthusiast in Singapore.

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