Singapore-based promotion ONE Championship has announced many high-profile signings in the 15 months; however, their most recent addition to the roster may be the most unexpected yet. YouTuber Jeff Chan, who operates the MMAShredded channel, was recently signed to the organization.
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MMAShredded is a YouTube channel owned and operated by avid mixed martial artist Jeff Chan, who released his first video in 2016. In three years, Chan has gained over 160,000 subscribers as well as 12 million total views.
The Canadian’s channel includes coverage of topics such as Jose Aldo’s best tactics, while also hosting footage of his amateur and professional bouts. Chan began his professional mixed martial arts career in 2012 and has since produced a record of 3-1 with two knockout victories.
Chan spoke with The Body Lock’s John Hyon Ko about signing with ONE Championship and his ever-growing YouTube channel.
Signing with ONE Championship
When it was announced that ONE Championship had signed Jeff Chan, much of the conversation was of him being a famous YouTuber and not of his work as a professional mixed martial artist.
Chan opened up about being titled a ‘Youtuber,’ and explained why it doesn’t bother him in the slightest.
“It doesn’t matter to me,” Chan said.
“It’s not that I like it or dislike it, but I don’t mind the term YouTuber because when people think [of] YouTube or people who follow me think [of] YouTube, they know me as someone who’s out there to help others. I create all this content, and I show my flaws, I show my best side – I show everything. And that’s to help inspire others.”
Many of the individuals who train in mixed martial arts hope that one day, they’ll be able to compete for some of the biggest promotions in the sport. Along with this, they have the belief that they will become a champion in their chosen weight class.
However, for Jeff Chan, it was never a goal of his to be signed to a premier MMA organization, purely because he loves training over competing.
“The contract was very surprising to me. I had not expected to get signed with ONE,” Chan said.
“I was okay with just never fighting. I’m okay with training, traveling, and just getting better myself. I don’t have any goals to be champion – I mean if I have the opportunity, I’ll take it, but that was never my mindset.”
“I get a lot of people, especially from my audience on my YouTube channel, asking me if the goal is to be in the UFC, or [saying] ‘I can’t wait to see you in the UFC, or ONE, or Bellator. But the truth is I actually train martial arts because I love doing it. I love the training, I don’t love the fighting. I fight because I want to challenge myself.”
Despite not having the mindset of one day being a world champion, Chan still trains relentlessly at some of the best gyms in the world. Earlier in the year, he was invited to Tristar gym in Montreal by legendary coach Firas Zahabi, which is home to prominent fighters such as Georges St-Pierre and Rory MacDonald.
He explained that it was Zahabi who reached out first, congratulating Chan on his last win as well as inviting him to the world-renowned gym. The YouTuber released numerous sparring videos from his visit, including one against Zahabi himself.
“I got to train [with] really high-level guys, work with Firas and roll with Firas,” Chan told John Hyon Ko.
“I got to eat dinner with Firas. After I left, he invited me back to train specifically with his brother to imitate his [upcoming] opponent. The plan is to go back there and prep for [my ONE debut].”
As for his YouTube channel, Chan is always coming up with new and innovative ideas to stay ahead of the competition.
“I’m definitely going to continue riding with the momentum,” he said.
“As for MMAShredded as a business, I am coming up with a new course called prep to spar, and I’m actually going to be releasing it very soon. And it’s basically a program that’s going to help others, [mainly] beginners to jump to that stage to start sparring.”
Steven specialises in MMA and Lethwei. He loves a good 1-2 down the middle.