Evolve MMA has launched a program to identify and nurture the next generation of elite Singaporean martial artists. Three athletes have been hand picked to participate due to their achievements in various grappling competitions.

Constance Lien was named as the ‘Athlete of the Year’ by The Straits Times earlier this year. The 21 year old has won a gold medal and a silver medal representing Singapore in jiu jitsu at the SEA Games.

Lien plans to continue representing the country in international tournaments and competitions,

“I am very blessed to be given this opportunity and support. An athlete’s support system is so important, and this is just another great example of it. With this program, it serves as an extra motivation to keep working hard and, most importantly, raise Singapore’s flag high. I can’t wait for what’s to come,” she said.

The other two inductees are brothers. Noah Lim is a SEA Games gold medalist. Just like Lien he finished first in 2019 in his weight category in jiu jitsu.

Lim wants to transition to BJJ and is looking forward to training with the various black belts at Evolve MMA,

“I am very honored to be able to represent Evolve MMA and am grateful for the support from Chatri Sityodtong and the professors to help us chase our dreams in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. It’s a great step forward to help Singaporean athletes. I’m really happy that this will allow the sporting scene to evolve as well.”

His older brother Paul Lim is the third inductee. He also enjoyed success at the 2019 SEA Games, claiming a gold medal in his weight category at jiu jitsu.

Singapore has yet to produce a homegrown MMA champion. Amir Khan challenged unsuccessfully for the ONE Championship lightweight title in 2018, dropping a decision to Eduard Folayang at ONE: ‘Conquest of Champions’.

Meanwhile Tiffany Teo was reportedly promised a title shot earlier this year. But a fight between her and reigning ONE strawweight champion Xiong Jing Nan will have to wait until after lockdown restrictions in Singapore are lifted.

One success story has been Angela Lee, whose father comes from Singapore. The reigning ONE atomweight champion, who has spent time training at Evolve MMA, has established herself as one of the top female fighters in the world.