The Fighter Behind the Lens


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Moanalua High product Cynthia Vance “steps into the ring” as videographer for Singapore’s ONE Fighting Championship


The martial path can lead a person down many different roads. For Salt Lake resident Cynthia Vance, the road leads to an island country off the Malay Peninsula.

Still in her early 20s, Vance is preparing to embark on a career as videographer and video editor for Singapore-based ONE Fighting Championship, the promoter of Asia’s largest MMA event. Victor Cui, the company’s CEO, saw videos of Vance on her YouTube channel (, and contacted her about filming a commercial for him. He was impressed enough to offer her a contract.

Vance has been interested in both film and martial arts for a long time. She lived in Japan for many years — her father an American military man, her mother a Japanese national — and one of her biggest inspirations was a Japanese manga called Hajime no Ippo (known as Fighting Spirit in the U.S.).

“It’s about a boy in high school who is shy and reclusive,” says Vance, who’s been carrying around a video camera since she was in middle school. “One day a boxer sees him being bullied, and starts training him in boxing. I still reread it!”

She started training in martial arts herself just about a year ago at a private MMA studio run by Steven Saito and Travis Ewing.

“I came in and saw all these different women from all walks of life training,” Vance says. “I immediately fell in love with it. It’s so honest and interesting.” She currently trains in boxing, kickboxing, and Kempo Jutsu Kai with Eric Acio.

Having taken a few media classes while attending Moanalua High School, Vance decided to combine her love of film with her love of martial arts.

“I always wanted to tell different stories,” she says. “And there are many stories and voices in martial arts that need to be heard.”

While her new gig working for ONE Fighting Championship will certainly keep her busy, Vance has no intention of giving up her own training. In fact, she’s ready to take it to the next level.

“I want to compete in an amateur boxing match,” she says. “There are some great gyms in Singapore, such as Evolve MMA. I want to continue my training, and there are lots of opportunities out there.”

“Life has been amazing,” continues Vance, who admits to being excited about her future prospects. “I thought last year was incredible, and this year is even more so. I look forward to writing my own destiny and doing what I love.”


WHO: Cynthia Vance

WHAT: Videographer/video editor for Singapore-based ONE Fighting Championship

LOCAL TIES: Salt Lake resident, 2008 Moanalua High School graduate

FIGHT DISCIPLINES: Boxing, kickboxing, Kempo Jutsu Kai