An event with ONE vs UFC is something that exists in the minds of many MMA fans who daydream of gigantic collaborative cards.
The idea of this kind of ambitious co-promotion is enticing to many and the figurehead of ONE thinks this dream can eventually become a reality.
I spoke with ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong and got his thoughts on the global presence of both brands as well as the idea of a hybrid event.
Possible collaborations with other promotions and a UFC versus ONE co-promotion
“I always say like all business deals have to be win-win, you know. Both parties have to win. And I think the most intriguing matchup right now for me is ONE versus UFC, champion versus champion. Because, as I said, you know, according to the Nielsen industry report only ONE and UFC are 10 to 20x larger than the nearest competitor, in terms of viewership. So if you were going to do a global mega-event that would bring all of Asia, bring all of the Eastern Hemisphere, bring all of the Western Hemisphere together, it would be UFC and ONE.”
Chatri Sityodtong continued, “And I genuinely think that UFC would benefit significantly from our fan base and vice versa. And so, there’s only one promotion I’d be interested in, in terms of a cross-promotion and that would be UFC. Because we are the two giants. It is a global duopoly and I think fans want to see that.”
ONE vs UFC
The UFC connectivity from the Ben Askren and Demetrious Johnson trade
“Yeah, I think a global mega-event One versus UFC would be phenomenal. I think it’s because obviously, Ben Askren went over there and got knocked out. But Demetrious Johnson came over here and got knocked out as well. Actually, all of our UFC superstars that we recruited ended up all getting knocked out. Sage Northcutt, Eddie Alvarez, Yushin Okami, and a bunch of others.”
Chatri Sityodtong continued, “So I think there is intrigue by fans and that’s probably the most common question I get from fans is ‘Would you ever consider a ONE versus UFC event?’. And I’m always like, yes, definitely I would love it. As a lifelong martial artist, I just have a lot of intrigue. I genuinely believe in my heart of hearts that ONE and UFC have the best rosters on the planet. Again, UFC has the edge in the heavier divisions and we have the edge in the lighter divisions.”
I’ve been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I’ve hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I’ve been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I’ve provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I’ve worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.