ONE Championship seems to have the Asian market for MMA locked down but with the UFC holding an event in China last weekend, fans might wonder if ONE Championship will make its way west. According to Chatri Sityodtong, ONE Championship CEO that will be in 2020 and when they do come, they will bring a different set of values to what MMA; fans are used to in the United States.
Sityodtong recently told The Sun, “I truly believe our formula of values, heroes and stories and our production value mixed in with the fact we have the best athletes in the world means fans are in for a real treat.” The honor code that exists in many martial arts seems to be something the promotion holds valuable and this is not the first time values and perception have been brought up when addressing coming to the US.
Earlier in July, the South China Morning Post reported that at a tech conference in Hong Kong, both ONE Championship chief business development officer, Hari Vijayarajan expressed the same sentiment alongside former UFC and Strikeforce bantamweight champion Miesha Tate. Tate, who was named Vice President of ONE back in in 2018 said, “Our events are something you can bring your kids too, and feel good about. And if you’re a sponsor you know the athletes aren’t going to do something stupid and you’re going to pull your brand off.”
The report from The Sun said that Turner Sports has signed a multi-year deal to broadcast their events in the US along with streaming on the B/R online. Fans may have already watched some of the rebroadcasted events on TNT and it looks like there is more to come next year.
In the culture of combat sports, trash talk has proven to be one of the best ways to sell a fight. However, in recent years the length at which fighters can take some of the promotional jabs have been perceived as going too far. Maybe ONE Championship has the right idea with the type of promotion they want to bring but will fans be willing to buy it?
Edward holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Bachelor’s degree in Communications. Along with over 20 years martial arts experience, he co-hosts The Coast-2-Coast Combat Hour, and also writes for Sherdog while maintaining his own site, The Blogboard Jungle. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel