ONE Championship Looks to Win Over American MMA Fans
One Championship has taken over MMA in Asia and has begun to win over fans globally with its blend of mixed martial arts, Muay Thai, kickboxing, boxing, Lethwei and grappling. With a three-year broadcast deal with Turner Sports in the bag, ONE is coming to US primetime, bring its unique set of values to North American audiences. With 24 events scheduled over the three years, ONE Championship starts hitting US TV screens on October 12th, offering an alternative to UFC and Bellator.
CEO of ONE, Chatri Sityodtong, made it very clear that he intends to bring something different to US MMA fans: “We offer a completely, 180 degree, diametrically opposed product to what North American MMA fans are used to seeing. American MMA is a blood sport, it promotes anger… controversy… negative energy. What ONE Championship does is offer a very different set of values. Things like respect, honor, humility. We showcase the best of humanity. … You won’t find a single scandal with any of our top stars, or any of our fighters for that matter. You can’t find a single article of any of our athletes getting into trouble, no drugs, no DUIs, no assaults.”
For anyone expecting a mass exodus over to ONE from the other promotions, Sityodtong continues: “The UFC stars who have come over, and a lot of UFC stars have reached out … we carefully select those that represent our values. Fighters like Eddie Alvarez, Demetrious Johnson, Sage Northcutt. We are not interested in loud, brash characters like in western promotions. Our stars are role models, people little boys and girls worldwide can look to as inspiration.”
Aside from Alvarez, Johnson and Northcutt, American fans can expect to see fights with global talent such as Dutch kickboxer Nieky Holzken, Muay Thai stars Giorgio Petrosyan, Yodsanklai Fairtex and Juan Cervantes, as well as MMA fighters Brandon Vera, Roger Gracie, Angela Lee and Aung La Nsang.
When ONE Championship hits American TV screens in October, it is sure to ruffle a few feathers and gain a lot of new fans.