Reaching more than 1 billion homes in 128 countries, mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion ONE Championship is the largest sports media property in Asia. It was launched on July 14, 2011 by Victor Cui, 46, and Chatri Sityodtong, 46, who was recently named one of the continent’s most powerful people in sports in 2017.
Sityodtong ranked third in the list of Asia’s 10 most powerful people in sports for 2017 by FOX Sports. The ONE Championship Chairman and CEO followed National Basketball Association (NBA) Commissioner Adam Silver and Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) President Gianni Infantino, who ranked second and first, respectively.
Also in the list are Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Board of Governors Chairman Ricky Vargas, China Football Association (CFA) President Cai Zhenhua, Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) President Yao Ming, Indian Premier League (IPL) Chief Operating Officer Hemang Amin, Formula One owner John Malone and Federation Internationale de Basketball (FIBA Basketball) President Horacio Muratore. Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) President Aleksander Ceferin is one step behind Sityodtong.
Born in Pattaya, Thailand, Sityodtong has fought more than 30 Muay Thai fights. At an early age, he trained under the late Kru Yodtong Senanan.
As a philanthropist, Sityodtong supports underprivileged children with Singapore Children’s Society. the Thai-Japanese entrepreneur and martial artist also serves on the Board of Directors of Project Sunshine, one of the world’s largest volunteer organizations for terminally-ill cancer-stricken children.
In 1999, Sityodtong received his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree from Harvard Business School at Harvard University. He worked as a hedge fund manager but in 2007, he retired, moved to Singapore and pursued other entrepreneurial ventures.
In 2008, Sityodtong fought his last professional Muay Thai fight in Thailand and founded the Evolve MMA, which went on to become the leading MMA academy in Asia. Aside from being one of the only four appointed Sityodtong Muay Thai conservators, he has a Blue Belt in Brazilian jujitsu under Renzo Gracie.
In 2013, Sityodtong was named the third most most powerful player in the world of Asian MMA by The Fight Nation. The list was topped by Cui, who still currently serves as ONE Championship CEO.
In 2016, ONE Championship was named the top MMA promotion by Forbes. It was followed by Rizin Fighting Federation, Pancrase, DEEP/JEWELS and Shooto/Vale Tudo.
ONE Championship’s next MMA event will take place in Manila, Philippines. Titled “ONE: Global Superheroes,” it will kick off the promotion’s series of events in 2018.