A mixed martial arts organization that was established in Singapore in 2011, ONE Championship is out to reestablish Japan’s former glory in the sport. Its current chairman and CEO, Chatri Sityodtong, is Thai-Japanese.
“Japan has been waiting for a top global martial arts organization for a long time to revive the scene,” Sityodtong stated. “I’m going to make sure that ONE Championship’s goal to redevelop Japan into a powerhouse is realized in 2019.”
ONE Championship has taken MMA in Asia into greater heights, broadcasting to over 1.7-billion potential viewers across 136 countries around the world. Since its inaugural card in September 2011, it has staged nearly 80 live events and has visited 11 different countries, including United Arab Emirates, China, Chinese Taipei, the Philippines, Myanmar and Cambodia.
According to Sityodtong, ONE Championship possesses the perfect blueprint in catapulting Japan back into the international mixed martial arts limelight. He explained, “We have the right Japanese partners in Japan to succeed and make it even bigger than PRIDE was, and take martial arts back to the mainstream, where it belongs in Japan.”
With a highly-active fan base that is engaged in both digital and social media platforms, the biggest local and global brands in the world have been attracted to ONE Championship. Forming a number of key partnerships, the promotion is at pace for a billion dollar valuation and an initial public offering in the next couple of years.
In line with ONE Championship’s strategy of developing local and homegrown mixed martial arts athletes, the promotion ventured and scouted talents in new markets like Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei, India and Vietnam as well as untapped areas of the Middle East, China and Russia. To further cement its stature as the frontrunner of mixed martial arts in Asia, ONE Championship seeks to set foot on Japanese soil.
ONE Championship houses the best and brightest Japanese competitors who are expected to attend the promotion’s first press conference in Japan, which will take place in Tokyo on August 23, 2018. Among them are the legendary Shinya Aoki, ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka Naito, Koji Ando, Kotetsu Boku, Mei Yamaguchi, Hayato Suzuki, Riku Shibuya, Tetsuya Yamada, Yuki Kondo, Kazunori Yokota, Nobutatsu Suzuki and Masakazu Imanari.