After dominating the mixed martial arts scene in Asia for years, ONE Championship is reportedly entering America. The Singapore-based martial arts organization is expected to broadcast its events in the United States starting 2019.
ONE Championship and Turner Sports have signed a three-year broadcast deal, sources told ESPN. The deal is said to be taking effect on January 1, 2019 and according to the sources, a reality show is being prepared.
A division of Turner Broadcasting System, Turner Sports is responsible for sports broadcasts on Turner channels including AT&T SportsNet, CNN en Español, TruTV, Turner Broadcasting System and Turner Network Television. The division also operates the digital media outlets PGATour.com, PGA.com, NCAA.com, NBA.com and NBA TV on behalf of the NBA.
As stipulated in the deal, 24 ONE Championship events are expected to air live on Turner Sports’s digital platform B/R Live. Aside from the live events, Turner Sports will be responsible for programming and taped events on TNT.
The first televised event will be “ONE: Eternal Glory,” which will take place at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia on January 19, 2019. It will be headlined by reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, 22, of La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines with Hayato Suzuki, 32, of Takahagi City, Ibaraki, Japan as the challenger.
This will be a rematch between Pacio and Suzuki. Their first encounter took place at “ONE: Kings and Conquerors” on August 5, 2017 at the Cotai Arena in Macau, China where the Japanese contender submitted his Filipino opponent via rear-naked choke in the first round.
Pacio is training out of Team Lakay in La Trinidad. He captured the ONE Strawweight World Championship with a unanimous decision victory over former titleholder Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito, 34, of Matsudo, Chiba, Japan at “ONE: Conquest of Heroes” on September 22, 2018 at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta.
Suzuki is training out of Brave Gym in Kita Senju, Adachi-ku, Tokyo, Japan. He won four of his five bouts in ONE Championship.
Meanwhile, here is a recent interview with Pacio: