ONE Championship partners with Pancrase after Shooto

Andy Hata (leftmost), Masakazu Sakai (rightmost) (© ONE Championship)

Andy Hata (leftmost), Masakazu Sakai (rightmost) (© ONE Championship)

Singapore-based martial arts organization ONE Championship has just announced that it will be an exclusive partner of Japanese martial arts organization Pancrase. It is similar to the partnership between ONE Championship and Shooto, which was announced in January 2019.

ONE Championship work together with Pancrase to provide the athletes of the latter the opportunity to showcase their martial arts talents and further develop their skills on a global platform. ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong stated, “Following our partnership with Shooto, ONE Championship is excited to offer the same opportunity to Pancrase athletes and World Champions to compete on the world’s largest stage for martial arts.”

“We are fully committed to developing Japan’s martial arts ecosystem from the amateur up to the professional level,” Chatri continued. “Our partnership with Pancrase once again marks the world’s top martial arts organizations coming together to create a new era of martial arts in Japan.”

Pancrase president Masakazu Sakai expressed the Japanese martial arts organization’s excitement to announce its partnership with ONE Championship. This will help to raise the profile of the Pancrase athletes and provide them with greater development opportunities on a global stage.

“We believe that this partnership is the start of a long-term relationship with ONE Championship,” Sakai stated. “And we look forward to shaping the future of martial arts both in and outside Japan together.”

Under the terms of the partnership, all Professional Pancrase World Champions will receive the opportunity to compete in ONE Championship, the world’s largest martial arts organization. Athletes who compete in Pancrase’s Neo-Blood Tournament will also receive the opportunity to compete in ONE Championship’s ONE Warrior Series.

In addition, select amateur Pancrase athletes will receive the opportunity to train at Evolve MMA in Singapore for a year. Pancrase has already produced a number of ONE Championship’s top Japanese athletes including Pancrase Flyweight Champion Yuya Wakamatsu.

On March 31, 2019, Wakamatsu will be facing off against 12-time Flyweight World Champion Demetrious Johnson in the upcoming ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix taking place at “ONE: A New Era” at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan. Other Pancrase World Champions that are currently competing in ONE Championship include former Pancrase Welterweight World Champion Daichi Abe and former Pancrase Lightweight World Champion Kazuki Tokudome.

Evolve MMA is Asia’s No. 1 martial arts training facility boasting of a world-class instructor team which features the most number of World Champions available anywhere in the world in martial arts disciplines such as Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, and boxing, among others. It is the largest and most experienced martial arts team in Asia with over 1,000 years of World Championship experience collectively.

Professional wrestlers Masakatsu Funaki and Minoru Suzuki founded Pancrase in Japan in 1993. It was named after pankration, a form of combat sport in the Ancient Olympic Games.

Combining various forms of martial arts, including wrestling, judo, boxing, sambo, karate, kenpo, jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai, Pancrase has produced some of the world’s top martial artists, including Yuki Kondo, Bas Rutten, Josh Barnett, Ken Shamrock and Frank Shamrock. The organization has since become one of the most popular and well-established martial arts organizations both within and outside Japan.

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