ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong Welcomes ONE vs. UFC Mega Event

Published 05/29/2021, 4:53 AM EDT


ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong was quoted as saying he was looking at a co-promoted event with rival North American promotion, UFC.

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In a recent social media post shared by ONE Championship, Sityodtong said: “I would definitely welcome a ONE vs UFC mega event.”

ONE later tweeted out a challenge to UFC President Dana White stating: “Who wants it? Trophy @yodchatri @danawhite @ufc #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship #ONEVsUFC.”

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A cross-promotion between two major global mixed martial arts organizations is a rare occurrence. In fact, there have only been a handful of times in history that it has happened. But Sityodtong says it would be the biggest martial arts event of all time if it ever gets made. He believes his fighters at ONE Championship could give anyone on the UFC roster problems in the cage.

“I would definitely like to see the best of the East vs. the best of the West,” Sityodtong told media through a Facebook live Q&A in 2020.

“UFC vs. ONE Championship I think would be phenomenal. I think the whole entire world would watch it. And I’d love to see world champions vs. world champions. So definitely, for sure, I’m open to it.”

The UFC has a stranglehold on the North American market, and is by far the largest and most influential MMA promotion in the region. However, ONE Championship is its equivalent in Asia, and enjoys a massive fanbase with millions of fans all over the world.

In terms of talent, Sityodtong has complete and utter confidence that his martial arts heroes are on par or even better than any UFC fighter. ONE Championship has certainly proven that to an extent without actually needing a cross-promoted event.

ONE Championship aired four shows on American prime time in April via a broadcast deal with TNT, which were wildly successful. For former UFC champions Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson, however, the results were less than ideal.

Alvarez, the former UFC lightweight champion, suffered a controversial DQ loss to Iuri Lapicus at “ONE on TNT I” (which was later overturned to a No Contest), and then was set back by a unanimous decision loss to South Korea’s Ok Rae Yoon at “ONE on TNT IV,” dashing his title hopes.

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And then, former UFC flyweight king and arguably the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, Demetrious Johnson, was stopped for the very first time in his storied career by reigning ONE flyweight champion Adriano Moraes.

If the recent performances of these top-tier UFC fighters is any indication, then the talent gap between the two promotions is a lot closer than a lot of people think.

Charles Oliveira versus Christian Lee? A battle between the world’s best lightweights. Israel Adesanya versus Reinier de Ridder? The epitome of the classic striker versus grappler matchup. Rose Namajunas versus Angela Lee? Fans will finally get to see how Lee does against the UFC’s best.

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The idea of this cross-promoted event certainly has fans talking. Sityodtong wants it, and is willing to make it happen.

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Varun Khanna

1313 articles

Starting off as a tennis author in 2018, Varun Khanna has gone on to contribute to EssentiallySports in various capacities. After setting up interviews with the likes of Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou, Alizé Cornet, and Noah Rubin, Varun is now part of all major ATP and WTA press conferences and has gone on to pen more than 1300 articles for EssentiallySports. He now heads the tennis and NBA division of the organization.

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