ONE Aims to Hold First US Event in 2020
ONE Championship made huge splashes in the MMA world over the past year, and it looks to continue to make an impact by expanding into the U.S., including holding its first live U.S. event next year.
In addition to hosting cards in the U.S., ONE Championship is looking into opening offices in New York City and Los Angeles, California, as part of the promotion’s expansion. Officials all claim a plan of “more fighter acquisitions from the U.S. and expanded TV coverage,” with announcements hopefully to come throughout the rest of the year.
“We definitely want to make a big splash in the U.S. and we believe that we have the right product, the right brand and the right values with the right heroes and stories to,” ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong told CBS Sports’ Brian Campbell on the State of Combat podcast.
ONE Championship, based in Singapore and founded in 2011, made headlines last year when it and the UFC conducted the first known “trade” between two MMA promotions, giving the UFC its retired welterweight champion Ben Askren in exchange for former longtime inaugural UFC flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. ONE followed this signing with the signing of other now-former UFC talents, such as Eddie Alvarez and Sage Northcutt.
Originally broadcasting its events on online pay-per-view, ONE signed a broadcast deal with Turner Sports last year that now sees its cards air in the U.S. live and in full on B/R Live, as well as on tape delay on TNT.
During the podcast, Sityodtong stated that while the UFC “sell fights,” he and ONE prefer to “build heroes.” He feels that is why the likes of Alvarez and Johnson, among others, made their way over to ONE and that is how they will win more audiences — including American — over with an alternate product.
“I think Eddie, D.J. and Sage all came over for the right reasons,” Sityodtong said. “They came over because they wanted to join a global promotion that treats athletes with love and respect, a global promotion that treats athletes as athletes, a global promotion that pays top dollar and a global promotion that has the biggest viewership base per event.
With all those things put together, why wouldn’t you want to join the biggest stage in global martial arts and get paid top dollar for a promotion who only speaks well of you and doesn’t trash talk you and is there to do good things in the world?
Original Story: MMAJunkie