According to ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong, the Singapore-based MMA company will not be co-promoting with any other organizations in the near future, despite Bellator MMA working with RIZIN in recent years. Sityodtong believes that co-promotion is rare across the industry and that there is no need for ONE Championship to explore this option unless the opportunity arises to work with the other biggest show in town the UFC.
Sityodtong stresses that in terms of pure facts and figures, both ONE and the UFC are the two biggest giants in the combat sports industry, as evidenced by studies conducted by Nielsen Sports, which points towards ONE Championship and the UFC as the two biggest players in combat sports.
According to the Nielsen report, ONE Championship had a TV reach of 406 million globally, with UFC at 259 million globally. Sityodtong considers UFC and Bellator as the two logistical threats to ONE Championship currently promoting events around the world.
Sityodtong reiterates that ONE Championship’s considerable social media following of 70 million globally (including China) only comes second to UFC’s 100 million plus global followers. As such, Sityodtong continues to believe that ONE and the UFC are the two biggest juggernauts in combat sports and considers pairing with other brands unnecessary.
Sityodtong is not interested in hype or marketing and firmly believes in the talent and ability of ONE fighters. According to Sityodtong, many fighters are mis-marketed and can get lost in the shuffle.
While it seems unlikely the UFC would partner with anybody anytime soon, Sityodtong is not calling out the promotion either. He is happy with the product and fighters he already has in ONE Championship, and his interest in co-promotion would depend on the competition rather than the profit.
For Sityodtong, his life is driven by his passion for martial arts, not by material things, and his happiest times are spent training Muay Thai or doing jiu-jitsu.