ONE Championship to stage weekly bouts in Bangkok


ONE Championship, the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotional firm founded by a Thai entrepreneur, announced last week that it will bring its brand to Bangkok, staging weekly MMA and Muay Thai bouts in Lumpini Stadium, regarded as the Madison Square Garden of Muay Thai.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think that one day I would be the main promoter for the Lumpini Stadium to showcase our national treasure to the world. For the first time in history, Lumpini will be broadcast live to 154 countries,” said  Chatri Sityodtong, a former Muay Thai fighter turned businessman who is ONE Championship’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer. The company’s headquarters is in Singapore.

Thailand regards Muay Thai as its indigenous ancient martial art and one element of its soft power. Some other neighboring countries have similar forms of fighting, but those have never gained the same global recognition as Muay Thai. Over the decades, several Muay Thai fighters have gone on to win Olympic gold medals and professional world championships in international boxing.

Globally, ONE Championship is the most significant competitor of the U.S.-based Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). ONE Championship has gained ground on UFC in terms of popularity, because it stages events with a variety of fighting styles, including Muay Thai.

ONE Championship will launch its weekly events in January 2023 and heavily feature Muay Thai and mixed martial arts, kickboxing, and submission grappling. The fights can be viewed globally through ONE Championship’s streaming services.

“I never imagined when I started Muay Thai 38 years ago at Sityodtong gym that it would lead to this moment. I have lived through Muay Thai as a student, a competitor, a teacher, and now a CEO,” Chatri said.

Photo courtesy of https://www.onefc.com/news/