ONE Championship

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ONE Championship
Private
Industry Mixed martial arts event
Founded July 2011
Headquarters Kallang, Singapore
Key people
Victor Cui, CEO
Rich Franklin, VP
Matt Hume, VP of Operations
Website http://www.onefc.com/

ONE Championship (ONE, previously known as ONE Fighting Championship or ONE FC for short) is a Singapore-based mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion which was officially launched on 14 July 2011.[1] According to CNBC, ONE Championship is Asia's largest sports media property with a global broadcast to over 1 billion homes in 75 countries.[2] It is widely recognized as the biggest MMA promotion in Asia[3][4][5] with notable fighters on the roster that include Shinya Aoki, Bibiano Fernandes, Ben Askren, Roger Gracie, Brandon Vera, Jens Pulver and Masakatsu Ueda.

The first ONE Championship event was held on 3 September 2011 in Singapore. The promotion has since expanded rapidly across the Asian region and gained in popularity.[6] ONE Championship has held over 20 events to date.

History[edit]

ONE Championship is the biggest MMA organization in Asia.[3][4][5] The first show, ONE Fighting Championship: Champion vs. Champion, took place at the 12,000 capacity Singapore Indoor Stadium on 3 September 2011 and featured Phil Baroni, Yoshiyuki Yoshida, Gregor Gracie, and Eduard Folayang. Since then the Singapore based promotion has held sold out events in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Manila, Dubai and Singapore, and are set to stage their first event in Beijing, China, on 31 October.[7] They also[8] secured a ten year TV deal with ESPN Star Sports[9] and signed well known fighters including Masakatsu Ueda, Renato Sobral, Andrei Arlovski, Roger Huerta and Tim Sylvia.

In late May 2014, it was announced that UFC fighter and former middleweight world champion Rich Franklin had become the company's vice president.[10]

Victor Cui confirmed on 4 August 2014, that WBO World Welterweight Champion Manny Pacquiao had purchased an undisclosed number of shares in the company. Whilst it is understood to be only a minor sharehold, it is expected that having a big name personality holding a financial stake will create a massive impact for the long-term future with the promotion.[11]

With the objective of further boosting its expansion, in 2014 ONE signed several new fighters such as Ben Askren, Brandon Vera, Mark Striegl, Roger Gracie, Luís Santos, James McSweeney and Marat Gafurov.

After a very successful year with events all over Asia, ONE held its first visit in mainland China for ONE FC 24: Dynasty of Champions on 19 December 2014 in Beijing. In December, Victor Cui announced plans to expand into the Chinese market.[6]

In late January 2015, the promotion announced that they will shorten their name to just 'ONE Championship'[12] in a rebranding exercise that was reportedly made because some potential sponsors and partners had qualms about associating themselves with an organization that contained word "fight" in its name.[13] According to Victor Cui, the name change was made mostly for linguistic and cultural reasons.[14]

Rules[edit]

ONE Championship utilizes the Global MMA Rule Set that combines the PRIDE Rules with the Nevada Rules; allowing for soccer kicks and permitting the use of elbows,[15] stomp kicks to the body and legs but not to the head of a ground opponent. Knees are allowed at anytime during the fight, whether the opponent is standing or on the ground.

Television Broadcast[edit]

ONE Championship is broadcast by domestic television channels in Asia including MNC International and Indosiar in Indonesia,[16] MediaCorp Channel 5 in Singapore,[17] ATC @ IBC 13 in the Philippines,[18] MyTV in Cambodia,[19] and TV9 in Malaysia.[20]

In the American continent, live events of ONE are currently shown on TV Esporte Interativo and BandSports in Brazil, and The Fight Network in Canada.[21]

On 30 January 2012 it was announced that ONE Championship has signed a deal which would see it being broadcast by ESPN Star Sports for the next 10 years, the longest deal of its kind in the history of Asian MMA.[9] ONE made its PPV debut at ONE Fighting Championship: Rise of Kings via iN DEMAND, Avail-TVN, DirecTV and Dish.[22] ONE events air live on Fox Sports from August 2014 and previously on Star Sports due to re-branding except in China and South Korea where it maintains the Star Sports brand. The TV broadcast is across Asia with the online PPV on http://www.onefc.com/livestream. The online PPV can be viewed as a replay at no additional cost at anytime up to a week after the live event. It also airs live on Setanta Australia and on Premier Sports via Sky in the UK (Channel 428). Physique TV based out of Dubai air live coverage of all ONE global events in the Middle East and Africa (Mena) region. There are other TV channels around the world showing live ONE events such as Fight Channel (based in Croatia) and Fight Time (based in Russia). There are other TV networks around the world that are showing ONE contents as a replay or past events such as Fox Sports Africa, Setanta Ireland, KombatSports.lu (France) and many others.

ONE Championship Network[edit]

On 26 October 2011 CEO Victor Cui announced the formation of the ONE Championship network, an alliance of camps and promotions in the Asia and Oceania continents which includes DREAM, GLORY, URCC, Cage Fighting Championship, BRACE, ROAD Fighting Championship, Team Lakay Wushu, Tiger Muay Thai and MMA, Evolve Mixed Martial Arts, PAK MMA (Pakistan) and Fairtex Gym. Contracted fighters are allowed to compete for any promotion in the network which notably enabled GLORY Sports International presents Dream 18 & Glory 4 Tokyo ~ Special 2012 ~ New Year's Eve, to feature ONE fighters Shinya Aoki, Bibiano Fernandes and Melvin Manhoef.[23]

Awards[edit]

In 2012 ONE was nominated for 'Promotion of the Year' at the World MMA Awards alongside the UFC, Bellator, Invicta FC and Strikeforce.[24]

In 2013 ONE won the award for 'Best Engagement Strategy for a Male Audience' from Marketing Magazine.[25]

ONE Championship events[edit]

Production team[edit]

ONE CEO is Victor Cui who is formerly a senior executive at ESPN Star Sports. Matches are made by matchmaker, and Vice President of Operations Matt Hume. The head referee is Yuji Shimada. The regular colour commentators for the ESPN Star Sports broadcast are Steve Dawson and Jason Chambers, although both Bas Rutten and Renzo Gracie have appeared as guest commentators, and the cage announcer is Lenne Hardt. Christine Hallauer and Mel Tan are ring girls.

Fighter salary[edit]

A ONE fighter generally does not have a salary. They are paid per fight, with amounts depending on how well-known the fighters are and how well sponsored a fighter and an event is. Fighters will typically get paid money to fight. A cash bonus, known as "One Warrior bonus" was introduced on 9 July 2014 and it was implemented since ONE FC 18: War of Dragons, held in Taipei, Taiwan. For every event, the award of US$50,000 to the fighter who impresses the most in terms of:

  1. thrilling the fans with exciting action,
  2. demonstrating an incredible warrior spirit,
  3. exhibiting amazing skill, and
  4. delivering a phenomenal finish.

Quote from Victor Cui: "If a few fighters impress me, then I will hand out the bonus to a few fighters. If no one impresses me, then no one will get it. Extraordinary performance deserves extraordinary rewards. Ordinary performances deserve ordinary rewards." What this really means is that this award will only be awarded to the one who deserves it based on the criteria mentioned above, and if no-one deserves it, then no reward. There is no cap on the number being handed out to the fighters, which can vary from one to above, with the possibility of a no reward in any given event.

Current champions[edit]

World Champions

Division Upper weight limit Champion Since Title Defenses Next Fight/Defense
Heavyweight 265 lb (120 kg; 18.9 st) Vacant 0
Light Heavyweight 205 lb (93 kg; 14.6 st) Vacant 0
Middleweight 185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st) Kazakhstan Igor Svirid 7 November 2014 (ONE FC: Battle of the Lions) 0
Welterweight 170 lb (77 kg; 12 st) United States Ben Askren 29 August 2014 (ONE FC: Reign of Champions) 0
Lightweight 155 lb (70 kg; 11.1 st) Japan Shinya Aoki 5 April 2013 (ONE FC: Kings and Champions) 1 vs. Koji Ando (@Warrior's Quest)
Featherweight 145 lb (66 kg; 10.4 st) Mongolia Jadamba Narantungalag 29 August 2014 (ONE FC: Reign of Champions) 0
Bantamweight 135 lb (61 kg; 9.6 st) Brazil Bibiano Fernandes 18 October 2013 (ONE FC: Total Domination) 2
Flyweight 125 lb (57 kg; 8.9 st) Brazil Adriano Moraes 12 September 2014 (ONE FC: Rise of the Kingdom) 1
Strawweight 115 lb (52 kg; 8.2 st) Vacant 0 Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke vs. Roy Doliguez (@Warrior's Quest)

Malaysian National Champions

Division Upper weight limit Champion Since Title Defenses Next Fight/Defense
Featherweight 145 lb (66 kg; 10.4 st) Malaysia A.J. Lias Mansor 15 November 2013 (ONE FC: Warrior Spirit) 0

Cambodia Grand Prix Champions

Division Upper weight limit Champion Since Title Defenses Next Fight/Defense
Featherweight 145 lb (66 kg; 10.4 st) Cambodia Samang Dun 12 September 2014 (ONE FC: Rise of the Kingdom) 0

Beijing National Champions

Division Upper weight limit Champion Since Title Defenses Next Fight/Defense
Featherweight 145 lb (66 kg; 10.4 st) China Li Kai Wen 19 December 2014 (ONE FC: Dynasty of Champions) 0
Flyweight 125 lb (57 kg; 8.9 st) China Wei Bin Li 19 December 2014 (ONE FC: Dynasty of Champions) 0

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ONE Fighting Championship™ unveils CHAMPION versus CHAMPION". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2011-08-18. 
  2. ^ ONE Championship
  3. ^ a b "Mixed martial arts-ONE FC returning to Manila in May". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  4. ^ a b "Asian MMA: Yasuhiro Urushitani vs. Shinichi Kojima Flyweight Title bout set for ONE FC in Jakarta". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  5. ^ a b "Aoki cruises to ONE FC lightweight title". eurosport.com. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  6. ^ a b "EXCLUSIVE: ONE FC CEO Reveals Big Plans for China on Cusp of Beijing Debut". Yahoo!. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "ONE FC to hold first event in China". Asia Sports Network. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "ONE FC CEO Victor Cui talks Hong Kong debut, UFC in Singapore, Fernandes vs. Aoki and more". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  9. ^ a b "ONE FC Announces Asian TV Deal with ESPN". mmaweekly.com. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "Former UFC champ Rich Franklin officially joins ONE FC as executive". mmajunkie. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  11. ^ http://www.phnompenhpost.com/sport/manny-pacquiao-buys-one-fc Manny Pacquiao buys into ONE FC
  12. ^ "ONE FC DROPS ‘FIGHTING’ FROM ITS NAME, WILL NOW BE KNOWN AS ONE CHAMPIONSHIP". Sherdog. Retrieved 2015-02-25. 
  13. ^ "ONE FC changes name to ONE Championship, announces new fights and fighters". MMA Mania. Retrieved 2015-02-23. 
  14. ^ "CEO Victor Cui explains why ONE FC is now simply known as ONE Championship". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2015-03-11. 
  15. ^ "RULES". Official ONE site. Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  16. ^ "ONE FC LANDS INDONESIAN TELEVISION DEAL". Fighters Only. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  17. ^ "SINGAPORE’S ONE FC LAUNCHES; GRACIES, FILIPINO CHAMPS ABOARD". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  18. ^ "GMA signs partnership with Asian MMA promotion ONE FC". gmanetwork.com. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  19. ^ "MyTV to screen live ONE FC events". Phnom Penh Post. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  20. ^ "ONE Fighting Championship Inks Official Partnership With Malaysia's TV9". Bernama. 
  21. ^ "ONE FC 9: Rise to Power LIVE on Fight Network Play-By-Play". thefightnetwork.com. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  22. ^ "Fight on, bro". http://thestar.com.my. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  23. ^ "GLORY Joins ONE FC Network, Shinya Aoki and Bibiano Fernandes Set to Feature on NYE Card in Japan". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2012-12-06. 
  24. ^ "ONE FC and CEO Victor Cui are Finalists for World MMA Awards 2012". mmasucka.com. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  25. ^ "Young MMA organisation trumps industry stalwarts at Marketing Awards". yahoo.com. Retrieved 12 October 2013.