ONE Championship CEO and Chairman Chatri Sityodtong says that he hopes that ONE can continue to build bridges and unite the world in the same way that the Qatar World Cup did.
Sityodtong participated as a speaker on the Business of Sports panel at Qatar Economic Forum alongside Co-Founder and CEO of Dynasty Equity, K. Don Cornwell, Senior Advisor, Bain Capital Private Equity; Managing General Partner & Co-Owner, Boston Celtics, Stephen Pagliuca, and moderated by Bloomberg Television correspondent Jennifer Zabasajja.
Since its inception in 2011, ONE Championship has grown to become the largest martial arts organization in the world, basing its brand on an ethos of respect and honor, and differentiating itself from its main global rival, mixed martial arts promotion UFC.
“I’m a lifelong martial artist and what I want to do is celebrate the values of martial arts. Why do millions of people send their kids to martial arts schools? It’s to teach them discipline and courage and humility and honor and respect. It’s not to be a thug, not to talk trash, and talk about people’s wives or religions,” Sityodtong said.
“Our hashtag is ‘We Are ONE’ because we genuinely want, through the power of ONE, through the power of our platform, to unite the world and build bridges in the same way Qatar World Cup did. It was a phenomenal success, the greatest World Cup in history, they built bridges between all of MENA and the rest of the world, and developed deeper understanding, and hence more investment opportunities, more business, more partnerships,” he added.
ONE Championship has seen a huge growth in recent years. The world’s largest martial arts organization, whose shows include bouts in mixed martial arts, kickboxing, Muay Thai, and submission grappling, has seen its valuation rise to 1.4 billion dollars and its social media fanbase reach 70 million, 12 years after it was founded. On the other hand, UFC is the largest mixed martial arts organization, founded in 1993, and is valued at 12.1 billion dollars and has a follower base of over 100 million.
On May 5, ONE Championship held its biggest fight card of the year, ONE Fight Night 10, making its long-awaited United States debut. The tentpole event, which featured bouts in mixed martial arts, Muay Thai, and submission grappling, was headlined by a trilogy fight in which all-time MMA great Demetrious Johnson defeated Adriano Moraes.
With the sold-out Colorado show, the tenth ONE Championship event presented by Prime Video, ONE also achieved a record high in social cross-platform viewership for a three-day period, tallying nearly 300 million organic video views from Friday’s event day through Sunday.
ONE Championship has enjoyed a major surge in digital viewership and engagement in recent years. It has generated 6,135 (m) views in the past 12 months compared to the UFC’s 4,643 (m), according to an industry report.
Speaking in Doha, Sityodtong believes that more promotions will benefit from the growth of the combat sports market.
“The market is huge — it’s 8 billion people, at least, speaking from the combat sports perspective. It’s now a global duopoly with UFC dominating share in the west, and we have dominated share in the east, and I think there’s room for a lot more people as well … the market is growing tremendously, our metrics are growing tremendously, and capital is flooding into the market.”
In March, ONE also filmed several episodes of the second season of The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition in Doha in partnership with Media City Qatar, Qatar Airways, Ooredoo Qatar, Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison (Indosat), TUMI, and Katara Hospitality.
The reality show spinoff is expected to debut later this year.
Source & cover image credit: Press Release
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