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Thread: ONE Championship

  1. #16
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    Eddie Alvarez

    Nov 9, 2018, 12:10pm
    Eddie Alvarez Is Leading An Influx Of American Martial Artists Into One Championship
    Brian Mazique
    Contributor

    Eddie Alvarez's contract with the UFC ended this year, and after fielding offers from a variety of promotions, The Underground King chose to sign a lucrative contract with ONE Championship.


    Eddie Alvarez signed with ONE Championship but is that the just the beginning of a slew of American MMA fighters heading to Singapore. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

    Per Alvarez, whom I spoke to during an interview on The Fight Guys podcast, Alvarez talked about why he chose to sign with ONE over the other promotions that bid for his services. He identified the desire to win the only world title he hasn't won (he's a former Bellator and UFC champion). Alvarez also talked about how ONE seemed to fit his approach to martial arts. He referred to his previous stint fighting in Asia in the past.

    "When I fought in Asia, I became very popular. I didn't have to conduct myself in any manner, or change my character or try to be someone just to get a title shot, or jump in line, or something like that," said Alvarez. "America is very much like that. It's like the squeaky wheel always gets the oil because a lot of American fans want to hear a story, a rivalry or a grudge. When I fought in Asia, back in 2007, the fans they truly loved fighting and martial arts. They believed in the integrity, the honor, and the respect. That's what they valued. They didn't value a story or a grudge or a lot of nonsense. I can be myself. I don't have to act out of character to sell something. I'm looking forward to being myself and not having to do things that I don't necessarily agree with in order to get ahead or get to a title shot."

    You can listen to the entire interview with Alvarez below, as he spoke more in-depth about his decision to sign with ONE, his next possible opponents, goals and viewing himself as a business rather than just a fighter.

    ONE Championship has a variety of stars like Angela Lee (Singapore), Bibiano Fernandes (Brazil) and Martin Nguyen (Australia), but Alvarez is the most prominent American free agent to sign with ONE in the promotion's history. When Ben Askren joined the promotion back in 2013, he was known because of his experience as an NCAA Division I wrestler, Olympian, and former Bellator champion, but he hadn't compiled a body of work in MMA like Alvarez.


    UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez speaks during a news conference for UFC 205, Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016, in New York. Alvarez is scheduled to face featherweight champion Conor McGregor to defend his lightweight belt on Nov. 12 in what will be the first UFC card to be held in New York after the state legislature legalized the sport earlier this year. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

    Suddenly, after Alvarez signed with ONE, he has been followed by a slew of other acquisitions of American talent in and out of the cage. The well-publicized trade of Askren from ONE to the UFC for Demetrious Johnson was the first move. Then, on Wednesday, ONE announced it had hired former Strikeforce competitor, UFC champion and women's MMA pioneer Miesha Tate as Vice President.


    Demetrious Johnson celebrates after defeating Henry Cejudo in a flyweight championship mixed martial arts bout at UFC 197, Saturday, April 23, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

    What's next? There are rumors young and popular American Sage Northcutt could be the next former UFC fighter to sign on with ONE. If that comes to fruition, we'd be looking at four major acquisitions of American talent in a matter of weeks. I think it's safe to say there's a trend being established here. To add fuel to his fire, I spoke to ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong in October, and he told me the promotion would have an American TV deal in place before the end of 2018.

    There is no question, the UFC is still the king of the streets when it comes to MMA in the United States, but it's becoming more clear that ONE is no longer satisfied with just being the largest sports property in Asia–which is already a large market. By acquiring Alvarez, Johnson, Tate and possibly Northcutt, ONE is sending a welcome message to fighters from all backgrounds, as long as they fit the model.

    If this time proves to be significant in the sport of MMA, Alvarez's signing could be seen as the launch point.
    Pay the money and fighters will come.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  2. #17
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    This is a dated article but it's been heavily promoted on social media lately

    Aug 20, 2018, 11:53am
    ONE Championship And The UFC Represent Global Duopoly In Martial Arts
    Brian Mazique
    Contributor
    Games

    The Ultimate Fighting Championship is unquestionably the king of mixed martial arts in the western world, but ONE Championship is perhaps even more dominant in the east.


    Chatri Sityodtong and Dana White CREDIT: PHOTO BY BRANDON MAGNUS/ZUFFA LLC/ZUFFA LLC VIA GETTY IMAGES AND ONE CHAMPIONSHIP

    With their meteoric rise to prominence over the past seven years, ONE has seemingly pressed all the right buttons in establishing itself as a viable rival to its Western counterpart. In Asia, ONE is the largest martial arts organization. One of the promotion's missions has been to unite the continent's 4 billion people on the shoulders of the many country's connections to the various disciplines.

    “In the same way that Starbucks offers many flavors of coffee and tea, we offer all martial arts,” said ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong.

    “We have earned that reputation over the last couple of years, and so instead of mixed martial arts, as a fight fan and as a martial arts lover, you now get to see all forms of martial arts for the very first time in history. So you will see matches of, you know, Muay Thai versus Tae Kwon Do, or Tae Kwon Do versus Kung Fu, and the list goes on and on.”

    According to Sityodtong, who was born in Thailand but is part Thai and Japanese, this makes ONE Championship the world’s largest martial arts organization.


    YANGON, MYANMAR - JUNE 30: Aung La N Sang celebrates his historic title win, claiming the ONE Middleweight World Championship during ONE Championship Light Of A Nation at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium on June 30, 2017 in Yangon, Myanmar. (Photo by Dux Carvajal/ONE Championship/Getty Images)

    While the UFC has taken a more in-your-face approach in its rise to prominence, with president and face of the organization Dana White serving as the perfect microcosm for the American mixed martial arts community, Sityodtong has taken a different route.

    “Every region in the world had a sport that represented it," said Sityodtong. "In Asia, there was nothing. I thought to myself, there had to be a way to highlight each of the martial arts that originated from the variety of Asian cultures, and ONE Championship was it. The term MMA has a negative connotation in Asia, in the sense that it’s all about bloodsport, profanity, people who throw stuff at press conferences. That works in America, but not in Asia."

    Sityodtong has gone on record multiple times, including a direct one-on-one conversation with me, saying that he would not sign Conor McGregor if he were a free agent. Sityodtong feels strongly that McGregor's persona is a poor fit for the culture and identity he has crafted for ONE.


    YANGON, MYANMAR - NOVEMBER 03: Aung La N Sang prepares to face Alain Ngalani in an Open Weight Super Bout during ONE Championship: Hero's Dream at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium on November 03, 2017 in Yangon, Myanmar. (Photo by Dux Carvajal/ONE Championship/Getty Images)

    “MMA is kind of an Americanized version of what martial arts is. Real, true, authentic martial arts has to do more with values and how it impacts the human soul. It’s about the way of the warrior, about integrity, humility, honor, respect, courage, discipline, and compassion. It’s about the true values of martial arts which is extremely significant here in Asia.”

    The ONE Championship way appears to be a personal preference for Sityodtong, but it is also a calculated approach that originated from paying close attention to what resonates with Asian people. The proof is in the numbers, reach, regional reviews and the immeasurable responses from crowds at their events on hand to cheer on the fighters who have been given the platform to become icons in their countries.


    SINGAPORE - MAY 26: Angela Lee celebrates her submission win against Istela Nunes at ONE Championship: Dynasty of Heroes at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on May 26, 2017, in Singapore (Photo by Dux Carvajal/ONE Championship/Getty Images)

    Angela Lee of Singapore, Aung La N Sang of Myanmar and Eduard Folayang of the Philippines are to their countries what McGregor is to Ireland, and even bigger than Daniel Cormier, TJ Dillashaw and Rose Namajunas in the United States.

    “We’re absolutely packing stadiums. We are filling thousand-seater arenas with passionate martial arts fans. We have the support of local governments, most importantly, the support of our fans. We have the most fantastic sponsors and partners on board that believe in what we’re doing, that believe in our vision,” Sityodtong concluded.

    ONE Championship has been able to launch and reignite careers by focusing on the personal stories of the fighters. Spotlighting their backgrounds, personal and professional struggles and their overall journey. Recently, ESPN ran a piece on former NBA MVP Derrick Rose's immense popularity in China.


    GUANGZHOU, CHINA - AUGUST 21: (CHINA OUT) Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls point guard, takes a selfie with fans on August 21, 2015, in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province of China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

    While Rose was born and raised in Chicago and has never competed in Asia professionally, the people of China are drawn to his perseverance and desire to play, despite suffering the multitude of injuries that have slowed what looked to be a Hall-of-Fame career. In the United States, his country of origin, he has largely been reduced to the subject of memes and unfortunate gifs.

    It is this contrast in the view of professional athletes that Sityodtong and ONE Championship have honed in on. They worked used these values to rebuild the careers of fighters like Aung La and heavyweight champion Brandon Vera.

    With business flourishing, ONE Championship has ramped up its lineup of live events. The promotion is scheduled to produce 24 live shows in 2018 and 36 in 2019. The UFC is scheduled to deliver 47 live events in 2018, but some may argue that less is more when it comes to combat sports events.

    The fewer shows, the more each one feels like an event. Though that's purely a matter of fan or media preference.

    ONE may not be emulating its global competition, but it is definitely aware of its presence. By establishing new divisions of its property like the ONE Super Series (kickboxing) and Rich Franklin's ONE Warrior Series, it has produced layers that can compete, or perhaps surpass Glory Kickboxing, Bellator Kickboxing and the UFC's Ultimate Fighter and Tuesday Night Contender Series.

    ONE signed Giorgio Petrosyan and Yodcherry Sityodtong to bolster its kickboxing venture while ONE Warrior is designed to focus on the rising martial arts talent in Asia. It is in its second season and airs on affiliate networks and the ONE Championship official YouTube channel.

    Franklin is a former UFC middleweight champion turned ONE Championship ambassador and Vice President who hosts the show along with Jonathan Fong. The duo travels across Asia searching for talent and experiencing local cultures.

    The athletes compete in professional bouts with the chance of earning a contract that can exceed $100,000 US currency. It's like a mixture of traditional reality television, White's Lookin for a Fight, Tuesday Night Contender, Ultimate Fighter and the American singing competition, The Voice. Franklin does a lot of teaching and coaching of the prospects, which is part of his background. In the role, he's more than a talent scout. It's almost partly like a mentorship and it's a pretty unique presentation overall.

    The UFC holds a firm grip on the attention of Western MMA fans, and the organization is prospering, but ONE is holding down its region of the globe equally. Fans can only wonder and/or hope that one day we might actually see a cross-promoted event between the two organization's top champions.

    That's a fantasy, but fans of both brands can dream.
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  3. #18
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    How many people actually saw BuyBust?

    Aside from me, of course...

    Meet the Mixed Martial Arts Champion Who Became an Asian Movie Star
    7:31 PM PDT 4/11/2019 by Mathew Scott


    Courtesy of One Championship
    Brandon Vera

    One Championship heavyweight title-holder Brandon Vera looks set for a post-fight career in films after making an eye-catching debut in Erik Matti's actioner 'BuyBust.'

    Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star Brandon “The Truth” Vera raised eyebrows when he made the move to Asia in 2014 for a fledgling fight promotion and an uncertain future. Five years later, the Filipino-American fighter had become a world champion and, rather more unexpectedly, a movie star.

    Today, the 41-year-old from Norfolk, Virginia, is mixing his fight life as the current heavyweight champion of Singapore-based One Championship with an emerging career as an action star, after grabbing attention on debut in last year’s Erik Matti-helmed and well-received Filipino actioner BuyBust.

    With a slew of film projects coming up, The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Vera on the sidelines of One: Roots of Honour fight card in Manila, to talk about walking in the footsteps of his heroes.

    How was the experience of trading the mixed martial arts cage for the BuyBust red carpet?

    It was weird. It’s a different animal, a whole different monster. I thought it would be the same but it’s not. You have to try to be cute and be handsome. So it's totally different. It was really weird but awesome at the same time. I loved it.

    Who were the film stars you grew up idolizing?

    Obviously Bruce Lee. Chuck Norris. Everyone from the Saturday morning kung fu theatre I watched. Then [Arnold] Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Clint Eastwood and even Tom Hanks. Bit of a broad range.


    Erik Matti's Instagram
    Vera on the BuyBust set with director Erik Matti.

    How much of an influence was Bruce Lee considering you followed the same path — from martial arts to movies?

    Come on. As a kid you looked up to two people — your dad and Bruce Lee. If your dad made you, it was only Bruce Lee. He made a major impact. He was small and we grew up in a racially charged era, real racism not just like today where someone just gets their feelings hurt. But that “little Chinaman” was always the one doing the biggest things. He was always reaching to do the impossible. So for sure, he had an impact on my career, not just as a martial artist but as a person.

    Did you ever think you’d become an actor?

    Never in a million years. I was looking for representation in the Philippines and wanted to look at pursuing an entertainment career outside the cage. I ended up with Virtual Playground, owned by Dondon Monteverde. They put a plan together, which I had to follow to a tee. I had to do all my [acting] classes, I had to read all my scripts. I fell in love with it.

    Anne Curtis in 'BuyBust'
    READ MORE
    'BuyBust': Film Review
    How was your first day on set with Erik Matti on BuyBust?

    Man. The only comparison I can imagine is if you took somebody and you threw them into the fight circle on fight night and they had never even seen MMA before. “Go ahead, kid. Good luck”. I’d taken classes and preparing but once you’re in there? The first day was a blur.

    There were some big stars involved — including Anne Curtis. Did you feel that when it came time to the stunts, that would be your chance to shine?

    Oh, for sure. These are huge stars. But that was easy. I would do the rehearsals and say let’s do this one more time. It’s like a beautiful dance that you put together on set. It’s fun.

    You were singled out in a lot of reviews for praise, too.

    It felt like another world championship belt. It got to act with the biggest stars with the best records in the Philippines — and it turned out OK. I didn’t make a fool of myself, which is really, really cool.

    So what do you have coming up?

    We have three movies coming up. I have two scripts and am waiting for workshops. I can’t really talk about them at the moment, but I am super excited.

    And you’ll still be fighting as you’ve challenged One’s light heavyweight champ Aung La N Sang?

    Yeah, for sure. Actually, the training for these films is helping me keep my weight down and I have that fight coming up in October. So we have that hanging over us now as well. On the books we’re busy, off the books we’re even busier. It’s go, go, go and I’m drinking coffee all the time.

    There was some debate in fight media when you made the move from the United States about whether it was the right one. How do you feel about it now?

    One Championship’s last event [in Tokyo on March 31] smashed all sorts of records. The planets have aligned. Everything is just great and it’s lining up, one after another. Everybody thought I was crazy but look now. It’s like magic.

    MATHEW SCOTT
    THRnews@thr.com
    @mathewscotthk
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    http://www.kungfumagazine.com/forum/showthread.php?70901-BuyBust"]BuyBust
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  4. #19
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    College degree - wow

    May 8, 2019, 02:15am
    ONE Championship Aims To Be 'The Most Fighter-Friendly Martial Arts Organization In The World'

    Brian Mazique
    Contributor


    Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Demetrious Johnson of the United States speaks during ONE Championship A NEW ERA Press Conference in Tokyo Thursday, March 28, 2019. Alvarez and Johnson will make their One Championship debuts when the mixed martial arts promotion's first show takes place on Sunday at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo's famed home of sumo wrestling. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) ASSOCIATED PRESS

    ONE Championship CEO and Founder Chatri Sityodtong has never shied away from setting high goals for himself and the martial arts organization he's helped guide to prominence. What was once a little-known MMA promotion has grown into a formidable player in the global martial arts market.

    Part of what has helped ONE become the kind of organization capable of luring talents like Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez, Sage Northcutt, and Vitor Belfort is the fighter-first concept that more athletes seem to be embracing. Almost to a man, the athletes mentioned above have said ONE made them an offer they couldn't refuse.

    Long-time members of its roster like Brandon Vera have spoken at length about the way ONE's staff has treated him and other athletes. I've talked to newcomers like Northcutt who have had nothing but positive things to say about the environment he's currently working in with ONE. Newly hired vice president and former UFC women's bantamweight champion Miesha Tate has also gushed about her relationship with ONE, which is still in its infancy.

    I spoke to Sityodtong last week about two of the organizations newest initiatives: the new ONE agent certification guidelines and ONE Studios. If Sitoydtong has his way, these two new programs will further establish ONE as "the global leader in martial arts leadership and thought innovation."

    The ONE agent program is unlike anything we've ever seen in martial arts. ONE has created a structure that requires agents to meet the following criteria to represent any martial artist competing under the organization's banner:

    Currently a resident in Asia for at least one (1) year
    No prior criminal record
    No history or current ongoing matters of legal or lawsuit activity with any athlete
    A minimum of 10 years of related experience in the martial arts industry
    Must possess a College or University Degree

    "Agent certification was created to weed out the unethical managers who steal from athletes," said Sityodtong. "Just this year alone, we've had several athletes ask for our help with this problem. We could sit here and do nothing about it, or we could elevate the standard of excellence and create a better ecosystem for all parties involved."

    Per Sityodtong, a current world champion on the organization's roster has been the victim of theft and mismanagement by an agent. Because the athlete was still in the midst of the legal process stemming from the incident, Sityodtong was unable to expound on the situation, but he believes it will be made public sometime later this year.


    Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters Demetrious Johnson, left, of the United States and Japan's Yuya Wakamatsu, right, face off during ONE Championship A NEW ERA Press Conference in Tokyo Thursday, March 28, 2019. Alvarez will make their One Championship debuts when the mixed martial arts promotion's first show takes place on Sunday at Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo's famed home of sumo wrestling. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) ASSOCIATED PRESS

    "At ONE Championship, we are always upgrading and improving all of our systems and processes across the company to ensure a healthy ecosystem for all parties," Sityodtong said in the press release announcing the new agent program. "For as many decades as I can remember, agent and manager fraud has always been a big problem in Asia. ONE Championship aims to create a healthier, happier, and safer environment for our athletes both in and out of the arena."

    Ideally, this new program would take yet another step toward establishing an environment that doesn't require an athlete to worry about the perils of doing business with a shady manager. If it's successful, beyond the obvious monetary advantages, the new agent program could reduce the athlete's stress level, thereby keeping them healthy for longer, and also allowing them to perform at a peak level without worrying about as many things outside of the ring or cage.

    In addition to the new agent program, Sityodtong also discussed the new ONE Studios, which aims to produce movies and television shows starring the organization's athletes and well-known actors and actresses.

    "We will produce movies and TV shows across all genres, action, romance and comedy with our biggest stars, along with the biggest stars from our region," said Sityodtong. "Ultimately, I want to make international blockbusters. It would be amazing if we had Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson with Brandon Vera, or perhaps Aung La N Sang in a movie. It would be amazing. We want to unleash the next Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jackie Chan into the world of movies."


    Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters Xiong Jingnan of China, left, and Angela Lee of Singapore face off during ONE Championship A NEW ERA Press Conference in Tokyo Thursday, March 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) ASSOCIATED PRESS

    That might sound like crazy, out-of-the-box thinking, but if you become familiar with Sityodtong, you know he only knows one way to dream, and that's big. In many ways, that audacity is what has positioned ONE for the growth it has shown in the past two to five years. Per Sityodtong, ONE has had discussions with Netflix and Amazon about the distribution of their films and TV shows, but ultimately, it would like to produce content for 140 different countries out of its Singapore and Los Angeles offices.

    "From our hydration policy to our cat scans, neurological exams to help prevent athletes from going into a match with a concussion, and other areas of focus on safety, we do this to help the athlete," Sityodtong said. "Now with ONE Studios as we think about marketing and the agent program, it helps to add multiple revenue streams for our athletes–during their careers and after they retire."

    It's a fantastic concept. Based on the words of fighters currently on the roster, it seems as if ONE has been delivering an experience consistent with the motivation Sityodtong spoke about. If things continue to build in this way and the agent certification and ONE Studios add another layer to what seems like positive organization-athlete relations, ONE could add even more top-flight free agents to its roster in the future.
    And no criminal record.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  5. #20
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    Opening in NY & LA

    Jun 20, 2019, 12:52am
    ONE Championship's CEO Chatri Sityodtong Is Determined To Establish A Permanent Presence In The U.S.

    Brian Mazique
    Contributor
    Games


    Chatri Sityodtong, ONE Championship CEO CREDIT: ONE CHAMPIONSHIP

    ONE Championship has begun its latest expansion, and that includes opening offices in New York and Los Angeles. I spoke to Chatri Sityodtong, the CEO of the organization, and he made it very clear, his intention isn't to have a temporary presence in the United States.

    Sityodtong is focused on making a serious and very permanent impression with American martial arts fans. We discussed this and a variety of other topics regarding ONE's expansion on Wednesday via phone. Take a listen to the entire interview below:



    ONE has already established itself as the largest martial arts organization in Asia, and expansion into the United States has long been a plan. That plan included acquiring a television and/or streaming deal with a major network or platform. ONE has secured that in its deal with Turner that also includes live streaming on B/R Live. Per Sityodtong, despite ONE events broadcasting on a tape delay on Turner, the ratings for the organization are already ahead of Champions League on the network.

    With early success as a reality, Sityodtong says Turner is eager for ONE to put on events in the United States. This has become a focus area for ONE and according to Sityodtong, the organization is targeting the fourth quarter of 2020 for its first American event.


    Reigning ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion Martin Nguyen, left, of Sydney, Australia, and challenger Kevin Belingon, right, of the Philippines, pose with ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong, center, following a news conference of their Friday fight in the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship Tuesday, July 24, 2018 in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. Nguyen will fight against Belingon in the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez) ASSOCIATED PRESS

    As of now, Sityodtong didn't want to speak specifically about the locations or venues, but he did say the organization is targeting the most iconic arenas in the United States. The UFC and Bellator have both had events at Madison Square Garden, and that is arguably the most famous arena in the world. It's possible MSG could be a potential location for a ONE event, but it's too early to tell.

    I asked if Las Vegas was a location ONE would consider for an event, and Sityodtong said all cities are under consideration. Not only is Las Vegas commonly referred to as the fight capital of the world, but it's also the home city for the UFC's headquarters. That would put ONE in direct competition with the UFC, which is something Sityodtong doesn't shy away from in any manner.

    "There are several hamburger and soda chains in the United States," said Sityodtong. "There is room for more than one martial arts organization." If you have followed ONE Championship through its meteoric rise in Asia, you know, Sityodtong is never bashful about taking on huge challenges and setting serious goals for his organization. Seeking to establish a footprint in the U.S. is just the latest example.


    Fans reach out as ethnic Kachin origin mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Aung La N Sang, also known as the Burmese Python, walks in to fight Egyptian opponent Mohamed Ali in Yangon, Myanmar, Friday, March 18, 2016. Aung La N Sang, a Middle Weight fighter went on to defeat Mohamed Ali in the MMA event "One-Union of Warriors" in the first round. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe) ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Sityodtong believes there are distinct differences to the ONE Championship product and the UFC. "We Don't Sell Fights. We Build Heroes," Sityodtong said. This is evident in the way the organization has rebuilt champions like Myanmar's Aung La NSang, and promoted fighters like former UFC Men's Flyweight Champion Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson.

    It's safe to say, the fights–while often thrilling–comes secondary to the principles of martial arts and the stories behind the men and women who climb into the ONE circle or ring to compete. As someone who has followed the organization closely for the past two years, I can say, there is a definite difference between a ONE, UFC, Bellator and Professional Fighters League event.

    While I love the action that all of the organizations provide, and the ever-expanding platforms for martial arts, I can say there is value in what ONE brings to the table. The presentation offers a different flavor, and it would be fantastic to see more cross-promotion between the world's major organizations. This is something Sityodtong also discussed in the interview.

    Perhaps establishing a presence in the United States would make something like that more feasible. With so many organizations like the UFC, Bellator, PFL and ONE still in the infancy of new distribution deals, it's an exciting time for combat sports in America.


    Brian Mazique
    Contributor
    I write about sports and video games. I began my career with Bleacher Report in 2010 and I'm now a Forbes Contributor as well as a YouTuber. I've been blessed to make a living discussing things I'd talk about for free.
    That's a half hour interview. I didn't listen. If anyone does, let us know the highlights.
    Gene Ching
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  6. #21
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    Oct. 12

    ONE Championship to challenge UFC in North America after scoring TNT television deal
    By Matt McNulty Published September 08, 2019 SportsFOXBusiness

    What was once merely an attraction whispered about in hushed tones, mixed martial arts has become a money-making machine over the years after overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds.

    In North America, the MMA market has been dominated by the brash, trash-talking Ultimate Fighting Championship since the promotion's inception in 1993, which began as an oddity fringe-sport and has since grown to earn deals with the likes of Reebok, getting sports coverage across network and cable TV.

    Many have attempted to wrest that dominance from the UFC over the years, yet all have failed. President Donald Trump and billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban tried their luck back in 2008, when they turned an MMA apparel company, Affliction, into an actual promotion that the UFC successfully counterprogrammed.

    Trump and Cuban dropped the venture, unable to compete with the world's leading mixed martial arts promotion. After two successful Affliction events, a third one went up in flames when one half of the headlining fight tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. The promotion folded immediately after that.

    But now, a new league is coming to town, one that is completely different from the product UFC fans have come to know over the years. A promotion that has dominated the Asian MMA market and is closing in on their 100th show.

    A NEW PLAYER IN TOWN
    ONE Championship, the biggest sports promotion in Asia will be a soon-to-be presence in the US after signing a television deal with TNT Sports late last year, president Chatri Sityodong told FOX Business.

    “We offer a completely, 180 degree, diametrically opposed product to what North American MMA fans are used to seeing (in promotions like UFC and Bellator),” Sityodong told FNB in a phone interview Friday.

    “American MMA is a blood sport, it promotes anger… controversy… negative energy. What ONE Championship does is offer a very different set of values. Things like respect, honor, humility.”

    “We showcase the best of humanity,” he added.



    In a sport that’s become synonymous with the letters UFC, mixed martial arts has always had it's roots in more traditional disciplines, ranging from standup games from Muay Thai, kickboxing and karate to wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

    In the UFC, fans have come to know household names like Conor McGregor and Jon Jones, two of the brightest stars of the sport. But both men have continually found themselves in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. Just last week, McGregor made headlines after sucker-punching an elderly man in his native Ireland, all for refusing a drink of McGregor’s whisky brand Proper 12.


    Irish Daily Star

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    Before that, it was smashing a fan’s cell phone in Miami. Then there was the time where “The Notorious” and his crew crashed a Brooklyn press conference at the Barclay’s Center, and tossed a metal dolly through a bus window in a melee with future opponent Khabib Nurmagomedov.

    Things have not faired much better for Jones, who’s litany of scandals have kept him on the sidelines more often than not, over a few failed drug tests and a hit-and-run that saw Jones’ car smash into a pregnant woman’s car, breaking her arm.



    Other former UFC fighters have left a permanent black eye on the promotion’s reputation. “War Machine,” formerly known as Jon Koppenhaver, is currently serving a life sentence in Nevada for nearly beating his ex-girlfriend, Christie Mack, to death, in Aug. 2014. Former UFC light heavyweight Thiago Silva was arrested that same year after bringing a gun to his ex-wife’s new boyfriend’s Florida Jiu-Jitsu studio.

    The same can’t be said for the 550 fighters under the ONE Championship banner.

    “You won’t find a single scandal with any of our top stars, or any of our fighters for that matter,” Sityodong emphasized. “You can’t find a single article of any of our athletes getting into trouble, no drugs, no DUIs, no assaults.”

    BIG BUSINESS TO BE MADE

    It’s no surprise to see ONE Championship make a concerted effort to lure North American fans over to their promotion.

    MMA has become big business in the continent over the years, with the UFC being sold to Hollywood powerhouse WME-IMG for $4.025 billion in July 2016. The promotion just recently inked a lucrative deal with ESPN, valued at $7 billion after the ESPN deal, according to UFC president Dana White.

    The five-year ESPN deal alone is worth $1.5 billion.

    ONE Championship is looking for their piece of that pie after signing a television rights deal with TNT Sports, to air events live in North American TVs, in major North American cities, to offer their MMA product for fans who might be getting turned off from the soap opera the UFC has become. For a company that began in 2011 solely in Asian territories, ONE Championsip has turned a corner over the last year, making the move into the US market an obvious one.

    In October of last year, One Championship announced it had closed a $166 million financing round led by Sequoia Capital, pushing the Asian mixed martial arts promotion's total capital base past $250 million.

    The Singapore-based company is now opening offices in New York City and Los Angeles as they begin to make inroads into the North American MMA market.

    CHALLENGING AN INDUSTRY GIANT, TOPPLING A MONOPOLY

    The odds of going toe-to-toe with the UFC and coming out on top may seem steep, but the move has become increasingly organic and more realistic by the month. ONE Championship recently signed former UFC flyweight champion and pound-for-pound great Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez last year, with both men making their ONE Championship debuts in March.



    Sage Northcutt, another name many North American MMA fans have become familiar with thanks to an eight-fight UFC stint, signed with ONE Championship shortly thereafter before making his debut with the promotion in May.

    “The UFC stars who have come over, and a lot of UFC stars have reached out (to us)… we carefully select those that represent our values. Fighters like Eddie Alvarez, Demetrious Johnson, Sage Northcutt,” Sityodong said. “We are not interested in loud, brash characters like in western promotions. Our stars are role models, people little boys and girls worldwide can look to as inspiration.”

    The three-year broadcast deal with Turner Sports kicked off on in Dec. 2018, with 24 events scheduled for 2019. The first ONE Championship broadcast set to air in primetime in the US on Oct. 12, and will also commemorate ONE Championship’s 100th event
    I was told by a notable fight promoter that he won't enter fighters into ONE because they don't drug test. I've not been able to validate that claim, but he isn't the type that would make that up for my benefit - at least, I doubt he would. Anyone know more about this?
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  7. #22
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    In regards to drug testing, it seems that ONE is engaging in wishful thinking at best or blowing smoke at worst.

    ONE Championship, one of Asia’s largest martial arts organizations, has long maintained an environment free of drug testing.

    In fact, ONE Championship’s founder and CEO, Chatri Sityodong, provided The Straits Times with an illuminating perspective to that effect in September 2016:

    “Chatri said ONE does not carry out doping controls, but he insisted the culture of respect in martial arts – and the poor economic backgrounds of many fighters – meant drug-cheating was unlikely.”

    Recently, however, a report by Asian MMA’s James Goyder surfaced that ONE Championship would be implementing World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) standard drug testing in 2019, though there was no specification as to what that would mean in practice.

    It is unknown if the ONE Championship drug testing was to be done through WADA, in adherence to their guidelines, or conducted at WADA labs.
    https://thebodylockmma.com/one-champ...pionship-wada/

    But the plot thickens

    Recently, the drug-testing program employed by prominent Asian MMA organization ONE Championship has come under intense scrutiny from media members, mixed martial artists, and the general public.

    In a now-deleted Facebook post from July 13, UFC veteran Will Chope, a current coach to several fighters on the ONE Championship roster, levied several allegations against ONE Championship and the promotion’s drug-testing system and claims made by the organization that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) would be inextricably tied to the system.

    WADA is a globally recognized authority on anti-doping in sports, and the foundation was founded in 1999 by the International Olympic Commission. According to WADA’s website, [WADA] code compliance monitoring, anti-doping coordination, global anti-doping development, and athlete outreach, along with providing educational, scientific, and medical information, are the foundation’s key objectives.

    Referencing an article from The Body Lock, then-titled “ONE Championship drug testing to commence in 2019 through WADA,” Chope wrote, “If you read the article, you’ll realize the title is bullsh*t.”

    The article was written in response to a January report from Asian MMA’s James Goyder and a subsequent press conference statement from ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong that ONE would introduce “WADA standard testing” in 2019. In the article, notable ONE athletes Martin Nguyen and Garry Tonon were quoted as having no knowledge of such testing.
    https://thebodylockmma.com/one-champ...onship-claims/
    Quote Originally Posted by bawang View Post
    like that old japanese zen monk that grabs white woman student titties to awaken them to zen, i grab titties of kung fu people to awaken them to truth.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Canzonieri View Post
    You can discuss discrepancies and so on in people's posts without ripping them apart. So easy to do sitting behind a computer screen anonymously, but in person I'm sure you'd be very different, unless you're a total misanthrope without any friends.

  8. #23
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    ONE has a lot going for it as the Asian UFC and a rising contender to the UFC's monopoly as they pick up more and more former UFC fighters and some notable American fighters (like BJJ legend Gordon Ryan who just finished ADCC after beating his own teacher!). But there's some shady practices involved as well. Fight analyst Jack Slack has many times criticized some of ONE's questionable practices. Given, Jack is a self admitted negative nancy and in very much a glass-half-empty type of bloke but he's not exactly wrong. Off the top of my head:

    1. Closed door weigh-ins
      The good: weight cutting is restricted to hydration levels. This prevents fighters from doing mega weight cuts that both give them a size advantage and can really hurt their health. Fighters, including well respected ones like DJ (Demetrius "Mighty Mouse" Johnson) have said how they like it and how it makes things easier for them.
      The bad: oh oops, all weigh ins are closed to the public and we really have no idea if a fighter is actually weighing in at the required weight or not. The ****?!
    2. Questionable scoring
      Jack Slack talked about this a little bit in his most recent Fights Gone By Podcast. Fights are not judged by rounds like in the UFC, but by overall performance. If your opponent gets more hits on you in the first two rounds but you come out and beat them within an inch of their life in the third round and leave them in a pool of their own blood, then you will win the decision. The head scratcher is that there's no scoring announced. ONE does list the criteria they use to judge the fights, but no scores are announced. The UFC uses a 10 point must scoring system which, while flawed, you can at least tell how many rounds a fighter lost and judges score cards are released to the media after a fight.
    3. Employees that manage or train fighters
      This one I'm fuzzy on; Jack Slack has spoken on it in the past if you feel like digging it up. DJ's coach has business ties with ONE and this is why he doesn't corner DJ when he fights. Now, DJ is considered pound-for-pound one of the best fighters in the world and one would have to be an absolute fool to question his abilities (fast as hell, great fight IQ, superior wrestling. Video game moves that earned him submission of the year. He does it all) so he doesn't need an insider's helping hand to be successful in MMA, but it still is questionable.
    4. Questionable decisions affecting a fight after it happened
      Another thing I've heard from Jack Slack (I'm still new to ONE and don't watch it regularly unlike the UFC. It's also not nearly as popular in the US so news doesn't travel as fast). Supposedly there have been some questionable overturning of decisions after a fight to possibly protect their golden goose (the Lee family; Angela and Christian). Now, Angela Lee is currently on a 2-fight losing streak (her only two losses in her career), one to TKO and the other to an IMO bad judge's decision and there has been no overturning so who knows I guess?
    5. No drug testing
      Because: "lolz no real martial artist are too honorable to do that so why would we?"
    6. Questions on longevity
      This may be why there's so much fuzzy stuff going on with ONE. Right now they're being funded by venture capital and are not making money yet. They're basically doing the Microsoft Xbox thing where they just keep failing and losing money until they iron out all their issues and takeover Asia (which they pretty much have I think. Other than ONE, the other two big promotions are Rizin and Jewels which aren't as big as ONE.
    Quote Originally Posted by bawang View Post
    like that old japanese zen monk that grabs white woman student titties to awaken them to zen, i grab titties of kung fu people to awaken them to truth.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Canzonieri View Post
    You can discuss discrepancies and so on in people's posts without ripping them apart. So easy to do sitting behind a computer screen anonymously, but in person I'm sure you'd be very different, unless you're a total misanthrope without any friends.

  9. #24
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    More fuzzy stuff from ONE. The atomweight champion and ONE darling Angela Lee defended her belt against Xiong Jin Nan who defeated her in a different title fight. She used a suplex-like move that many wonder if it had broken ONE's rules against any and all suplexes. Chatri Sityodtong had previously posted on Facebook that all suplexes are illegal but apparently that post is now nowhere to be found following Lee's 5th-round victory. I haven't watched the fight yet but based on the description of the rules, it appears that Lee didn't use an illegal move but it does contradict Chatri's now deleted post.

    https://www.scmp.com/sport/martial-a...denies-illegal

    Angela Lee has defend herself against accusations she used an illegal suplex in the climax of her fight against Xiong Jingnan at One Championship’s Century Part 1 card in Tokyo.

    “Unstoppable” retained her atomweight title in their rematch by submitting “The Panda” by rear-naked choke with just 12 seconds left on the clock in the fifth and final round.

    But some fans on social media had claimed she set up the submission with an illegal slam.

    “We pay very close attention to the rules of One Championship, and when I went for my takedown, I lifted her up and I threw her front side. So she would land on her face, not on the back of her head,” Lee told FanSided.
    The official One rule set printed in the event’s programme notes says “all takedowns are legal but must not result in spiking or pile driver to the head or neck”. The move is not listed under the “illegal techniques” section either.

    “I have not seen the replay or anything like that so I don’t know, did she land on her shoulder?” One CEO Chatri Sityodtong said at the post-event press conference.

    “I don’t know if it was a full suplex or a side suplex. I have to review the footage or get the competition team to review the footage.”
    Interestingly, Angela's brother, Christian Lee (also a favorite of ONE execs and fans), was disqualified in the past for using a suplex (how or if it differed from Angela's is not know to me. It's also possible that the rules have seen been changed). I'm sure Jack Slack will have a hot take on this tomorrow.

    I'll say it again: ONE is a good MMA organization and it's the promotion that a lot of people believe will be the one to finally provide a real challenge to UFC, but they got some dumb sh!t going on over there and it'll likely continue until they're more financially established and not running off of rich people's donations. That's my current take at least
    Quote Originally Posted by bawang View Post
    like that old japanese zen monk that grabs white woman student titties to awaken them to zen, i grab titties of kung fu people to awaken them to truth.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Canzonieri View Post
    You can discuss discrepancies and so on in people's posts without ripping them apart. So easy to do sitting behind a computer screen anonymously, but in person I'm sure you'd be very different, unless you're a total misanthrope without any friends.

  10. #25
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    More on the recent suplex-gate. This article goes in to good detail on the issue and mentions the few times a fighter (including ONE darling Christian Lee) has been DQ'd for a suplex. Based on the official rules Angela Lee did not use an illegal move, but based on previous statements by Chatri Sityodtong and DQ's that have been handed out, she did. Not a good position for ONE to be in, but they will likely sweep it under the rug. No suplexes of any kind seems like a silly rule to me; especially when knees to a grounded opponent are legal (they're illegal in the UFC, but suplexes and slams are legal even if they result in a KO). I also find it odd that ONE treats DQs as a loss instead of as a DQ. I'm not sure how other organizations do it, but in the UFC generally a DQ is counted separately. The one instance I am aware of where a DQ was counted as a loss is with otherwise undefeated fighter Jon Jones.
    Quote Originally Posted by bawang View Post
    like that old japanese zen monk that grabs white woman student titties to awaken them to zen, i grab titties of kung fu people to awaken them to truth.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sal Canzonieri View Post
    You can discuss discrepancies and so on in people's posts without ripping them apart. So easy to do sitting behind a computer screen anonymously, but in person I'm sure you'd be very different, unless you're a total misanthrope without any friends.

  11. #26
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    FEB 28 ONE fight in Singapore closed to fans

    Coronavirus forces One Championship to put Singapore MMA show behind closed doors
    ‘King of the Jungle’ will still be broadcast live on February 28 but tickets for Singapore Indoor Stadium will be refunded
    ‘My team and I had the option to cancel the event altogether, but we chose not to,’ says CEO Chatri Sityodtong
    Nick Atkin
    Published: 10:54am, 18 Feb, 2020


    Stamp Fairtex pummels Puja Tomar in Bangkok. She will headline the ‘King of the Jungle’ card in Singapore. Photos: One Championship

    One Championship has decided to press ahead with its “King of the Jungle” card in Singapore on February 28, but the event will play out behind closed doors because of the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.
    Chatri Sityodtong, CEO of the Asian MMA promotion, said all tickets bought for show at the 12,000-capacity Singapore Indoor Stadium would be refunded, after deciding against cancelling it altogether. The event, headlined by Stamp Fairtex defending her atomweight kick-boxing title against Janet Todd, will still be broadcast live on television and digital platforms.
    The Singapore government had already raised the DORSCON (Disease Outbreak Response System Condition) alert level to orange last week, with the Ministry of Health urging organisers to cancel or defer non-essential events.
    “My team and I had the option to cancel the event altogether, but we chose not to cancel it,” Sityodtong said in a statement.


    Demetrious Johnson will now get his One flyweight title shot in Jakarta, instead of Chongqing.

    “Let us unite as a country and let us show strength as a continent to conquer this coronavirus,” he added. “We will get through these tough times together. Majulah Singapura! Jiayou China!”
    There have been 77 reported cases of the coronavirus in Singapore, but no deaths. China’s health authorities on Tuesday reported 1,886 new coronavirus cases and 98 deaths on the mainland, taking the totals to 72,436 and 1,868 respectively, as of midnight on Monday.

    The coronavirus has already seen One relocate its April 10 show from Chongqing in China to Jakarta, Indonesia.

    One flyweight grand prix winner and former UFC champion Demetrious Johnson will aim to add more gold to his resume when he takes on flyweight champion Adriano Moraes, in the first of four bumper “One Infinity” cards in 2020.

    The UFC has also been affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus in Asia. Strawweight champion Zhang Weili has twice had to move her training camp, first from Beijing to Thailand, and then to Abu Dhabi, ahead of her UFC 248 title defence on March 7 against Joanna Jedrzejczyk.



    Nick Atkin

    Nick is a production editor on the South China Morning Post’s sport desk, where he covers mixed martial arts (MMA). He was previously a sports writer and editor for ESPN.
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  12. #27
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    Is this an earnest offer?

    ...or is it Chatri Sityodtong trying to capitalize by coattailing on a viral vid?

    You have to follow the link to TMZ to see the vids.

    BULLIED BOY QUADEN BAYLES GETTING MMA LESSONS
    ... After Heartbreaking Video

    2/21/2020 6:26 AM PT
    BREAKING NEWS



    A 9-year-old boy who said on a heartbreaking video that he wanted to kill himself after being bullied is getting a lift from the MMA world ... he's taken ONE Championship officials up on their offer for free training lessons.

    Quaden Bayles -- an Australian with Achondroplasia dwarfism -- went viral this week after his mom posted a disturbing video of him breaking down in tears after being bullied.

    In the footage, Bayles tells his mother, "I wish I could stab myself in the heart. I want someone to kill me."

    Thousands of people -- including celebs all over the globe -- reached out to show their support for the boy ... with ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong even offering free MMA lessons.

    YOUR PAIN IS YOUR STRENGTH
    @ONEChampionship

    FYI -- ONE is one of the top MMA organizations in the world ... with stars like Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez fighting for the promotion.

    Turns out, Bayles was super down for the training ... 'cause just hours after Sityodtong posted his message -- the ONE honcho says Bayles' family gladly accepted the offer!

    "I just spoke to his amazing mom, Yarraka, over the phone," Sityodtong said Friday. "She has graciously accepted my invitation to come to Singapore for an all-expenses-paid vacation so Quaden can learn martial arts at EVOLVE."

    "Our instructors will be sure to bully-proof Quaden. If he wakes up from his nap, we plan to FaceTime tonight. Yarraka said that he might sleep through the night. If so, we will FaceTime tomorrow. Let us all take the opportunity to show little Quaden how much the world cares."

    Quaden is also set to make an all-expenses-paid trip to Disneyland in the coming months after a GoFundMe for the boy raised more than $230,000 in less than a day.

    "Quaden’s feeling the love and now he needs a good rest," his mother said in a statement Thursday night. "We are meeting with the appropriate people in power to make changes and make a stand against bullying."
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  13. #28
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    Should I recant my previous post?

    There's been a persistant campaign to debunk Bayles online. A claim that he's actually 18 and is scamming everyone with this has gone viral. It's so hard to tell what's real anymore, but the fack-checkers that debunk fake news like Snopes have debunked this claim. Of course, some now question the factuality of the fact-checkers, but when that happens, we are truly lost.

    Regardless, Bayles may need his own indie thread here soon.
    Bullied boy Quaden Bayles accepts an offer to train with one of the world's biggest mixed martial arts promotions in Singapore after being invited by the multi-millionaire owner
    Quaden Bayles was invited to Singapore to learn martial arts with champion
    Chatri Sityodtong invited Quaden and his family to an all expenses paid trip
    On Saturday, he accepted the invitation and will learn martial arts skills
    Quaden rose to fame after emotional video of him breaking down went viral
    Fundraiser has generated more than $400,000 to send him to Disneyland
    By SAHAR MOURAD FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA
    PUBLISHED: 00:52 EST, 22 February 2020 | UPDATED: 00:52 EST, 22 February 2020

    Quaden Bayles has been taken up an offer to travel to Singapore and train in mixed martial arts.

    The nine-year-old boy appeared in an emotional video filmed by his mother Yarraka showing him breaking down in tears after he was subjected to bullying.

    Since then, celebrities and sports stars including Hugh Jackman, broadcaster Piers Morgan and rugby league star Johnathan Thurston have shared messages of support.

    Martial arts champion and ONE Championship founder Chatri Sityodtong offered to fly Quaden and his family on an all-expenses paid trip to Singapore.


    Martial arts champion Chatri Sityodtong offered to fly Quaden and his family to an all-expenses paid trip to Singapore.

    'I just want to let you know you have a friend out here in Asia and I know you're going through incredible suffering and pain. I can't imagine what you're going through,' Sityodtong said.

    'But I want you to know that God gives the toughest battles to his bravest and strongest soldiers and for sure you're one of them.


    Quaden's mother Yarraka accepted the invitation with Mr Sityodtong excited to train the youngster

    'And I want you to know that your pain and suffering today is going to be your strength tomorrow.

    'One day you're going to rise above and have the strength, compassion and empathy because everything you've gone through to help others. I really believe it.'

    He then extended an offer to Quaden and his family to learn martial arts in his 'bully-proof' school.

    'I would also like to extend to you and your family an all expenses paid trip to Singapore.

    'I own a wonderful martial arts school called Evolve Mix Martial Arts. It has an incredible children's program that bully-proofs kids.

    'If you have time this summer I'd love to invite you and your family as my personal guests to Singapore.'

    He ended the video on a strong note asking parents and children to put a stop to bullying.

    'To the parents and children out there, lets stop this bullying. Lets be kind to one another. The world needs it now more than ever.'

    Quaden's mother accepted the invitation with Mr Sityodtong excited to train the youngster.

    'He has graciously accepted my invitation to come to Singapore for an all-expenses-paid vacation so Quaden can learn martial arts at EVOLVE,' he tweeted.


    Quaden (pictured) will join Mr Sityodtong where he will learn some martial arts skills

    Yarraka shared the distressing video which sparked the outpouring of support after picking her son up from school on Wednesday.

    The schoolboy, who has achondroplasia - the most common type of dwarfism - told his mother: 'Give me a rope, I want to kill myself.'

    In the video, which has been viewed more than three million times, Quaden also said: 'I just want to stab myself in the heart... I want someone to kill me.'

    Quaden also scratched at his neck and said: 'I want to die... I want to scratch myself.'

    Now, he will also lead the Indigenous All-Stars out onto the field in their rugby league clash with the Maori All Stars in Queensland on Saturday.


    Quaden Bayles' Instagram account 'Quadosss' warned his 226,000 followers that fake accounts were being created in a post on Saturday morning

    A fundraiser started by comedian Brad Williams to send Quaden to Disneyland has raised more than $400,000.

    While trolls to spread rumours, Quaden has received an outpouring of international support, including from Hugh Jackman and comedian Brad Williams.

    Williams, who also has dwarfism, created a fundraiser for Quaden after hearing the upsetting news that he was bullied at school.

    The fundraiser has now garnered $434,554 from more than 19,000 supporters since the American comedian started the GoFundMe page on Thursday.
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  14. #29
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    James Yang


    ONE CHAMPIONSHIP'S JAMES YANG TRAINED FOR THREE YEARS IN SHAOLIN TEMPLE IN RURAL CHINA

    SEP 13, 2021
    In a matter of days, one of James Yang’s life dreams will come true as he makes his mixed martial arts debut.

    The life of the 32-year-old has been full of adventures so far. The One Championship lightweight traveled around the globe to pursue fulfillment as a person and a martial artist. Now, he is scheduled to take on Roel Rosauro at the upcoming One “Revolution.” Before switching to MMA and training under Matt Hume at AMC Pankration, Yang had a life-changing experience in a Shaolin temple in rural China.

    “When I was 17, out of high school, my plan was, you know, I was going to take six months off in Northern Shaolin martial arts academy,” he said. “It’s near a city called Siping in Dongbei, North-eastern China. It actually bordered North Korea, it’s very high there. The closest city, Siping, is about an hour away. That’s the closest city. It’s an hour away by taxi car. I was in rural, rural China. Even the nearest village was like six, seven kilometers away. We had nothing up there, it was living on this hill. At the academy, it wasn’t just shallow martial arts. They had Shaolin, but they had ba-ji[quan], Chen-style tai chi and Sanda, which is like Chinese kickboxing. They had a big mix of martial artists.”

    The recollection of what happened while staying in China resembles some kung fu movies from the 80s, in which the young apprentice has to go through a series of challenging tasks to subdue his ego and grow his patience.

    “I planned to for six months, come back, go schooling, do the whole typical thing, right, get a job and all that, but what I ended up doing was staying there for three years in that academy. I got this opportunity as a foreigner to perform with the demo team, and that’s a huge opportunity, like not a lot of people get to do that. Just to get an idea, we trained like eight hours a day, right? You get like two hours of hot water at night to shower and there’s like moldy, crusty facilities and everyone crams in there at night. Bathrooms are like all squatters, you’re literally looking at somebody while they’re watching you taking number two or whatever. It’s just that kind of situation.”

    Yang also talked his experience as a performer at Cirque du Soleil and commented on Demetrious Johnson’s loss to Adriano Moraes and the global ruleset that One adopts.

    Tudor Leonte started writing about mixed martial arts in 2013 for Italian media outlets. His journey with Sherdog began in 2018 and now he covers One Championship and countless European shows. You can follow him on Twitter @MrTudorLeonte.
    There's a vid behind the link

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  15. #30
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    White v Sityodtong

    Put these two in the cage. I'd watch the hell out of that fight.

    ‘He Doesn’t Know Anything About Martial Arts’ – Chatri Sityodtong Claps Back at Dana White
    Published 10/04/2021, 6:35 AM EDT


    By ARMAN KHAN
    ONE Championship’s claim to being the “Home of Martial Arts” isn’t just a simple battle cry, it’s the core ethos for the now 10-year-old promotion.

    For the past decade, ONE has featured not only the best mixed martial artists in the world, but also elite fighters across Muay Thai, kickboxing, submission grappling, and the like.

    That’s why when someone like UFC President Dana White took potshots at the hybrid MMA-Muay Thai special rules match between Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon at ONE X in December, ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong couldn’t help but fire back.

    “I don’t think Dana knows how to fight,” Sityodtong said at the ONE: Revolution post-event interviews, in direct response to White’s comments.

    “Dana is a great businessman, but he doesn’t know anything about martial arts. I don’t even think he knows how to throw a leg kick. He talks like it with his athletes, but I’d love to see a video of him throwing a leg kick. I don’t think he’s even qualified to talk about Muay Thai.”

    White had recently made comments about the Johnson-Rodtang matchup, saying it was “weird” and would “not work.” Sityodtong doesn’t believe White is in a position to give his opinion on the bout.

    Is Chatri Sityodtong the right person to talk about martial arts?

    To say Sityodtong knows what he’s talking about when it comes to martial arts is an understatement.

    Not only is Sityodtong one of the prime movers in one of the world’s biggest sports properties, but he himself is also a martial artist through and through, having been a Muay Thai practitioner for close to four decades now, as well as recently earning a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

    “It’s different. I’ve been doing Muay Thai for 37 years and still train every day, and I do BJJ five to six times a week,” Sityodtong said.

    In comparison, White practiced boxing back in his teen years before he eventually became a manager and a businessman.

    Demetrious Johnson vs. Rodtang Jitmuangnon hybrid match was a calculated move

    Sityodtong clarified that this unique setup for the Johnson-Rodtang bout wasn’t done on a whim. Rather, it was a calculated move aimed at pitting two of the best in their respective disciplines in this one-of-a-kind showcase for the promotion’s 10 year anniversary.

    “We wanted to do something spectacular and something different and I said, let’s also pay homage to Asian MMA and the history of Asian MMA,” Sityodtong said.

    “This is our 10th year anniversary and I said let’s do something with world title fights but at the same time, let’s do something that celebrates the true spirit of what Japan started because I don’t think people realize but Shooto is actually the first mixed martial arts organization in history.”

    “So I told my team: Think of a crazy fight that we could do. It’s a one-off thing, it’s not like we’re going to do this every event with other fighters. It was just a crazy idea to celebrate Asian MMA.”

    Sityodtong on the difference between UFC and ONE Championship

    As for White, Sityodtong understood the American’s hesitance on this unique hybrid match. But all innovations have their own set of detractors in their heyday, and at the end of the day, it all boils down to the difference of the promotions at their core.

    “We have a different approach. UFC is the largest mixed martial arts organization in the world. ONE is the largest martial arts organization in that we have many verticals of martial arts,” Sityodtong said.

    “We have mixed martial arts, we have Muay Thai, we have kickboxing, we’ve even had boxing world title fights, we’ve had submission grappling. We try to excite and delight and surprise fans, combat sports fans from all over the world and from all genres. In many ways, it’s not just martial arts being ONE. I do believe all martial artists on the planet irrespectively, whether it’s karate, taekwondo or wrestling, or boxing or Muay Thai, we are all on the same path.”

    In conclusion, Chatri Sityodtong said: “ONE is the home of Martial Arts. He can take whatever digs at ONE he wants, I’ll take a dig at his leg kicks.”
    threads
    Dana-White
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    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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