Chatri Sityodtong to redirect ONE Championship’s mission in 2024: “MMA back in full force”
Next year will be the renaissance of MMA in ONE Championship.
ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong personally confirmed the promotion’s renewed focus on MMA in an exclusive interview with South China Morning Post.
“You’re going to see MMA back in full force,” he said.
This comes after a year where the spotlight shifted toward Muay Thai, with the weekly ONE Friday Fights show captivating audiences at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, for the majority of 2023.
Acknowledging the temporary diversion, Sityodtong assured fans that MMA will be the top priority next year.
“ONE Friday Fights and the Muay Thai product are very much on a firm footing now. We’ve laid the groundwork and feel very comfortable it’s running on autopilot, and now we’re able to scale up. We’ve firmly established we have the #1 striking property on the planet,” he said.
“The focus will be sharply back onto mixed martial arts.”
Sityodtong revealed to SCMP several MMA matchups that ONE has in store for 2024.
At the forefront of this MMA resurgence is the much-awaited return of Christian Lee. The ONE Lightweight and Welterweight MMA World Champion decided to go on a sabbatical after the tragic passing of his younger sister, Victoria Lee, in December 2022.
Additionally, the rematch between Jarred Brooks and Joshua Pacio for the ONE Strawweight MMA World Title could happen at a marquee event that further solidifies ONE’s commitment to the sport.
Chatri Sityodtong predicts busier 2024 for ONE Championship
Chatri Sityodtong also bared an ambitious event lineup for 2024, aiming to host more than 60 shows across multiple locations.
“The event calendar for next year is going to come out early next week. We will be announcing north of 60 events. When you add everything we are doing in the coming months, maybe 70, maybe more,” he said.
“We have a bunch of others in the works. We are going back to key markets. I’m very excited for the announcement.”
The first quarter of the year kicks off with three premium live events, including the eagerly awaited return to Japan with ONE 165.
The debut show in Qatar, now known as ONE 166, is rescheduled for March. Meanwhile, Singapore is set to host ONE Fight Night 19 on Prime Video on February 17.
“The next chapter of 2024 is going to be a record-high number of events for us across all different martial arts, around the world in different locations,” Sityodtong said.
“I think that will get fans and athletes super pumped. I’d rather not comment too early right now.”
This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM
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