ONE Championship chairman plans on holding four events in Manila in 2018
ONE Lightweight Champion Eduard Folayang motions to the crowd after defending his title against Ev Ting in front of a sold-out Mall of Asia crowd in Manila
From barely filling up the Araneta Coliseum back in 2012, to selling out the Mall of Asia Arena twice a year, the growth of the sport of mixed martial arts, as well as the presence ONE Championship in the Philippines has been undeniable.
Team Lakay’s Eduard Folayang has been with the company from the start, and now, nearly six years since the promotion’s inception back in 2011, Folayang is on top of the company’s lightweight division as its undisputed titleholder and is considered as the face of Philippine MMA.
Last March, Folayang was in the center of everything when the Philippine MMA scene and ONE Championship reached new heights and made history, as the Baguio native defended his title on the main event of ONE Championship: Kings of Destiny, the most-watchted MMA event in Philippine history.
Even more impressive is that according to ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, Kings of Destiny places among the highest rated sports shows in the country’s history.
Because of this success, Sityodtong plans to double ONE Championship’s efforts in the Philippines, planning to bring their cage to PH shores four times.
“It’s massive and we’ve planned four events in the Philippines next year.” Sityodtong said during a media scrum. “We’ve always done one or two [events], next year we’ll have record number of events in the Philippines.”
Sityodtong has said before that one of his goals moving forward is to have a ONE Championship fight card across Asia every weekend, with the idea of introducing and developing new heroes while celebrating the martial arts culture of Asia.
With four planned events in the coming year, it’s likely that the Singapore-based promotion will look at other major cities in the Philippines aside from Manila to hold events in.
ONE Championship Vice President Rich Franklin has also said before that they consider the Philippines a big market, and the doubling of events to be held in the country only shows ONE’s commitment to growing the mixed martial arts scene in the Philippines even more.