ONE Championship announces Lightweight and Flyweight Grand Prix

Santino Honasan on Nov 07, 2018 07:23 PM
ONE announces Lightweight and Flyweight Grand Prix
ONE Championship will be holding a Lightweight and Flyweight Grand Prix in 2019, featuring newly-signed talents Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez

Asian mixed martial arts promotion ONE Championship made a major announcement regarding their lightwieght and flyweight divisions during the ONE: Heart of the Lion Pre-Event Press Conference, Wednesday afternoon at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Center in Singapore. 

ONE Championsip Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong revealed that come 2019, the lighweight and flyweight divisions will have a Grand Prix tournament, featuring eight of the top fighters from each division.

"The format is basically an eight-man Grand Prix, flyweight, one fight per night, and it’s just going to basically be three fights to win the entire Grand Prix, and win the world title as a result," Sityodtong revealed, "same thing for the lightweights, we’ve got the eight best athletes from the lightweight division."

The Grand Prix, Sityodtong said, was sort of a way to welome newly-signed talents Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson and Eddie "The Underground King" Alvarez. 

Johnson is a former long-time UFC Flyweight World Champion, while Alvarez is a former UFC and Bellator Lightweight World Champion. 

"That’s our big welcome to Eddie and our big welcome to DJ, and I think the fans are going to enjoy every moment of it," said ONE Championship's head honcho. 

The Grand Prix format was a staple in early iterations of the UFC as well as in Japanese MMA powerhouse PRIDE FC.

The winner of the tournament, as Sityodtong said, will be named the undisputed king of their respective divisions. 

Sityodtong also mentioned that it's possible that the reigning champions could be among the eight participants in the tournaments, meaning Geje Eustaquio, the reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion, and the ONE Lightweight World Champion, whoever it may be by 2019, could be a participant in the tournament as well. 

ONE: Conquest of Champions in Manila on November 23rd will feature a ONE Lightweight World Championship bout between former titleholder Eduard Folayang and Singaporean Amir Khan. 

"It’s going to be largely dependent on what happens on November 23rd in Manila. The idea, originally, was to create a Grand Prix without the world champions, and then the winner of the Grand Prix would face the world champion, but there’s a lot of moving parts so it’s very possible that our world champions could be slotted in one of those eight on both flyweight and lightweight divisions, so let’s see how things shake out on November 23rd in Manila."

ONE: Conquest of Champions in Manila on November 23rd will feature a ONE Lightweight World Championship bout between former titleholder Eduard Folayang and Singaporean Amir Khan. 

"This is our first Grand Prix in history, and we have two of them, and I think our fans are going to go crazy over this," Sityodtong concluded. 

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