ONE Championship CEO targeting 12 events in Japan per year
Santino Honasan on Mar 29, 2019 07:47 AM
"Next year, we will do four events. Eventually, we’ll get to 12 events per year in Japan,"
On Sunday, March 31st, Singapore-based martial arts organization ONE Championship will be holding what is easily their most stacked fight card as they make their highly-anticipated debut in Japan.
ONE: A New Era, which will emanate from the historic Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan, will feature four world championship bouts with some of the promotion's biggest names, as well as a pair of highly-anticipated promotional debuts.
During the official kick-off press conference Thursday evening, ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong explained just why A New Era is being called "the biggest martial arts event in history."
"It is the biggest martial arts event in history, full stop. Not just in Asia, but the world," Sityodtong said. "There’s never been a martial arts events where in there are four title fights, 23 world champions featured from all the major disciplines of martial arts, with the Flyweight Grand Prix, with the debuts of [Demetrious Johnson] and Eddie Alvarez, the list goes on and on in terms of why this is the biggest martial arts event in history of the planet."
With 15 bouts featuring a handful of world champions across various disciplines of martial arts, ONE surely brought out their big guns for their debut in The Land of the Rising Sun.
And while A New Era will likely be a success given the amount of star power on the card, the question that was raised during the presser was if fans in Japan can expect even more ONE events moving forward.
After Sunday's mega-card, ONE is planning one more trip to Tokyo later in the year in October, and already one of the big names expected to be on that card is none other than ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera, who expressed his desire to compete on that card.
After two events in Japan in 2019, Sityodtong shared that they're planning on doubling that number in 2020.
Moving forward, Sityodtong revealed that the goal is to do a whopping 12 events in Japan each year.
"Next year, we will do four events. Eventually, we’ll get to 12 events per year in Japan," he shared.
Using the same blueprint that has made the promotion a huge success all over Asia, Sityodtong plans to make ONE a household name in Japan by promoting the values of martial arts and the stories of the martial artists.
"How we intend to build Japan is through values, heroes, and stories. Japan has some of the best martial arts in the world, best martial artists in the world, and we’re going to celebrate their values and their stories," he said.
Currently, ONE holds over 30 events all across Asia, with countries like the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia as regular stops multiple times a year. In 2019, there are four events planned in Manila alone.
With Japan being a country rich in martial arts history and pedigree, it's would not be surprising to see ONE Championship establish a strong fan base there as well.