ONE Championship – The Future of Global Martial Arts

Story by Greyson DelGrosso, Staff Writer

Christian & Angela LEE of ONE Championship.

The UFC has dominated the arena of worldwide Mixed Martial Arts titans for over 20 years. Most other organizations funnel into the UFC, when their fighters outgrow a smaller stage. The UFC hosts superstars from nearly every country in the world, and holds events across the globe as well.

Though the UFC is predominately American fighters, being marketed in America, Martial Arts didn’t originate in the USA.

One Championship, an MMA organization based in Asia, is challenging the reign of the UFC in the very region where martial arts originated. One Championship offers MMA events, Kickboxing, and Muay Thai all on the same card. This diversity coupled with their locations in Singapore and Tokyo, where combat is rooted in the culture itself, has allowed for a massive and passionate fanbase to develop.

ONE hammers this understanding home with marketing their fighters’ backstories of challenging adversity. Their competitors are shown on screen battling the odds of living in a developing nation or being ravaged by conflict at home, then they march out to prove it all in the ring. Asian super-stadiums tend to hold many more fans, making the venues deafening.

The biggest difference between the two organizations is their composure as a collective. The UFC generates conflict amongst fighters to involve press and hype up fights to sell tickets. ONE prides themselves on honor and respect. Fighters bow and shake hands, avoid attacking fighters verbally, and demonstrate sportsmanship. The UFC is swarmed with cocky prizefighters.  Asian culture crafts warriors, not fighters.

ONE championship streams in the USA right now, but doesn’t sell Pay Per View.