ONE Championship, the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, will expand its reach in Asia in 2017 by adding new events in Vietnam, South Korea and Japan, as well in multiple destinations in mainland China including Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing.
In 2016, ONE staged the first-ever major MMA event in Bangkok, Thailand, and consolidated its position as the region’s leading MMA organization with a sell-out show at the Cotai Arena in Macau. Its plans for mainland China, announced on Tuesday, indicate that it now intends to flex its muscles in what is the world’s biggest untapped market for many sports.
Victor Cui, ONE’s CEO, said: “The promotion is in an unbelievable position to make some major waves in the global MMA industry.”
In 2017, ONE will stage live shows in established host cities – Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Manila, and Yangon – and return to both Macau and Bangkok, in addition to visiting the new destinations listed.
The push into China comes in the wake of a significant investment in the promotion from Heliconia Capital Management, a division of Singapore’s Temasek Holdings – which has strong tentacles in the world’s rising superpower economy – earlier this year.