Lights, Camera, Action!


ONE Championship partners with Sports Authority of Thailand to develop Muay Thai globally

Asian MMA promotion ONE Championship announced Friday evening a partnership with Thailand’s Sport Authority (SAT) and its upcoming ONE: A New Tomorrow event.

Speaking at a press conference at the Bangkok Sukhumvit Hotel in Bangkok, the company and Thailand Sports officials hailed the partnership as a step forward towards developing the sport of Muay Thai globally.

“Together, we will work towards developing the sport of Muay Thai not just in the country, but also on a massive global scale,” ONE chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong said in a press release. “There is a lot of spectacular Muay Thai talent in Thailand. As an organization, we want to be able to give them the tools they need to be successful. ONE Championship is also ready for another epic year of martial arts. We have incredible plans over the next 12 months, starting right here in Bangkok.”

“We are excited to announce this partnership with ONE Championship, with our goal of raising the profile of the sport of Muay Thai,” professional sports development and boxing department director Tanukiat Janchum added. “Muay Thai is steeped in Thai martial arts history. It is a representation of our people and our culture. The sport deserves to be showcased on a global scale, to millions of people around the world. Through this partnership with ONE, we can leverage both of our resources to bring the action and excitement of authentic Muay Thai to fans across the globe.”

The upcoming ONE: Hero series is supposed to provide opportunities for Muay Thai athletes to compete and build a professional career.

ONE: A New Tomorrow, which takes place on Jan. 10 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, features ONE flyweight Muay Thai champion Rodtang Jitmuangon defends his belt against former champion Jonathan Haggerty.

“I’m honored to be defending my ONE flyweight Muay Thai world championship on the first main event of the year, and more importantly, I am very happy to be able to do it in front of my home country in Thailand,” Jitmuangon, said in Bangkok. “Jonathan Haggerty is a very talented fighter and he is a former champion. In our first fight, we put on a great show for the fans, and I am sure that we will do the same in this rematch. I am also sure that like in the first fight, I will show everyone that I am the better fighter and the rightful champion.”

“I am thankful to ONE Championship for giving me the opportunity to challenge for the title again, and I am thankful to Rodtang for accepting the bout,” Haggerty said. “I am excited to be able to compete in Thailand, and I welcome the pressure of being the visitor in hostile territory, so to speak. Rodtang is a fantastic champion and he pushed me to my limit during our first meeting. But now, I am back to take down another Thai legend and reclaim my ONE flyweight Muay Thai world championship.”

Atomweight kickboxing and Muay Thai world champion Stamp Fairtex will be competing in her home country of Thailand against Indian opponent Puja Tomar.

“It is always an amazing experience to be competing at home, and I am happy that I get to kick off what I believe will be the biggest year in my career in my home country of Thailand,” Fairtex said. “I am excited to continue this path to a mixed martial arts world championship, I get to prove my worth against another tough challenge in Puja Tomar. Puja is a veteran and I know she will give me a good fight, as I know that I can overcome any challenges that she may pose. I promise that I will soon bring the ONE Women’s atomweight World Championship home to Thailand as well.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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