Asian martial arts promotion ONE Championship now has boots on the ground in the United States, via its new ONE on TNT TV show.
ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced today on a media conference call a partnership with American broadcasting company Turner Broadcasting – part of American media conglomerate AT & T’s Warnermedia – beginning with ONE on TNT, four weekly hour-long TV shows featuring an hour of martial arts action.
The show will debut every Wednesday beginning April 7 to April 28, with each week featuring a prelim card streamed exclusively on The Bleacher Report and B/R Live from 9 p.m. ET to 10 p.m. ET. Following the stream is three exclusive main card fights aired on the TNT TV network at 10 p.m. ET.
“We are absolutely thrilled to kick off 2021 with the announcement of our first season of ONE on TNT,” Sityodtong said in a press release. “We look forward to introducing our unique brand of martial arts to the U.S. on prime time. American fans can expect something fresh, new and completely different from anything that is currently available in the U.S. As always, we will feature some of the greatest world champions across various martial arts alongside a few familiar, legendary names.”
“ONE Championship has a passionate global fan base and this next step in our partnership elevates the exposure for its top martial arts events in the U.S,” Turner Sports executive vice president and general manager Tina Shah added. “This multi-faceted approach combines two leading platforms in Bleacher Report and TNT as we further expand the reach of these premier events and drive additional engagement with a broader audience.”
ONE on TNT has been strategically placed to run after the lead-in of Turner’s popular AEW Dynamite program, which airs every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET. The aim is to generate North American exposure and following to establish ONE Championship as a main player in the UFC’s backyard, as the UFC has done in Asia.
The debut April 7 show will feature a ONE flyweight title bout between champion Adriano Moraes (18-3-0) and former UFC champ and current ONE World Grand Prix champion Demetrious Johnson (30-3-0).
Also on the card, former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez (30-7-0, 1NC) will attempt to continue building momentum towards a ONE title shot with champion Christian Lee with a win over former title challenger Iuri Lapicus (14-1-0).
A non-title ONE Muay Thai flyweight bout between champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon and U.k. opponent Jacob Smith rounds out the announced bouts. The full card is expected to revealed later.
Moraes, Johnson, Alvarez, and Lapicus joined Sityodtong on the call and answered questions about their respective fights.
The following three shows feature the following:
ONE on TNT II APRIL 14 – ONE World Lightweight Champion Christian Lee vs. No. 3 Timofey Nastyukhin
ONE on TNT III APRIL 21 – No. 1 middleweight title contender bout: Former middleweight and current light heavyweight champion Aung La N Sang (26-11-0, 1NC) vs. Vitaly Bigdash (10-2-0)
ONE on TNT IV APRIL 28 – TBD
Financial terms and the length of the partnership were not disclosed.