ONE Championship has announced the promotion’s upcoming schedule for 2016. The tentative scheduled features 14 events in nine different countries across Asia.

The promotion will bring the circular cage to Thailand for the first time. Mixed martial arts was banned by the Thai government in 2012 due to fears of MMA taking away from the national sport of Muay Thai. Muay Thai has been a national tradition for over a hundred years, taking hold as one of the nation’s most popular sports in the early 1950s. ONE Championship will be the largest strictly MMA promotion to enter Thailand. Smaller promotions like Full Metal Dojo and the now-defunct DARE promotion have held MMA events in the country in the past.

The promotion will debut in Taipei, Taiwan and Hong Kong, China. ONE Championship is scheduled to hold an event in Hong Kong on July 1. The promotion makes the trip to Taiwan for the first time on Aug. 5. ONE Championship will return to popular countries Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines twice in 2016.

The ONE Championship schedule begins on Jan. 23 in Changsa, China. The first event will be the first of two events already scheduled, with 10 more events yet to be announced for the largest country in Asia. ONE Championship signed a two-year deal featuring 26 planned events with Chinese media company Wujie in November. The expansion into the Chinese market will be an exciting venture for the promotion, as no foreign promoters have had sustained success competing in one of the fastest-growing MMA marketplaces.

ONE Championship CEO Victor Cui talked about what was in store for the promotion in the future.

“As we wrap up 2015, I’m very pleased that it has been a great year for ONE Championship in terms of growth as we continue to expand at an incredibly rapid pace. We look forward to bringing our signature brand of world-class MMA action into more cities in Asia come 2016,” said Cui in a ONE Championship press release. “With our success in Asia and the Middle East, we are thrilled to announce that we will be entering three new markets next year, namely Thailand, Vietnam and Hong Kong. These are amazing cities with a massive following of martial arts fans and next year, these fans will get to experience ONE Championship’s superlative MMA events live!”

The full list of scheduled events is as follows:

Date Venue
Jan. 23 Changsa Stadium in Changsa, China
Jan. 29 Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpura, Malaysia
Feb. 20 Istora Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia
Mar. 18 Thuwanna Indoor Stadium, Yangon, Myanmar
Apr. 15 Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, Philippines
May 6 Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore
May 27 Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand
June 17 Pho Phu Stadium in Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam
July 1 Asia-World Expo, Hong Kong, China
Aug. 5 NTU Sports Centre in Taipei, Taiwan
Sep. 2 Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Oct. 22 Istora Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia
Nov. 11 Singapore Indoor Stadium, Singapore
Dec. 2 Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, Philippines

 

About The Author

Zach Aittama
Staff Writer

Zach Aittama became a fan of martial arts at an early age. Hooked on the sport after one experience, Zach started training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai as a teenager. Watching the sport only increased his interest, building a fascination for combat sports around the globe. Years of training and amateur bouts later, Zach continues to train while working and attending school full-time. Zach started writing for Fight Sport Asia in 2014 and joined the Combat Press staff in July of 2015.

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