A $100 million investment in Muay Thai and weekly events were two of the major takeaways from ONE Championship’s press conference at Lumpinee Stadium on Monday.
Last month, ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong accepted an invitation from the Royal Thai Army to become a promoter for Luminpee Stadium, the most storied venue for Muay Thai in Thailand, and now the partnership has kicked off.
“I never imagined when I started Muay Thai 38 years ago at Sityodtong Gym that it would lead to this moment. I’ve lived Muay Thai as a student, a competitor, a teacher, and now a CEO. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that one day I would be the main promoter for the Lumpinee Stadium to showcase our national treasure to the world. For the first time in history, Lumpinee will be broadcast live to 154 countries,” Sityodtong said.
The nine-digit commitment from ONE is a multiyear plan from the organization to inspire Sityodtong’s compatriots in Thailand and elevate the sport of Muay Thai to new heights on a global platform.
ONE will be offering the highest purses in Muay Thai history while making a steadfast commitment to athlete safety and an investment in the marketing of future events.
The partnership will kick off in Jan. 2023 with a minimum of 52 events. ONE will be live with a weekly series of events each Friday from Lumpinee Stadium, featuring the best Muay Thai athletes but also including kickboxing, mixed martial arts, and submission grappling matches.
But Lumpinee Stadium is not the only venue in Thailand to receive big news on Monday. The organization also announced that on Jan. 14, Impact Arena will play host to ONE on Prime Video 6 in Bangkok. The event, set to stream in U.S. primetime via Prime Video will likely feature ONE bantamweight Muay Thai champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao and ONE flyweight Muay Thai champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
It was also announced that a massive mixed-rules superfight will take place at ONE on Prime Video 6 between former two-sport world champion Stamp Fairtex and pound-for-pound great Anissa Meksen. However, no specific ruleset was announced for that upcoming barnburner.
And if up-and-coming athletes are seeking to make an impact in ONE, a new path is being forged through the Road to ONE series. The company made an additional announcement during the press conference that they are working with promoters in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, South Africa, Mongolia, China, Russia, Japan, Philippines, Australia, and Thailand, with more countries to be announced in the future.
The Road To ONE series will give prospective athletes a platform to showcase their skills and earn their way onto the global stage by joining the ONE main roster.
The press conference signaled a bright future for martial arts in Thailand and will continue the exciting growth of Muay Thai around the world.