ONE Championship’s future is once again in question.
Earlier this month, a report from DealStreetAsia revealed that the Singapore-based promotion had made a new pitch to the Qatar Investment Authority in hopes of securing another round of funding. Qatar, a major investor of ONE, had reportedly contributed $50 million of a $150 million round of funding in 2021, so there’s nothing terribly unusual with ONE attempting to secure more investment capital from the government’s sovereign wealth fund.
However, that same report alleged that, according to one source, “ONE’s runway is expected to expire by Q3 of next year,” and that “the Qataris have been increasingly embarrassed about their involvement with ONE, which has been under the spotlight for its weak financials.”
ONE Championship’s financial status is often the source of confusion and controversy with founder and CEO Chatri Sityodtong often throwing out outlandish numbers that contradict its filings with Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority.
Could ONE Championship Close Up Shop in 2024?
Former Bellator Executive, Mike Kogan recently shared his take on ONE Championship’s seemingly dire situation as he awaits news of his own future following the PFL’s acquisition of Bellator earlier this month.
“I’ve been at this sport for a long time,” Kogan said on The MMA Hour. “I don’t have it in me to start from scratch. There just isn’t anybody else. If you don’t go to PFL, obviously, I’m not getting hired by the UFC, ONE FC pissed away $600 million and is about to go out of business, where do you go?
“They’re gonna go out of business,” he continued. “These people scammed everybody they could scam. They’ve run out of people to scam. It’s the truth. I mean come on. 10 years. You can’t be a start-up for 10 years. Jesus Christ. At some point, you’ve got to start showing something.
“So, they’re gonna go out, so where’s there to go? There’s nowhere else to go. I’ve always said, this is like the largest small industry in the world. It’s big, it’s on TV, there’s millionaires being made, there’s all these stories, but at the end, it’s a handful of people that run it and a handful of people that have an ability to do anything with it.”
Kogan and the rest of the Bellator staff will all be offered new roles in PFL, according to the promotion’s founder, Donn Davis. The Bellator brand is expected to live on as an international offering, but all of the contracted athletes will be allowed to compete at PFL events, including in regular season tournaments.
A pay-per-view event featuring Bellator champions vs. PFL champions is expected to go down in 2024.