ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong is open to co-promoting with the UFC.
Speaking to MMA Junkie, Sityodtong noted the UFC is the only promotion he’s interested in doing so with. Since the UFC is the number one mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion in the west, and ONE is the top dog in the east, Sityodtong believes some Champion vs. Champion matchups would be very intriguing:
“I think the only organization I’d be interested to co-promote with would be UFC vs. ONE Championship, world champions vs. world champions,” Sityodtong said.
“UFC is No. 1 in the west, and ONE Championship is No. 1 in the east, so it’s kind of a best of the east, best of the west colliding. I think that makes a great storyline for the whole world to want to watch and get excited about.”
There has been a ton of talk about cross-promotional fights as of late. Many would like to see some of Bellator‘s champions face off against the UFC’s top champions as well. When asked about it, however, president Scott Coker acknowledged that he understands the UFC and Dana White aren’t fond of such a business model:
“It’s not their business model to do that, but if they want to get it on, let’s do it,” Coker said. “We would not be opposed to that. We got some killers in this league. If they want to get it on, let’s do it.”
The closest the UFC has come to working with other promotions was when they pulled off a historic trade. ONE Championship sent Ben Askren to the UFC, who in turn sent Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. It was the first trade in mixed martial arts (MMA) history between two major organizations.
If the UFC was open to pulling off a trade with another organization, perhaps down the road their stance will change on cross-promotional fights as well.