One Championship’s “Century” event on Oct. 13 in Tokyo is a major achievement in the organization’s short history. Not only is it the promotion’s 100th event, but it is a giant-sized, two-part extravaganza with title fights, grand prix tournament finals and a quadruplet of Pancrase versus Shooto championship matchups. The man spearheading the One Championship ship, Chatri Sityodtong, talked to Sherdog in an exclusive interview on all things “Century” and the promotion.
“I really did believe in the vision,” Sityodtong told Sherdog about his confidence in reaching 100 events. “I really did believe that Asia needed its first multi-billion-dollar global sport media property. Every region in the world has multi-billion-dollar sport media properties that are a part of the fabric of society, culture, tradition and history. You look at North America, it’s NFL, Major League Baseball, NBA. You go to Europe, it’s EPL, F1, Champions League. And you go to Asia and there’s literally nothing. Even to this day, there’s nothing on a pan-nation basis, except for One Championship. What I will say took me by surprise is that it only took us eight years to get this far. So, I never expected in a million years, that in eight years we would be a truly global sports media property in 145 countries. I thought it was going to take a lot longer.”
In this rare interview, the CEO talked about the promotion’s biggest event in history, why he chose to make it large enough to require two events and some of the fights he is most looking forward to. Sityodtong also explained how he was able to get two of Japan’s longest-running mixed martial arts promotions to send four champions from each of their leagues to face each other inside the Ryogoku Kokugikan at “Century.” He also spoke on organizing this past weekend’s One Martial Arts Fan Fest that brought together One Championship athletes and eSports gamers. Afterwards, the organization’s founder answered questions on topics related to the promotion, such as why the organization changed their agent certification guidelines, if all future event weigh-ins will be aired live, the specifics of the organization’s relationship with the World Anti-Doping Agency and when One Championship will have an event in the United States.