Saturday’s blockbuster ONE X event was originally slated to celebrate the Asian fighting promotion’s 10th anniversary, but as it draws closer, ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong says he hopes the incredible lineup of 20 fights will have an even greater meaning.
“It’s the biggest event in ONE’s history, and you know, if you look at what we’re trying to achieve here, no global organization has ever tried to do an all-day festival from 1pm to 11 p.m. with the highest of the world’s top champion athletes in mixed martial arts, Muay Thai, kickboxing and submission grappling – essentially all major arts in combat sports and at the highest level – and with a broadcast massive, 154 countries around the world,” Sityodtong told the Underground.
Saturday’s event is broadcast live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium and features title fights in MMA, kickboxing and Muay Thai. There are also a pair of submission wrestling bouts on the card, in addition to a single mixed rules bout between former UFC champion Demetrious Johnson and Thai phenom Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
The card is split into three presentations, with the first two being streamed live on YouTube and the conclusion, billed as “ONE X: Grand Finale,” streamed via online pay-per-view at Watch.ONEFC.com.
Sityodtong said he was influenced by PRIDE’s glory days in Japan, particularly the 2002 Shockwave event which drew 91,000 people to Tokyo’s National Stadium, when he reserved the lineup for ONE X.
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“We are always trying to raise the bar, innovate, think of new things and do things that have never been done before,” Sityodtong said. “We love to make history, and it’s still one of those things, like, if you ask any combat sports fan in the world, ‘What is the most epic martial arts event? why do you still have goosebumps?’ People say it’s “PRIDE: Shockwave”. The glory days of PRIDE really are still in my mind some of the greatest events in history, and we’re trying to replicate that – or rather beat that. I want say, “PRIDE: Shockwave” was huge – 100,000 people – but it was only airing in Japan. Here we have the opportunity to ignite the whole world and create something truly memorable for generations. I believe really this is one of those events.
“It’s just one of those events and it’s so unique and so spectacular and so bizarre as well and different. Again, you’ve never had this level of high caliber world championship athletes in all of these respective sports, all competing in one card. So yeah, it’s just something totally, totally different from anything the other two big world organizations do – you know, the UFC and Bellator.
For viewers in the United States, the events will begin late Friday night and into the wee hours of Saturday morning, which Sityodtang says could be a challenge for even the most hardcore fans. But the contests will almost certainly be available for replay as well, and the pay-per-view stream starts at a slightly more reasonable time.
However, fans find it best to digest the massive lineup, Sityodtang hopes it will be an event to be remembered for many years to come.
“I really believe that in five, 10, 15, 20 years, people who are in the stadium or people who have watched our live broadcast will say, you know, they will tell their children and grandchildren because another times is a big first for the industry obviously we’ve had big MMA events before we’ve had big muay thai events or big kickboxing events but never all on the same day with title fights world champion. We have five world title fights, one world grand prix fight, one super fight with special rules. I mean, it literally has it all. If you like martial arts, if you like sports combat, there is something for everyone.
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