Chatri Sityodtong On Dana White: ‘He Doesn’t Know About Martial Arts’

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ONE Championship will hold its hybrid rules super-fight between ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon and 12-time Mixed Martial Arts World Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson at ONE X on 5 December. And its announcement sent the combat sports world went into a frenzy.

However, one person thought it was a “weird” idea, and that was UFC President Dana White. When asked about the fight, which in part will celebrate the tenth anniversary of ONE Championship, he scoffed at the idea.

ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong found out about White’s remarks, and he wasn’t short on words either. Although he praised the American’s business acumen, he questioned what the UFC President actually knows about the very pastime he promotes.

“Dana is a great businessman, but he doesn’t know anything about martial arts. I don’t even think he knows how to throw a leg kick. He talks like it with his athletes, but I’d love to see a video of him throwing a leg kick. I don’t think he’s even qualified to talk about Muay Thai,” Sityodtong said.

Sityodtong himself has spent his life studying Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Growing up in Thailand, he trained out of the esteemed Sityodtong Gym in Pattaya, Chonburi, under the late Master Yodtong Senanan, who built Muay Thai legends like Samart and Kongtoranee Payakaroon.

And recently, Sityodtong received his brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under legendary grappler Renzo Gracie.

“UFC is the largest mixed martial arts organization in the world,” Sityodtong continued. “ONE is the largest martial arts organization, in that we have many verticals of martial arts. We have mixed martial arts, we have Muay Thai, we have kickboxing – we’ve even had boxing World Title fights, we’ve had submission grappling. We try to excite and delight and surprise fans, combat sports fans from all over the world and from all genres.”

Exciting and delighting fans was the challenge that Sityodtong sent to his competition team while planning something extraordinary for ONE X.

“What I [told] my team was, ‘Look, we’re doing a 10th-year anniversary (event). This is going to be the biggest show in the history of the company.’ We wanted to do something spectacular and something different, and I said, ‘Let’s also pay homage to Asian MMA and the history of Asian MMA,’” Sityodtong said.

“I told my team, ‘Think of a crazy fight that we could do.’ It’s a one-off thing. It’s not like we’re going to do this every event with other fighters. It was just a crazy idea to celebrate Asian MMA.”

Before the super-fight at ONE X, catch all the action at ONE: FIRST STRIKE on Friday, 15 October, by downloading the ONE Super App.

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