ONE Championship will make its long-awaited live-event debut in Japan in 2019.
At a press conference on Thursday, 23 August, ONE Chairman and CEO, Chatri Sityodtong, announced the world’s largest martial arts promotion would host its show in Tokyo on Sunday, 31 March, next year.
It is also scheduled to return to the Japanese capital in the fourth quarter of the year, on Friday, 11 October.
Several of the promotion’s World Champions were in attendance for the announcement, including ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito, ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee, ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes, and ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera.
Each athlete is set to compete in Tokyo when the ONE cage arrives there.
They were joined by a host of other competitors who will also have match-ups under mixed martial arts or ONE Super Series rules.
Renzo Gracie, Ralph Gracie, Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon, Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan, Nong-O Gaiyanghadao, Mei “V.V.” Yamaguchi, Ken Hasegawa, and Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki all expressed their excitement at the prospect.
“This is the chance for Japanese martial arts to truly shine,” said Aoki ahead of the press conference.
“Martial arts is my passion, and I am grateful for the opportunity to help lead martial arts in Asia into the future.
“ONE Championship is a tremendous organization, and now that we are going to have our first live event in Tokyo, it will only help to highlight the beauty of martial arts in Japan.”
In addition to the Japanese shows, ONE announced plans for a further 28 live events next year.
Those include debuts in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on 6 September, as well as Seoul, South Korea, on 20 December.
There are 24 events planned for major arenas across Asia, with six more yet to be announced under the banner of Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series – with dates to be confirmed in the future.
“I am thrilled to announce the first 24 of 30 events of our busy 2019 schedule at ONE Championship,” said Sityodtong.
“In addition to the first 24 live events planned for all sports fans in Asia, there will be at least six ONE Warrior Series events that will continue to showcase the absolute best in martial arts, delivered by our martial arts superheroes.
“Of course, all of our live events will be available on the ONE Super App. 2018 isn’t over yet, and we still have a lot of great stuff planned, but 2019 is already shaping up to be an amazing year for us.”
A full list of planned dates for ONE’s signature live events is listed below.
- Jakarta, Indonesia – 19 January
- Manila, Philippines – 25 January
- Bangkok, Thailand – 16 February
- Singapore – 22 February
- Yangon, Myanmar – 8 March
- Tokyo, Japan – 31 March
- Manila, Philippines – 5 April
- Jakarta, Indonesia – 4 May
- Bangkok, Thailand – 11 May
- Singapore – 17 May
- Beijing, China – 7 June
- Macau, China – 15 June
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 28 June
- Guangzhou, China – 20 July
- Manila, Philippines – 2 August
- Bangkok, Thailand – 17 August
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – 6 September
- Tokyo, Japan – 11 October
- Jakarta, Indonesia – 26 October
- Shanghai, China – 9 November
- Singapore – 22 November
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 6 December
- Manila, Philippines – 13 December
- Seoul, South Korea – 20 December