In what represents a major step forward for the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) in Thailand, this May’s ONE: KINGDOM OF CHAMPIONS is being backed by the Thai Government.
The event is taking place at the 11,000 capacity Impact Arena on 27 May in Bangkok, and will feature reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke in the headlining bout.
Chanvit Phalajivin, a spokesman for Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sport, recently went on record as stating that the government was fully behind ONE Championship.
Speaking to Channel NewsAsia, Phalajivin said: “We have never had a mixed martial arts event in Thailand. This will be a historic event. The Ministry of Sports supports this event in full.”
Thailand’s very own Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke proudly displays the Thai King’s portrait and Thai flag after winning the inaugural ONE Strawweight World Championship
His statement helped to clear up some of the confusion surrounding the legal status of MMA in Thailand, a country where hundreds of Muay Thai and boxing events take place every month. The governor of the Sports Authority of Thailand had even gone as far as to question whether ONE Championship’s event should be allowed to take place.
However, with the support of the Ministry of Tourism and Sport, which has complete oversight over both the Tourism Authority of Thailand and the Sports Authority of Thailand, the status of ONE: KINGDOM OF CHAMPIONS is secure. Fight fans in Bangkok can now safely look forward to the biggest MMA event the country has ever hosted.
Kamol ‘Sukie’ Sukosol Clapp is the President of ONE Championship Thailand, and he is delighted to see that the 27 May event is being backed by the highest level of government.
From L to R: Vachara Vacharaphol, CEO of Thairath TV; Chatri Sityodtong, founder and chairman of ONE Championship; leading Muay Thai promoter Nuttadaj Vachirarattanawong; ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke; and President of ONE Championship Thailand, Kamol Sukosol Clapp
“Thailand has a rich history of combat sports, and I’m excited to be bringing Asia’s biggest MMA event to Bangkok,” said Clapp. “I’m also grateful for the support we have received from the Ministry of Tourism and Sport and everyone in the Muay Thai community here. ONE: KINGDOM OF WARRIORS is going to be the biggest sports entertainment event this country has ever seen.”
As well as a full ONE Championship fight card, two of Thailand’s biggest bands will be performing at the event. Big Ass and Bodyslam are each capable of selling out stadiums in Bangkok on their own, and both will be playing live sets as part of the show on 27 May.
MMA is rapidly gaining momentum in Thailand, and last Friday’s ONE: UNION OF WARRIORS event in Yangon was broadcast live on Thairath TV. With support from the government, the media, the Muay Thai community, and many sectors of society, the sport is starting to hit the mainstream, and ONE: KINGDOM OF CHAMPIONS promises to be a seminal moment for Thai MMA.