ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong is questioning whether the UFC has the best fighters in the world.
The UFC promotion has been widely regarded as the premier MMA organization where all the best fighters compete at. For many years, the UFC has had little to no competition, especially after the UFC swallowed up promotions such as PRIDE and Strikeforce in 2007 and 2013 respectively.
Over the last decade, ONE Championship established itself as the leading MMA promotion in Asia. According to Nielsen, ONE was amongst the most viewed and engaged sports media properties in 2020. Clearly, an indication of how popular the Asian powerhouse MMA promotion has become in recent years.
Many believe that the UFC is still the best MMA organization in terms of worldwide popularity and having a roster that boasts the best fighters in the world. However, ONE Championship CEO Sityodtong begs to differ.
In a recent interview with Sportico, Sityodtong pointed out that when UFC fighters crossed over to fight in ONE, they were all knocked out. One of the more disturbing knockouts was Northcutt’s ONE debut where the American was KO’d in the first round by Cosmo Alexandre and required surgery after suffering multiple fractures in the face.
“We’ve had a bunch of UFC champions come over to ONE,” Sityodtong told Sportico. “We signed Demetrious Johnson who is the winningest UFC world champion in history. We’ve had Eddie Alvarez. We’ve had Sage Northcutt. We’ve had a bunch of UFC athletes, and they’ve all gotten knocked out. The fans went nuts. In America, UFC is considered the best, right? And then they come over here and they all got knocked out, literally all knocked out.”
Sityodtong went on to say that he wasn’t necessarily stating that fighters such as Alvarez and Northcutt weren’t great fighters but just that tthis goes to show that the level of skill and competition of ONE championship is certainly on par with the UFC, something that the ONE CEO is willing to prove in a fantasy ONE vs. UFC matchup, perhaps in the late future.
“One of the most popular questions I ever get asked whenever I do interviews with fans is when will we see a mega global event, ONE versus UFC. East versus West, the best of the best,” Sityodtong said. “Let’s see it. I’m open to it. I said, ‘Look, if UFC wants to run it, let’s do it.’ I’m totally open. Champion versus champion, and let’s see who’s the best in the world.”
Would you want to see some ONE vs. UFC matchups in the future?