After reports have questioned the financial transactions of ONE Championship, it appears the company’s CEO Chatri Sityodtong is avoiding the issue.
Group One Holdings Pte. Ltd. is the financial group responsible for overseeing the fiscal duties under the ONE Championship umbrella. The financial institution has made bold claims about its success similar to Sityodtong’s consistent claims about ONE Championship. However, in a report published by Bloody Elbow, the company’s most recent financial breakdown has some discrepancies.
The financial report shows the company took $47.6 million in losses for the fiscal year of 2020, but a very suspicious transfer certainly offsets that negative balance. A nearly $400 million transaction was made by the ONE (Group) in which they sold their intellectual property rights to their own ONE subsidiary. The ONE Group is comprised of ONE Championship and its many subsidiaries, such as One China, One India, One Esports, and One Warriors
When pressed by MMA journalist Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour about the inconsistent finances and the curious transaction, Chatri Sityodtong dodged the question entirely.
“I will say that the internet is a dangerous place and you shouldn’t uh believe everything you read, and there is a lot of factual errors and inaccuracies you know? Uh, but that I mean, um, I’ll just say that we have some big news that I’m announcing and um, that’s, I’ll leave it at that. Some exciting news and yeah, I mean uh I’ll leave it at that. I’ll just say like look, the internet is a dangerous place if you believe everything you read, especially from less than uh… How can I say it politely? I would yeah, I would just leave it at that.” Chatri Sityodtong said.
After emphasizing the “errors and inaccuracies” embedded in the report, Chatri Sityodtong underlined that the mysterious transaction was all above board despite the widespread probing by media that suspected foul play may be involved.
“Uh, so I prefer the truth to come out, and my team and I are working hard, and I can just tell you that um, we have literally some of the smartest blue-chip institution investors in the world, like Sequoia Capital, um like Temasek Holdings, uh who are razor-razor sharp and their not gonna hand us $346 million dollars if we don’t know what we’re doing. Chatri Sityodtong explained to Helwani. Uh, and yeah, I mean if, if uh… I’ll just leave it at that.”
While questions continue to surround one of Asia’s biggest MMA promotions, it is unclear if Chatri Sityodtong will provide answers in line with what reporters are in search of.
ONE Championship has been on the radar of many MMA fans since the infamous 2018 one-off trade between Ben Askren, and UFC’s former flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. Alongside Sityodtong’s claims of financial success, the ONE CEO also made a case that his promotion has the best lighter-weight athletes compared to the UFC.
What do you make of the mystery surrounding ONE Championship’s finances?