UFC veteran Will Chope has a bone to pick with ONE Championship.
The nine-year MMA veteran has been a resident of Asia for quite some time. He’s made his living fighting in various mixed martial arts (MMA) promotions on the continent. One of those was the UFC, where he lost to current UFC champion Max Holloway via TKO in 2014.
Speaking Out For Testing Issues
Chope is an extremely experienced competitor with an overall record of 36-15. But he’s gaining attention for a fight of a different kind this week. Recently, ONE Championship claimed they will be beginning drug testing for their fighters “through WADA.” Chope posted his serious doubts about the testing with the following on his Facebook (via Bloody Elbow):
“If you read the article, you’ll realize the title is bullshit.
“Supposedly they will be doing tests according to WADA standards. That doesn’t mean WADA is doing them.
“It means their own officials will be doing the tests. Just. Like ONE hires their own refs, and judges for their shows….. It’s bullshit and biased. If ONE wants to ever get to the level of the UFC then they need a 3rd party to sanction their tests and shows….. But I doubt that will ever happen. ONE has an agenda. And as long as they are sanctioning themselves they can favor gyms and fighters.
“I’m going to drop some inside knowledge and tell you the urine tests get sent to a lab in Taiwan. The doctor who tests these is a paid doctor that’s been working with ONE for years. Everyone knows ONE athletes are juiced. But this style of testing will allow ONE to hide results of guys they don’t want to be dirty and to throw guys that they don’t care about that are dirty under the bus. You can’t self-regulate privately and be non-biased and if you do self regulate it has to be public…….which it’s not! #F—kONE!”
ONE CEO Responds to Chope
Some extremely heavy accusations to be certain. ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong issued a response on his own Facebook page ‘thanking’ Chope for his perspective. He claimed Chope made some errors, yet he was not there to ‘beef’ with the MMA veteran. He cautioned his followers to ‘stay tuned’ for big announcements involving ONE’s drug testing:
Threats Followed Because Of Chope’s Post
Sityodtong’s response was calm enough in nature and seemed like he wanted to take Chope’s perspective into account. However, ONE’s legal team had quite a different response behind closed doors.
Apparently, he received a letter threatening legal action if he did not take down his posts on social media:
Before that letter arrived, Chope told Bloody Elbow he had received multiple messages from people employed by ONE that “recommended” he remove the accusatory posts. He claimed he had done nothing wrong and was just concerned about the truth (or lack thereof) the promotion was effusing. To him, it seemed dishonest because of how they approached things:
“I don’t think I did anything wrong. I was just pointing things out that I thought was weird,” Chope told Bloody Elbow. “Like I said, I don’t actually even care about steroids. I know it’s kind of rampant in Asian MMA, but my problem is just with the transparency of the organization.”
Ultimately, Chope consulted his own lawyer. He decided to take down the post in order to avoid any potential legal action in Thailand:
“We don’t believe I can be sued under the US law, but in Thailand, the defamation laws are fickle. Not worth the risk to leave the post up.”
So the damage has been controlled by ONE, at least somewhat. However, the posts are obviously here for all mixed martial fans and media members to read, which will no doubt stir discussion due to the controversy involved.
Where do you stand on this sticky situation?