ONE Championship have set-up their own Kickboxing organisation and have announced singing multiple world champions: Giorgio Petrosyan, Fabio Pinca & Regian Eersel; and are set to feature in some capacity on, the ONE Championship Kickboxing promotional debut in Manilla on April 20, 2018 at the ONE: Heroes of Honour event.
The news was broken overnight by ABS-CBN News including, the signings of both Yodsanklai Fairtex and Sam-A Gaiyanghadao for ONE Championship Kickboxing too.
One Championship Kickboxing’s promotional debut set for April 20, 2018
Giorgio Petrosyan will make his promotional debut on the ONE: Hero of Honour card in Manilla against another Lion Fight world champion (in-addition to Eersel’s ONE debut) in, Jo Nattuwat who, was born in Thailand, but living in the USA whilst fighting for Lion Fight.
However, with ONE Championship Kickboxing signing the likes of, “The Doctor” along with Fabio Pinca & “The Immortal” Regian Eersel, more fuel will undoubtedly be poured on the fires of speculation over the uncertain futures of all three men in the world of Kickboxing and Muay Thai.
It is understood that the contracts for the above three are not exclusively binding to ONE Championship Kickboxing and allow for either of them to pursue MMA careers via ONE Championship. Both Pinca & Eersel have made it no secret that they have been training for quite some time in the grappling arts and are open to fighting MMA in the near future.
How John Wayne Parr influenced the changing future of Muay Thai & Kickboxing
Interestingly, ONE Championship’s owner, Chatri Sityodtong, added a unique selling point to the promotion’s kickboxing future:
“ONE Championship is dedicated to giving fans an authentic martial arts experience. We are proud to announce that the absolute best strikers in the world have chosen to continue their professional careers under the ONE banner. Fans will be treated to the most exciting kickboxing matches where the best face the best inside of both our ring and our cage.”
“Some matches will be under standard international kickboxing rules in our ring, and other matches will be under modified hybrid striking rules in our cage. This is a game changer in the world of martial arts, and I am excited to kick things off this April.”
Since 2012, Muay Thai legend, John Wayne Parr, who currently fights for Bellator Kickboxing, has been promoting Muay Thai fights in a cage under his own promotion, Caged Muay Thai (CMT) in Australia which, has grown in popularity. CMT has regularly featured international fighters, despite some Thaiboxing purists accusing the living legend of, “bastardising” the sport. However, five and a half years on, “The Gunslinger” has become quite the influencing pioneer for the striking arts being showcased in a cage and not in a traditional boxing ring.
One Championship have certainly ‘broken a few eggs to make an omolette’
However, despite the exciting news about the launch of ONE Championship Kickboxing, the promotion’s MMA ventures haven’t always been smooth sailing since their inauguration in 2011, especially when dealing with fighters from the western world.
For example, the promotion’s well publicised fall-outs with both James McSweeney and heavyweight rival, Chi Lewis-Parry who, were both previously signed to, ONE Fighting Championship and were being lined-up to fight each other; only for both fighters to be controversially released by the promotion after both men dramatically fell out with ONE Championship (at different points in time) over a variety of allegations including, mistreatment.
Nevertheless, the marquee signing of two-time K-1 World Grand Prix champion, Giorgio Petrosyan, is undoubtedly the biggest name in western combat sports to join ONE Championship following on from, former UFC heavyweight, Brandon Vera, in July 2014.
Since then the promotion have obviously hit some turbulent times (like many others including, GLORY Kickboxing) but now seem to have restrategised themselves from a much wider business marketing perspective, embarking on a more positive direction and signalling their serious intentions for future growth, in both MMA and world kickboxing.
K1ANOOP will report again on further developments as more fighters from both Europe and the UK are expected to confirm signing for ONE Championship Kickboxing.