ONE Championship, the Asian mixed martial arts promotion, and the Muay Thai Grand Prix (MTGP) promotion have entered into a long-term partnership to boost muay Thai in the UK, it has been reported.
According to the Bangkok Post, the organizations will host two Road To ONE Muay Thai tournaments in the UK later this year, with eight fighters in two different weight classes competing to win a ONE Championship contract worth $100,000.
ONE Championship was founded in 2011 and claims to be “Asia’s largest global sports media platform”, as well as a “top 10 global sports property for viewership and engagement.” It is broadcast in over 150 countries across free-to-air and pay-per-view channels.
MTGP, meanwhile, was founded in 2015 and has run events primarily in Europe but says it has a fanbase of 9 million globally and that it is “on the verge of explosive growth”.
ONE Championship has previously partnered with the Sports Authority of Thailand to promote the sport of muay Thai.
Philip Tieu, chief executive of MTGP, said: “MTGP will team up with ONE Championship to create the Road To ONE UK tournaments, where the best athletes in the UK can showcase their skills for an opportunity to win a six-figure contract with ONE Championship.
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“This is a long-term relationship, which will elevate the UK fight scene and grow the sport of muay Thai in a way we never thought was possible.”
“I truly believe the two companies are a perfect match and that by working with Chatri Sityodtong, it will only expand the sport of muay Thai even further and take it to new heights.”
Sityodtong, chairman and chief executive of ONE, added: “I’ve known Philip for quite a while now, and I’m simply amazed at how much muay Thai talent there is in the UK. That’s why I’m so pleased to announce this partnership with MTGP UK.
“ONE Championship remains committed to providing martial arts athletes on the regional scene a platform to showcase their talents, and to potentially earn a $100,000 contract to compete in ONE Championship’s international events.”