5 biggest differences between ONE Championship and other fight leagues

ONE Championship, led by its Founder, CEO, and Chairman Chatri Sityodtong (pictured) has become a different breed of fight league. (Image courtesy of ONE Championship)
ONE Championship, led by its Founder, CEO, and Chairman Chatri Sityodtong (pictured) has become a different breed of fight league. (Image courtesy of ONE Championship)

#2. ONE Championship fights are judged differently

ONE Championship has tried its best to solve one of the long-standing problems in MMA, the judging criteria. Big organizations like the UFC and Bellator adopt the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, which judges fights in a 10-Point Must System. This method of judging fights per round was adopted from boxing, which has used it for generations.

Pundits, fighters, and fans alike argue whether it is right to judge MMA fights using a system created for an entirely different sport. The argument usually arises following highly questionable decisions in MMA.

Check out what MMA legend Pat Miletich has to say about the controversial UFC 167 decision between Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks:

When a room full of experienced fighters all agree on a decision and it goes the other way, you have problems.

In response to this issue, ONE Championship completely removed the round-per-round judging format. ONE's official website says:

In the event that a bout goes the distance, it will go to a judges’ decision. The three judges will score the bout in its entirety, not round-by-round. Judges will utilize the ONE judging criteria in descending order of importance to determine the winner of the bout.

Judging a fight in its entirety regardless of what happens in rounds makes a lot of sense. It favors the one who takes risks to win the fight than another with a safety-first approach.

ONE's judging criteria are as follows:

  • Near KO or Submission
  • Damage (Internal, Accumulated, Superficial)
  • Striking combinations and cage generalship (Ground control, Superior positioning)
  • Earned takedowns or takedown defense
  • Aggression

If the St-Pierre vs. Hendricks fight were judged using ONE Championship's criteria, Hendricks would have been the UFC welterweight champion that night.

#1. ONE Championship has abolished weight cutting

What truly separates ONE Championship from all other fight organizations is the care it shows for its fighters' well-being. ONE Championship seems to have found a solution to the dehydration-related injuries and weight-cutting dangers that have plagued the MMA world for years.

The Asian organization has created a new 'walking weight' system that prevents fighters from cutting too much weight for a fight. On the new revolutionary system, ONE Championship's official website states:

The new program, which is the first of its kind for combat sports, is focused on athlete safety by introducing 'walking-weight' competition via multiple weigh-ins and tests before and during fight week, including three hours before an event begins... An athlete’s 'walking-weight' will be determined by a robust system that will track his/her weight on a regular basis throughout the period that the athlete is contracted to ONE.

Not only will fighters be fighting healthy, they will also be mandated to perform at a weight that's optimal for their performance.

To learn more about ONE Championship's weight management program, visit their website here.

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Edited by Aziel Karthak
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