Moving forward, ONE Championship's talent pool may get a little deeper.
Just this week, ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced that Ali Abdelaziz, CEO of Dominance MMA Management, will be working with the promotion to bring in top-level athletes from all over the world.
Dominance MMA Management is the number one sports agency for MMA athletes in the USA, and it's easy to see why.
They manage a plethora of talented mixed martial artists including former UFC Flyweight and Bantamweight World Champion Henry Cejudo and reigning UFC Lightweight World Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.
The partnership came about because of a mutual acquaintance shared by Abdelaziz and Sityodtong.
"Chatri and I have a common friend, Master Renzo Gracie," Abdelaziz said. "Master Renzo has been a great ambassador for ONE Championship.
"Chatri is one of the smartest minds I have come across in the sport. He is a true martial artist and gentleman, and I am really excited to work with ONE."
Mixed martial arts fans around the world should be just as excited. Chatter has already started about the potential match-ups that enthusiasts could see in the ONE Circle.
Take, for instance, a rubber match between ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Champion Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson and Cejudo.
"I think it will be awesome if these guys fight again," Abdelaziz said. "Never say never. Things might happen. You never know what the future can hold. Now I am involved – in the past, I made stuff that was not possible.
"I have great relationships with the UFC and ONE Championship. They are both great promotions. I'm sure we can figure something out one day. Maybe not now, but one day."
The martial arts world might not have to wait that long before a few of Abdelaziz's other athletes compete in ONE, however. In fact, a few fighters have already reached out to him about joining the promotion.
"About 7 or 8 years ago, I had a guy named Rustam Khabilov. He went on to beat Jorge Masvidal and had a huge UFC run. When he heard I'm working with ONE, he called me. He said he would like to retire in ONE Championship," the Dominance MMA Management CEO explained.
"Also, Khabib's younger brother, Osman Nurmagomedov, who is 9-0 and one of the best prospects in the world, called me. Even me and Khabib talked about having him – after his next fight – join ONE."
It's too early to say what will transpire, but Abdelaziz is happy to be working with the largest martial arts organization in the world and promises that he will deliver only the best.
"I'm excited about the relationship with ONE Championship. ONE is the most beautiful garage in the world, and I am the best mechanic in the world, and I got nothing on my truck but Ferraris and Lamborghinis. And this year and next year, I'll be flooding the streets of Asia and ONE with nothing but Ferraris and Lamborghinis," he said.
"Some of the best fighters will come and show why we are doing this amazing partnership and why they are fighting in ONE Championship. It's going to be nothing but first class, and it's going to be spectacular. Everyone is going to be happy. It will be great for the sport and the fighters. The fighters always come first in my heart and that is how I feel ONE treats their fighters."
In the meantime, ONE Championship returns to martial arts action with ONE: NO SURRENDER, an audience-free, closed-door spectacle this Friday, 31 July, in Bangkok, Thailand.
The actions starts live at 6:00 p.m. India Standard Time (IST) on Hotstar and Star Sports Select 2. Likewise, download the ONE Super App to catch the return of ONE's flagship event.Published 29 Jul 2020, 19:44 IST