South Korea card "a very big possibility" says ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong

ONE Championship Chatri Sityodtong (left); Yoshihiro Akiyama (right) [Photos ONE Championship]
ONE Championship Chatri Sityodtong (left); Yoshihiro Akiyama (right) [Photos ONE Championship]

ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong plans to extend his company’s reach in the East Asian market with a potential fight card in South Korea.

During the post-event media availability session at ONE X, Sityodtong said that ONE Championship could host its first fight card in Seoul in the near future. He added that the promotion will return to key cities once COVID-19 restrictions ease up.

Sityodtong said:

“I think that's a very big possibility. Yeah, I love Korea that we have a Korean champion in Ok Rae Yoon. Yeah, so I think that's a very big possibility. Some of the cities we’d like to go back this year are Bangkok, Manila, Tokyo, you know to name a few, Seoul, so those are a few we have our eyes on.”

South Korea is already well-represented in the promotion with ONE lightweight world champion Ok Rae Yoon, Kim Jae Woong, Ham Seo Hee, Kwon Won Il, Nam Hee Kim, Kang Ji Won, Yoon Chang Min, and Dae Hwan Kim, among others.

Yoshihiro Akiyama, a fourth-generation Japanese of Korean descent, also vouched for Korea as ONE Championship’s next host. He posted on Instagram with a picture of him and Sityodtong:

“ONE Championship in Korea”

ONE Championship has predominantly held its fights at the Singapore Indoor Stadium since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020. Before the pandemic, however, ONE Championship staged fight cards in Japan, China, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Macau, the Philippines, and the United Arab Emirates, among others.

Chatri Sityodtong hyped with live crowd

ONE X, being ONE Championship’s 10-year anniversary show, was surely a tough operation to handle and one of the main things that Chatri Sityodtong had to worry about was how the crowd would respond.

The card started at 1 pm SGT and went well into the night, but Sityodtong was hyped that the crowd inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium not only sustained the energy but even got into it as the night went on.

Despite having limited capacity at the statium, the crowd did its job in hyping up the event. Sityodtong said:

“Even with COVID limited capacity, the stadium was still amazing, right? But you saw the energy. I mean, you know, the energy was electrifying. You know, Like 6pm onwards, that's when the energy just skyrocketed.”

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Edited by Allan Mathew
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