ONE Championship’s American influence is just beginning, according to Rich Franklin.
The ONE Championship vice president said that the promotion is actively recruiting more American fighters to bolster its rich pool of talent.
The promotion recently signed a multi-year deal with Amazon Prime Video to broadcast 12 live events per year in the United States and Canada.
In a recent interview with Morning Kombat, Rich Franklin said:
“We’re here in the US, we’re currently recruiting in the US, and we’ll continue to be recruiting in the US so that we are capturing the US eyeballs and interest.”
Having American-born fighters in ONE Championship is nothing new. In 2019, ONE landed two of the best American fighters in history. MMA legends Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez arrived in the promotion around the same time in monumental moves that changed the sport’s landscape.
Since then, fighters such as Sage Northcutt, Victoria Lee, Jarred Brooks, Mikey Musumeci, and Danielle Kelly have made their debuts in the organization.
Watch Rich Franklin's entire interview below:
Rich Franklin says having US fighters go both ways
Rich Franklin believes that American fighters signing with ONE Championship is a two-way street. US audiences are obviously following the likes of Johnson, Alvarez and Northcutt, but they’re also witnessing fighters that they’re slowly starting to love.
Alvarez, who was once the UFC lightweight world champion, fought in an electrifying match against Ok Rae Yoon back in April 2021. That fight instantly propelled Ok, who’s now the ONE lightweight world champion, into the American viewing public.
ONE flyweight world champion Adriano Moraes was already a household name but his knockout win over Johnson pushed him to a new level of notoriety. The Brazilian star did the impossible when he knocked out ‘Mighty Mouse’ in the second round of their fight at ONE on TNT I in April 2021.
Franklin says it's a big deal that they've managed to attract such star names to the promotion:
“It's a big deal. And to say that when when we brought guys like 'DJ' and Eddie into the organization, and all the US athletes that we signed, that was kind of an eye-turner for a lot of fans like, ‘Wait a minute, who is this organization?’”
Rich 'Ace' Franklin added:
“And so when you look at the athletes that we have, I think it's done a couple things. Number one, it's made some stars out of the athletes that we have on that side of the planet, but at the same time people know that the athletes that we have in ONE Championship are on their level.”