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“We're focused on the United States at this point in time” - Rich Franklin talks ONE Championship US expansion

Rich Franklin. [Photos ONE Championship]
Rich Franklin. [Photos ONE Championship]
Vince Richards

ONE Championship’s multi-year deal with Amazon is already one of the biggest announcements the promotion has ever made, but ONE Vice President Rich Franklin said the partnership is just the beginning.

Franklin reiterated that ONE Championship is putting a heavy focus on establishing a footprint in the North American market. The mixed martial arts legend made the declaration during a joint press conference with Amazon at The Novo in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

He added that ONE Championship is entering a new era and that the promotion is looking to expand its influence further to include the millions of fans in the United States and Canada.

Rich Franklin said:

“These are all the things that had been done to continue seeing the organization grow but that was the past and this is now. This is a new era for ONE Championship and we're focused on the United States at this point in time.”

The first part of the deal will have Prime Video, Amazon’s global streaming platform, broadcast five ONE Championship cards this year starting with ONE on Prime Video 1: Moraes vs. Johnson II on August 26. The event will stream live on US primetime.

Prime Video will then broadcast four more cards from September until December, all of which will start at 9:00 pm EDT.

The partnership will see a minimum of 12 live events streamed on Prime Video annually.

Franklin added that with ONE Championship expected to increase its influence in US and Canada, it would be inevitable for the promotion to ultimately hold shows on American soil:

“We'll deliver five shows for the year 2022 on Amazon Prime. Then beginning in 2023, we will deliver at least one show per month on the cadence with a plan to again have boots on the ground next year here in the United States.”

Rich Franklin bares ONE Championship’s plans to recruit more American fighters

ONE Championship already has a collection of top-tier American talent on its roster, including legends Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez. The famed Lee siblings Angela, Christian, and Victoria are also synonymous with the promotion.

American-born fighters Thanh Le, the ONE featherweight world champion, and Janet Todd, the ONE atomweight kickboxing world champion, are also incredible representatives of the country.

Meanwhile, Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters Danielle Kelly, Mikey Musumeci, and twins Tye and Kade Ruotolo banner the promotion’s burgeoning submission grappling scene.

Rich Franklin knows that the Americans are well-represented in the organization, but he told Morning Kombat that ONE Championship is actively recruiting in the US:

“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.”

Edited by John Cunningham

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