ONE Championship’s first press conference in Japan on August 23, 2018

Shannon Wiratchai, Chatri Sityodtong, Shinya Aoki

Shannon Wiratchai, Chatri Sityodtong, Shinya Aoki

ONE Championship is set to hold its first press conference in Japan. It will take place at the Park Hyatt Tokyo in Nishishinjuku, Tokyo on August 23, 2018 at 1:30 p.m.

Japanese ONE Championship athletes are expected to attend the event. Among them are Shinya Aoki, Yoshitaka Naito, Koji Ando, Kotetsu Boku, Mei Yamaguchi, Hayato Suzuki, Riku Shibuya, Tetsuya Yamada, Yuki Kondo, Kazunori Yokota, Nobutatsu Suzuki and Masakazu Imanari.

The first ever ONE Championship event in Japan take place in Tokyo on March 30, 2019. ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong took to Facebook to make the announcement.

The Japanese MMA scene drastically lost its luster with the fall of PRIDE and DREAM. Japan is poised to reclaim its position among the top mixed martial arts countries in Asia and the world as ONE Championship plans to make its first venture into the Land of the Rising Sun in 2019.

“Japan has the right history of martial arts of Aikido, Kendo, Judo, Karate, so we want to showcase the best martial arts in Japan,” Sityodtong stated. “We want to do it in the bushido way, with honor, with respect, with humility not the way our Western counterparts do it. We want to show real Asian values, real Japanese values.”

Several traditional forms of martial arts could trace its origins in Japan, but many people tend to forget that the country likewise served as one of the starting points of mixed martial arts. Japan was once considered the apex of modern-day mixed martial arts, but it has largely fallen out of context over the past decade.

In the early 1990s, MMA was growing all over the world as several locations across the globe were beginning to lay the foundation. With Brazil and the United States indoctrinating the beauty of style versus style in the west, the sport’s old stomping ground in the eastern hemisphere was in Japan.

Japan has a strong history of mixed martial arts as the nation has given birth to heaps of legendary combat promotions such as Pancrase, Shooto, DREAM and PRIDE. From fearless strikers to elite submission grapplers, it likewise provided the sport with a long list of extraordinary MMA fighters with the likes of Caol Uno, Hayato Sakurai, Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, Takanori “Fireball Kid” Gomi and Kazushi Sakuraba.

According to Sityodtong, ONE Championship has the right Japanese partners in Japan to succeed and make it even bigger than PRIDE was. The promotion will work closely with Dentsu, the country’s largest advertising agency brand that will be responsible for assisting ONE Championship in its operations in the Japanese market.

Also among ONE Championship’s first steps towards making inroads in Japan was the establishment of a partnership with AbemaTV, a streaming service developed by media company CyberAgent and broadcaster TV Asahi. The joint venture will cover more than 20 events of ONE Championship in 2018 and offer “Surrogacy Battles,” a reality television series that aims to discover and develop Japanese talent.

For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at

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