UFC vs. ONE Championship
Chatri Sityodtong (R) of ONE Championship has challenged the UFC's Dana White into a cross-promotional event. Multiple Sources


  • Bellator and Rizin worked together to hold an event on New Year's Eve
  • A UFC-ONE Championship crossover could be bigger than Bellator vs. Rizin
  • It could open the doors for even more co-promoted cards in the future

On New Year's Eve, mixed martial arts (MMA) promotions Bellator and Rizin Fighting Federation staged a crossover event that saw their top stars go head-to-head.

It was quite an enjoyable night of fights, especially for the United States-based Bellator brand, which swept the card, 5-0.

With a plethora of MMA outfits going strong in the world today, the organization-versus-organization format will always be pitched, and the reality is that not all of these are willing to co-promote an event for whatever reason.

While Bellator and Rizin are two solid companies, no MMA fan won't dare to admit that they'd rather see the industry giants collide—namely the UFC and ONE Championship.

For almost three decades, the UFC has cemented its place as the global leader when it comes to MMA, producing the biggest fights between the sport's biggest names, year in and year out.

ONE Championship, meanwhile, has done a magnificent job of taking over the other half of the glove by bringing in some of the biggest stars across a wide selection of martial arts, not just MMA, and putting on entertaining shows of its own.

For years, ONE Championship's head honcho Chatri Sityodtong has called for a crossover event, pitting the two organizations' champions against each other.

It's hard to argue with Chatri that it would be the biggest event in MMA history.

For sure, it would be a bigger event than Bellator MMA vs. Rizin last December 31st and that's not a knock on these two promotions.

The International Business Times takes a look at potential factors why UFC vs. ONE Championship could exceed expectations.

Demetrious Johnson
Demetrious Johnson celebrates after knocking out Adriano Moraes in the fourth round. ONE Championship

Level of Talent

It's pretty easy to say that the marquee competitors in MMA are strutting their wares in the UFC, and those who aren't are likely plying their trade for ONE Championship.

This alone offers matchmakers a smorgasbord of potential fights to make.

Ranging from Francis Ngannou vs. Anatoly Malykhin to Islam Makhachev vs. Christian Lee and Reinier de Ridder vs. Alex Pereira, who wouldn't love to see those matchups?

Apart from the champion-versus-champion feud, there are also still a ton of bouts to make such as Paddy Pimblett vs. Thanh Le or Brandon Moreno vs. Adriano Moraes.

On a serious note, the UFC and ONE Championship have a wide array of options on the table.

Francis Ngannou lands a punch on Stipe Miocic
Francis Ngannou lands a punch on Stipe Miocic @UFC on Twitter

Bragging Rights

A crossover spectacle could finally answer the question of which promotion has the better fighters, and the champion-versus-champion duels would definitely be the best way to find out.

By packing the main card with champion-versus-champion bouts and then filling up the preliminaries with top contenders taking on fellow top contenders, it will dominate headlines for the foreseeable future.

If one promotion does come out as a clear winner, then they get to have bragging rights.

If the fights go even, then all the more reason to stage another similar event.

anatoly malykhin
Anatoly Malykhin wins the ONE light heavyweight world championship after knocking out Reinier de Ridder at ONE on Prime Video 5 ONE Championship

Production Value

It's hard to argue that ONE Championship has the best production value in the game today, and if the UFC and the Singapore-based promotion do lock horns, the superstars from the Las Vegas-headquartered organization would love to have their own flashy and entertaining entrances.

ONE Championship
ONE Championship is known for its world-class production value. ONE Championship

Former UFC middleweight titlist Israel Adesanya would definitely benefit from this as it would allow him to go all-out on his walk to the cage, and that would be a fun watch.

Future Opportunities

Looking at things from the standpoint of an MMA fan who consumes all brands of MMA, a UFC vs. ONE extravaganza would definitely spark hope that there would be more events of the same nature in the future, involving even more promotions.

If these two rival companies can work together to further grow the sport of MMA, then what would stop other promotions from joining the fray?

Fans and experts alike could be looking at ONE Championship going up against PFL, the UFC facing off with Bellator, and so on.

If this can become a reality, it's the MMA stakeholders who come out as the true winners.

Indeed, it's a lot of fun to fantasize about massive events such as a UFC vs. ONE Championship crossover, but until they actually pull the trigger, all fans can do for now is daydream of what could be the most groundbreaking fight card in MMA history.

UFC Arena
General view of the octagon prior to UFC 261 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 24, 2021 in Jacksonville, Florida. Alex Menendez/Getty Images