KEY POINTS

  • ONE Championship agreed with Media City Qatar for a long-term partnership
  • The promotion had its first and only live event in the Middle East back in August 2014
  • The partnership could see ONE Championship have another event in the region sometime soon

ONE Championship has always prided itself in being Asia's premier combat sports organization, and the promotion is looking to expand its horizons in a new deal with Media City Qatar.

In a press release sent to the International Business Times, ONE Championship and Media City Qatar signed a Memorandum of Understanding to “develop a strategic long-term partnership, collaborating in the production and development of a wide range of global content in Qatar across multiple media sectors, including original programming, studio shows, and esports, that will strengthen Qatar’s growing media ecosystem.”

It also noted that Qatar will also be heavily featured in the filming of the second season of the Netflix series, "The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition."

The agreement also takes into account that both sides are talking about the possibility of them to co-produce live sports programming.

At face value, this opens up the door for ONE Championship’s best fighters and prospects to possibly fight in a live event within the country sometime soon.

The Singapore-based outfit held its first and only card in the Middle East on August 29, 2014 with ONE: Reign of Champions at the World Trade Centre in Dubai.

The card was headlined by three title fights: Shinya Aoki’s successful lightweight title defense against former UFC veteran Kamal Shalorus, Ben Askren's enshrinement as the welterweight king versus Nobutatsu Suzuki, and Narantungalag Jadambaa's conquest of Koji Oishi to capture the featherweight title.

Mixed martial arts’ love affair with the Middle East has become apparent in recent months, with the 2021 IMMAF World Championships being held at the Jiu-Jitsu Arena in Abu Dhabi in the last week of January 2022.

The Middle East has also seen the rise of its own homegrown promotions like BRAVE Combat Federation and UAE Warriors leading the charge.

Of the two organizations, BRAVE CF has been the most active in growing the sport of MMA and even hosted the grand, all-amateur team tournament dubbed as "MMA Super Cup" that took place this past March in Bahrain.

Taking all the aforementioned things into consideration, it would not be surprising to see ONE Championship hold its second card within the region as part of the agreement which would further expand its market.

The talent level that ONE Championship has on its roster is far too deep to ignore, and having a live show in the Middle East could give the company a time in the spotlight.

Shinya Aoki Shinya Aoki is one of the greatest champions that ONE Championship has ever had in its 10-year history. Photo: ONE Championship