KEY POINTS

  • Chatri Sityodtong bares that they plan to increase the number of fights per card
  • He is also confident in the fact that the global pandemic is coming to an end very soon
  • ONE X will be headlined by two title fights plus the hybrid MMA-Muay Thai match between Rodtang Jitmuangnon and Demetrious Johnson

Singapore-based ONE Championship recently held its first card of the year last Friday, January 14 dubbed ONE: Heavy Hitters but had multiple fights scratched due to COVID-19-related reasons, raising concern for its 10th-anniversary show on March 26.

In the post-fight presser, company head honcho Chatri Sityodtong was asked about their plans on how they tend to prevent the same scenario for ONE X.

“Originally, 12 fights [were] scheduled [for ONE: Heavy Hitters], four got knocked out because of COVID-related reasons. We’re actually going to be increasing the number of bouts per event by 30, 40% for every single show so that if there are dropouts, we can still end up at 12 [fights]. 12 for our regular shows, but for ONE X, we’re expecting 18 bouts,” Chatri told International Business Times sports editor and combat sports analyst Nissi Icasiano.

The decision to add more fights to future ONE Championship events makes sense since the highly-contagious omicron variant has affected fighters within the promotion and most of the world, but Chatri declared that he is not all that wary of the latest surge.

“I have friends in the medical space and they’ve told me there’s a lot of optimism in the air in terms of [how] viruses adapt eventually; highly contagious but low in mortality. That’s how you build herd immunity and it becomes, effectively, the flu,” Chatri stated.

ONE X was originally supposed to be held on December 5 but was forced to reschedule due to the spike of COVID-19 cases in Singapore in late October.

The organization then announced that March 26 will be the new date for ONE X and made some massive changes to the card.

Reigning ONE women’s atomweight queen Angela Lee will be defending her title against World Grand Prix winner Stamp Fairtex in the main event, while Yuya Wakamatsu will challenge Adriano Moraes for his flyweight championship.

The event also features the long-awaited special rules MMA-Muay Thai tilt between Rodtang Jitmuangnon and Demetrious Johnson as a pre-cursor to the headlining world title fights.

Increasing the number of fights is a smart way to get around fighters testing positive for COVID-19, and with ONE X being such an important fight card, having more matches is a certain way to guarantee the success of the event.

Should none of the fights be postponed due to any reason, then fans will be treated to a massive show that promises action throughout as ONE Championship looks forward to another 10 years of combat sports excellence.