ONE Championship crowd shot
ONE Championship held numerous fight cards at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. ONE Championship


  • Bellator and the UFC's combined reach did not hold a candle to ONE Championship's numbers
  • ONE Championship had an extremely strong 2022 as evidenced by its marquee events
  • The promotion will certainly be hoping for more success in 2023

ONE Championship has been hard at work to establish itself as the industry's most recognized sports entity, and the company already has its foot in the door after a strong 2022.

According to the latest report from Nielsen entitled "Year in Review: Sports Consumption Evolution" and the collective data released by Crowdtangle, ONE Championship headed the bracket of mixed martial arts (MMA) organizations in global cumulative TV reach.

The Singapore-based outfit stood head-and-shoulders above the rest with a reported reach of 406 million people in 2022 alone–well ahead of the UFC's 259 million and Bellator's 11 million.

One thing going in its direction as to the staggering number of people reached by ONE Championship is the sum total of countries that the organization broadcasted in with 179, which is closely followed by the UFC at 165.

Surprisingly, the Professional Fighters League (PFL) is broadcasting its events to 160 countries, good for third. Meanwhile, Bellator is fourth with 140.

However, one area where ONE Championship still lagged behind the UFC in 2022 was social media.

The premier North American MMA promotion has over 117 million total followers across major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube. On the other hand, ONE Championship is at about 54 million.

Bellator and PFL come in at nine and five million social media followers respectively.

ONE Championship shows exponential numbers in 2022
ONE Championship shows exponential numbers in 2022 Multiple Sources

ONE Championship had a memorable 2022 despite still reeling from the effects of the global pandemic.

The year saw Demetrious Johnson redeem himself after claiming the ONE flyweight title with a stunning and poetic knockout of then-champion Adriano Moraes at ONE Fight Night 1 on August 26.

ONE women's strawweight champion Xiong Jing Nan also had a big year herself in spite of only having two fights this year.

She started the year with a win over Japanese judo expert Ayaka Miura at ONE: Heavy Hitters in January before thwarting Angela Lee's second shot at her strawweight belt at ONE Fight Night 2 in September.

Emergent Muay Thai star Tawanchai PK.Saenchai was also a big reason for ONE Championship's global reach hitting the 400-plus million mark after dethroning the inaugural featherweight Muay Thai champion in Petchmorakot Petchyindee at ONE 161 in September.

ONE Championship also leaned heavily into its growing stable of grapplers as inaugural ONE flyweight submission grappling titleholder Mikey Musumeci and fearsome female Danielle Kelly had their own shining moments in 2022.

The year also saw two Team Lakay stalwart Stephen Loman become ONE Championship's breakout fighter of the year after putting on impressive victories over Shoko Sato and former ONE bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes.

Arguably the biggest reason for ONE Championship's colossal 2022 was its 20-fight card for ONE X in celebration of the promotion's 10 years of existence.

The show featured the first-ever hybrid MMA-Muay Thai matchup between Thai star Rodtang Jitmuangnon and Johnson, while Lee established herself as the unstoppable queen of the women's atomweight division in stunning fashion against Stamp Fairtex.

Iconic combat sports stars also came out to play at ONE X with the likes of former ONE lightweight king Eduard Folayang, Reinier de Ridder, Superbon Singha Mawynn, Yoshihiro Akiyama and Shinya Aoki all having bouts on the card.

2022 was extremely kind to ONE Championship, and the promotion will hope to continue its momentum into 2023.

Chatri Sityodtong's ONE Championship is set to lead the field in the number of events for 2023 with 64, while the UFC is a close second at 43, Bellator in third with 18, and PFL at 12.

Chatri Sityodtong, ONE Championship
Chatri Sityodtong (center) answers questions from the media following the announcement of ONE Lumpinee. Chatri Sityodtong/Facebook