Chatri Sityodtong On Christian Lee And Jonathan Haggerty’s First Title Defences
In the month of May, ONE Championship put on three back-to-back incredible cards. With two weeks until the next event, ONE: Legendary Quest, we can now take a breather and look back at, in my opinion, the most entertaining month in ONE Championship’s history.
Speaking to ONE Championship, ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong, has also looked back on the last three spectacular events in Jakarta, Bangkok and Singapore.
You can’t look back at the last month without talking about Christian Lee vs Shinya Aoki. And this for Sityodtong was the biggest upset on a night of upsets, at ONE: Enter The Dragon. Although surprised at the result, the ONE boss was full of praise for the new ONE Lightweight Champion, for “not only Christian’s warrior spirit and World Championship mentality, but also his technical ability.”
When asked if Lee would wait for the winner of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix or defend his title before then, Sityodtong said it was up to the twenty year old.
“I think it’s going to be up to Christian. If he wants to stay active as a World Champion, I’m sure we can find a World Title fight for him before the Grand Prix ends. That being said, we anticipate the Grand Prix ending in October in Tokyo, at our 100th show, so it’s not too long of a wait for him.”
With the success of the on-going ONE Grands Prix, Sityodtong confirmed that there will more Grands Prix every year and that he’s open minded as to which form of martial art and weight class.
“The fanbase was really excited about doing a $1 million Muay Thai World Grand Prix. I’m open to the idea – and mixed martial arts as well. The most important criteria for me is, can I get the very best eight individual athletes of that weight division, of that sport?
“That’s the most important thing for a million-dollar Grand Prix, so that’s what I’m looking for next – can we get a stacked Grand Prix in the same way we’ve had with the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix to do another million dollars?
“ONE Championship, every year, will have a few World Grands Prix across the different sports as a part of our events schedule.”
Sityodtong also confirmed that we can look forward to seeing Jonathan Haggerty defend his Flyweight Muay Thai title against Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
“Jonathan Haggerty, our Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion, wants that fight with Rodtang, and Rodtang wants that fight with Jonathan Haggerty.
“Both men are the greatest Muay Thai fighters on the planet in that weight category. It’s happening this summer, and it’s going to be electrifying.”