ONE Championship enters exclusive partnership with Shooto and Pancrase
ONE Championship, just weeks before their massive Japan debut, has inked big-time partnerships with two of the country’s premiere mixed martial arts organizations. The partnership will see ONE work with both Shooto and Pancrase to further develop the thriving martial arts scene in Japan.
Chatri Sityodtong, the Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, said this:
“ONE Championship is excited to offer Shooto athletes and World Champions the opportunity to compete on the world’s largest stage for martial arcountts. We see big potential in Japan’s martial arts talent, and are committed to developing Japan’s ecosystem. Our partnership with Shooto is a great opportunity for both organizations to create a new era for martial arts in Japan.”
“Following our partnership with Shooto, ONE Championship is excited to offer the same opportunity to Pancrase athletes and World Champions to compete on the world’s largest stage for martial arts,” Sityodtong said.
“We are fully committed to developing Japan’s martial arts ecosystem from the amateur up to the professional level. Our partnership with Pancrase once again marks the world’s top martial arts organizations coming together to create a new era of martial arts in Japan.”
“As Professional Shooto celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, we are excited to announce our partnership with ONE Championship. This is the first time in 30 years that Shooto is partnering with an international martial arts organization. We believe our close collaboration with ONE will not only be beneficial to Shooto and its athletes, but also for the future of the martial arts industry in Japan.”
Under the terms of this partnership, all Shooto champs will receive the opportunity to compete in ONE Championship. In addition to this, the winner of the upcoming All-Japan Amateur Shooto Championship will receive the unique opportunity to train at Evolve MMA in Singapore for a year.
Shooto has already produced a number of ONE Championship’s current and former world champions. This includes current ONE Strawweight Champion, Yosuke Saruta, and former strawweight champ Yoshitaka Naito. Former ONE Lightweight Champion, and mixed martial arts legend, Shinya Aoki also got his start in the Shooto promotion.
“Pancrase is excited to announce our partnership with ONE Championship, which will help to raise the profile of our athletes, as well as provide them with greater development opportunities on a global stage.”
“We believe that this partnership is the start of a long-term relationship with ONE Championship, and we look forward to shaping the future of martial arts both in and outside Japan together.”
Much like the Shooto deal, all Pancrase champions will receive the opportunity to compete in ONE, while athletes from Pancrase’s developmental Neo-Blood Tournament will be given a chance to compete in ONE Warrior Series. In addition to that, the most promising young amateur talent from Pancrase will be selected to train at Evolve in Singapore for a one-year period.
Pancrase has a rich history in Asian martial arts, with the likes of Yuki Kondo, Bas Rutten, Josh Barnett, Frank Shamrock, and Ken Shamrock all competing under the promotion’s banner in the past.