From Japan to Qatar to the United States, ONE Championship is planning a global schedule of events for 2024. ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong said the organization is planning at least 60 events in the year (h/t South China Morning Post’s Nicolas Atkin). After 2023 put Muay Thai in the spotlight, including the all-Muay Thai event ONE Fight Night 17 on December 8, 2024, will see MMA back under the spotlight.
“ONE Friday Fights and the Muay Thai product are very much on a firm footing now. We’ve laid the groundwork and feel very comfortable it’s running on autopilot, and now we’re able to scale up. We’ve firmly established we have the No 1 striking property on the planet. The focus will be sharply back onto mixed martial arts,” Sityodtong explained.
In detailing plans for the new year, the ONE Chairman and CEO said ONE will travel to multiple markets in 2024. After only three events were held outside Bangkok, Thailand, ONE will return to the United States, Japan, and the Philippines while debuting in Qatar and Europe.
“We have a bunch of others in the works. We are going back to key markets. I’m very excited for the announcement. The next chapter of 2024 is going to be a record high number of events for us across all different martial arts, around the world in different locations. I think that will get fans and athletes super pumped. I’d rather not comment too early right now.”
One of the organization’s most anticipated events of the new year will be its debut in Qatar. Already announced, Sityodtong promised a star-studded lineup stacked to the brim. After a brief delay, the event is scheduled for March 1, with big matchups set to be announced soon.
“The good news for fans and athletes is that March 1 is 100 percent happening in Doha. Thank you to all of the stakeholders in Qatar for making it possible. I was just on a matchmaking team call and they’re discussing fights, it’s a slight change from the main events we were talking about for the original date, but it’s still going to be a crazy card, with some of the world’s best world championship martial artists on the card,” Sityodtong said.
One of the biggest acquisitions of 2023 for ONE was Takeru Segawa. The Japanese superstar has taken in some ONE events and even began practicing in four-ounce gloves. Sityodtong teased that his debut is imminent as the promotion.
“I don’t think Takeru is training so hard for no reason. When I look at his Instagram, I think ‘my goodness this guy is a monster’. I would love to announce it right now but I’m under the shackles because of the big announcement that will be coming in the next couple of weeks,” Sityodtong stated.
With MMA coming back into the spotlight along with the rise of Muay Thai and Takeru’s upcoming debut, 2024 looks like a massive year for ONE Championship. ONE Strawweight MMA World Champion Jarred Brooks is slated for an early 2024 rematch with Joshua Pacio, and two-division World Champion Christian Lee will return in February. The new year will be rocking out of the gate, and more surprises seem to be on the way in the coming weeks.