Chatri Sityodtong doesn’t think that Bellator is a serious competitor to ONE Championship in the hierarchy of top MMA promotions.
A loaded slate of MMA events last weekend saw the UFC, Bellator, and ONE Championship all in action. Even with a Fight Night card that ended up losing the main event, the UFC managed to maintain its typical strangehold on viewership numbers by virtue of no other top organizations holding an event at the same time.
Bellator and ONE (which held two events) ended up going head-to-head with cards that included some of the top names from each promotion.
Bellator 288 featured a pair of title fights that saw Usman Nurmagomedov claim the lightweight title from Patricky “Pitbull” Freire, and in the main event Vadim Nemkov defended his light heavyweight strap in a rematch with Corey Anderson.
ONE on Prime Video 4 included the Singapore-based promotion’s signature blend of MMA, grappling, and striking bouts, but the main event saw arguably the organization’s biggest name in Christian Lee claim a second title when he stopped Kiamrian Abbasov in the second round.
“Our Champions Would Steamroll Bellator Guys”
Speaking to South China Morning Post about running an event at the same time as Bellator, ONE President Chatri Sityodtong indicated that he doesn’t see any real competition between the two promotions.
“I mean, look at our viewership numbers, the social media metrics, look at organic video views, anything,” Sityodtong said (h/t MMA Mania). “Bellator is like five percent that of ONE. Even competition-wise, our champions would steamroll Bellator guys.”
ONE Championship’s Christian Lee claimed a second title at ONE on Prime Video 4. (ONE Championship)
If Sityodtong actually wanted to test that theory, there’s a good chance that Bellator President Scott Coker would at least be willing to consider co-promoting an event. Bellator already has a history of working closely with Japan’s RIZIN during the last few years, and the two promotions recently announced they’ll be collaborating for a card on New Year’s Eve.
ONE Championship and the UFC previously shared headlines for making a trade that sent Ben Askren to the UFC and Demetrious Johnson to ONE, and Sityodtong says that the UFC is still the only other promotion he has any interest in working with.
“The only co-promotion I’m interested in is UFC. Champion versus champion.”
What do you make of Sidyodtong’s comments about where Bellator stands in relation to ONE Championship?