ONE Championship has reached an agreement to be an exclusive partner of Japanese martial arts organization Pancrase.
Following a similar partnership announced in January with Shooto, ONE Championship has agreed to provide Pancrase athletes the opportunity to showcase their martial arts talents and further develop their skills on a global platform.
Chatri Sityodtong, chairman and CEO of ONE, 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.”
Under the terms of the partnership, all Pancrase world champions will get the opportunity to compete in ONE cards. Athletes who compete in Pancrase's Neo-Blood Tournament will also receive the opportunity to compete in the ONE Warrior Series.
In addition, select amateur Pancrase athletes will receive the opportunity to train at Evolve MMA in Singapore for a year.
Pancrase has already produced a number of ONE Championship's top Japanese athletes. This includes Yuya Wakamatsu, a Pancrase flyweight champion who will be facing off against 12-time flyweight world champion Demetrious Johnson in the ONE: A NEW ERA card on March 31 at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.
Other Pancrase World Champions that are currently competing in ONE Championship include Daichi Abe, a former Pancrase welterweight world champion, and Kazuki Tokudome, a former Pancrase lightweight world champion.