MACAU – ONE Championship seeks to cement its foothold in Asia even more by holding more fight nights in the next couple of years with the goal of having a weekly event.
In the middle of a year where it is holding its usual 24 events, the top continental MMA outfit is planning to add 12 more events by next year and an additional 16 more cards by 2020, a year before its first-decade anniversary.
“Next year, we look to expand to 36, and after that, 52 events, making us the only sports property in the world that’s holding a live event every Friday of the entire year,” ONE CEO Victor Cui said two days before ONE: Pinnacle of Power at Studio City event center on Saturday night.
In comparison, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has 34 fight cards this year, including 17 upcoming, for a total of 34 events in 2018.
Cui also rattled off the cities that ONE is looking at to hold events in 2019.
“Next year, some of the markets that we are going to be in – Japan, Korea, I’m again revisiting going down to Australia and the Middle East,” said the ONE boss, who’s now based in China to spearhead the organization’s expansion there.
“That also allows us to look at greater China, and Macau is a great place for us,” Cui said. “People just need one little extra excuse to come to Macau, and when you hold a fight night, people look forward to it.”
Cui also revealed the expansion also includes a possible foray into the stock market, opening with an initial public offering.
“Today, ONE Championship is valued at a billion US dollars, we’re one of the hottest unicorns in Asia,” Cui said. “We’ve got a phenomenal team that brought us there. I would say that from a Singapore government’s perspective as one of our investors, yes, an IPO’s always a possibility. It’s something that we would look into maybe next two or three years.”
“I’m looking at listing on the New York stock exchange would be our ultimate goal of where we want to be,” he added.
On Saturday, Macau visitors are set to be treated to world-class action with ONE’s latest offering: a fight card featuring the main event pitting flyweight champions Geje Eustaquio of the Philippines and Brazil’s Adriano Moraes.
Three more Filipinos are seeing action in the 11-fight card in Eustaquio’s Team Lakay stablemates in Edward Kelly and Danny Kingad, as well as Rodian Menchavez.