ONE Championship holds ‘ONE: Century 世紀’ media day in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

Kazuhiro Sakamoto, Andy Hata, Chatri Sityodtong, Carlos Alimurung, Masakazu Sakai (©ONE Championship)
Kazuhiro Sakamoto, Andy Hata, Chatri Sityodtong, Carlos Alimurung, Masakazu Sakai (©ONE Championship)

ONE Championship held the official “ONE: CENTURY 世紀” media day at the Park Hyatt in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan on September 17, 2019. In attendance was ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, who was accompanied by ONE Esports CEO Carlos Alimurung and President of ONE Championship Japan Andy Hata.

Athletes in attendance include former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, Japanese legend Yushin “Thunder” Okami, former ONE World Title challenger Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi, and ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon, among others. Also featured were celebrity special guests Jurina MatsuiDante, and Junko Yaginuma.

Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, stated: “ONE Championship aims to bring the spirit of martial arts back to Japan with our historic 100th live event. I am extremely grateful to have the support of the best Japanese athletes in the world, and the Japanese people. Five years from now, I hope to have all of Japan join us in our mission to bring inspiration to the world through our heroes, our values, and our stories. As a company, our impact on society is enormous. We take this responsibility very seriously. For me, the most important thing is showcasing the very best of humanity. ONE Championship is inspiring the people of the world to chase their dreams and to be the best they can be, to dream more, do more, and be more in life.”

Carlos Alimurung, CEO of ONE Esports, stated: “ONE Esports is here to take global leadership in the industry. Japan is a country with so many amazing stories. ONE Championship is exactly what the esports industry needs. It needs a vehicle to tell the amazing stories of esports athletes. I feel that we have the opportunity and the responsibility to share these stories with the world. My message to young Japanese boys and girls who want to become esports athletes is, that it’s a lot of hard work. It takes a lot of discipline and diligence. You have to be a student of the game. So whether you want to be an incredible basketball player, or tennis player, or esports athlete, you have to put the work in. That’s what it’s going to take to get to the top.”

Andy Hata, President of ONE Championship Japan, stated: “The mission of ONE Championship is extremely important, and it hasn’t changed since the company first started many years ago. The goal has always been to ignite the world with hope, strength, dreams, and inspiration. Japan, of course, has played a huge role in the history and culture of martial arts. Now, we get the opportunity to spread positivity in everyday life through martial arts and through our ONE Championship heroes. ONE Championship is here to give back to Japan, to strengthen the Japanese martial arts community, and to bring forth a new era in the industry.”

Pancrase CEO Masakazu Sakai and Shooto CEO Kazuhiro Sakamoto also attended the official “ONE: CENTURY 世紀” media day. Meanwhile, here are more updates from ONE Championship:

UFC fighter Li Jingliang: MMA fighters have to very social

Li Jingliang, Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos
Li Jingliang, Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos

Fighting out of Beijing, China, “The Leech” Li Jingliang, 31, is one of the top Asian mixed martial artists currently signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Recently, he talked about the importance of being a people person to MMA fighters like him.

“MMA is different as a sport,” Li pointed out. “You have to be very social. You meet different people from all over the world.”

“You have to learn different skills from different people,” the Beijing native continued. “It’s also very fashionable and we look cool.”

Born in Tacheng, Xinjiang, China on March 20, 1988, Li has been competing professionally since 2007. He made his professional MMA debut in Art of War in 2007 and competed in Ultimate Martial Arts Combat in and in Legend Fighting Championship from 2010 to 2013 before joining the UFC in 2014.

On August 31, 2019, Li earned his ninth UFC win at “UFC Fight Night 157” at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre Arena in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. He knocked out Elizeu “Capoiera” Zaleski dos Santos, 32, of Curitiba, Parana, Brazil.

Li often looks at today’s MMA crowds and thinks back to when people were still coming to grips with what was still a relatively new sport in Asia back in the early 2000s. Legend FC and its stable of fighters sought to educate them.

“People didn’t really know that much about MMA and the rules,” Li recalled. “Mainly they thought it was just two people fighting each other. Crowds were often small but for us this was the start of everything.”

The Chinese MMA fighter has started to reach out as an MMA educator himself with a series of training videos available online. He was delighted to hear the news of the Legend FC relaunch in 2018.

On September 14, 2019, Li attended “Legend FC 13“ at the MGM Theater in Taipa, Ilhas, Macau, China. It is his dream to the next generation of fighters from his country emerge from the action.

“Now, that Legend FC is back the younger generation of Chinese fighters will have a chance to fight,” Li said. “It is a great step for their careers and maybe one day they can get to the UFC too.”

“Ten years ago people didn’t know about the sport,” the Chinese UFC fighter continued. “Now, they know it is safe. It’s tough. It’s physical but it is also about the strategy in your mind.”

Meanwhile, watch all the “Legend FC 13” bouts here:

Abdoul Abdouraguimov shares prediction for ‘Brave 27’ rematch with Jarrah Al-Selawe in Abu Dhabi, UAE

'Brave 27' poster

Reigning Brave Combat Federation Welterweight World Champion Abdoul “The Conqueror” Abdouraguimov, 23, of France is a man on a mission. The French-Russian Grappling phenom has promised to erase any doubts remaining with regards to him being a superior fighter to his first challenger  Jarrah “The Jordanian Lion” Al-Selawe, 26, of Jordan.

Abdouraguimov and Al-Selawe will have their rematch at “Brave 27” at the Mubadala Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on October 4, 2019. It will be the main event of the evening.

On April 19, 2019, Abdouraguimov challenged the reigning Brave CF Welterweight World Champion Jarrah “The Jordanian Lion” Al-Selawe, 26, of Jordan “Brave 23” at the Martyr Rashid Al-Ziyoud Hall Boxing Arena in Amman, Jordan. Their bout was an instant classic, with the French-Russian challenger dominating early on before being on the brink of a stoppage defeat in the later rounds.

After five five-minute rounds, the title bout was left in the hands of the judges. In the end, the judges felt Abdouraguimov had done enough in the first frames to become the Brave CF Welterweight World Champion.

The decision did not go down well with the Jordanian fans and with Al-Selawe, who has campaigned for another go at the new champ during the last few months.  Abdouraguimov has granted an immediate rematch to the former champion and guaranteed the fight will end quickly.

“My wishes for the rematch are basically to erase any doubt and silence everyone who thinks I don’t deserve this belt,” Abdouraguimov stated. “This fight will end quickly. Fans will see this fight as a killer. The last fight I took it too lightly.”

The French-Russian powerhouse is still undefeated as a professional and has enjoyed three victories in Brave CF. Known for his grappling credentials, he has won several titles at national and continental level in the jiu-jitsu circuit and is excited to showcase his moves in Abu Dhabi, a historic city for Brazilian jiu-jitsu and combat sports in general.

“I thought it would be easy and it was but not as much as I thought,” the undefeated French-Russian mixed martial artist said. “So for this one, everyone will see me hungrier than ever for victory.”

Watch the teaser trailer for “Brave 27” here:

Legend FC, OPRO partnership signed before ‘Legend FC 13’ in Macau

'Legend FC 13' fight card

Legend Fighting Championship is pleased to announce a one-year deal with OPRO. The provider of innovative and technically advanced mouthguards is now the official mouthguard of the Hong Kong-based mixed martial arts organization.

The deal will see OPRO supply all Legend FC fighters with elite level mouthguards that will be worn while training or competing inside the cage. The fighters will receive their mouthguards in time for the organisations highly anticipated return to Macau’s MGM Theater on September 14, 2019 for “Legend FC 13,” which fans can tune in to watch on FOX Sports Asia, Guandong TV sports, Shenzhen TV, Jinghai TV, Shanxi TV, Facebook Live, Tencent Sports, Sina Weibo, Zhibo.TV, GedouMi Live, Baidu Sports and NetEase Sports.

Legend FC fighters will not only be receiving bespoke, OPRO Custom-Fit mouthguards. OPRO will also work with Legend FC partner gyms to provide members with access to their award-winning product line at reduced prices.

The partnership comes at an exciting time with MMA being widely recognised as one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. OPRO sports marketing director Daniel Lovat said, “At OPRO HQ we’ve had ambitious international expansion plans for some time now.”

“We’re thrilled to be able to announce our partnership with Legend FC who have made huge strides in helping to grow MMA in Asia,” Lovat continued. “OPRO have a number of high-profile partnerships in place within the world of combat sports and it’s truly very exciting to be able to include Legend FC in that line up.”

Legend FC chairman Matthew Kwok said it was a privilege to work with OPRO as Legend FC extends the reach of MMA in China. He pointed out, “Legend Fighting Championship has exciting plans in place over the next 12 months and we are proud to take this journey with amazing partners like OPRO.”

For more information on OPRO, please head to https://www.opromouthguards.com/.

For more updates on Legend FC, please visit www.legendfc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook.