ONE Championship chairman and founder Chatri Sityodtong has said that if Conor McGregor was available as a free agent that ONE Championship would not try and sign him as he is too disrespectful.
Speaking to CNN, Sityodtong describes how he lived on 4 dollars a day, started up his own business to eventually running ONE Championship.
He said, “We don’t want somebody to swear at people, throw water bottles, disrespect people, call out people’s wives and children, and — in my opinion — other distasteful stuff that is not representative of true martial arts.
“We have heroes like Angela Lee, who is pound-for-pound one of the best female world champions on the planet. But yet she is humble, she is kind, she’s sweet.
“You have Eduard Folayang, who came from extreme poverty, conquered so many impossible odds. He’s so humble, gentle and kind. These are the heroes I want to support in ONE Championship.”
Sityodtong describes how while at Harvard he had to live on 4 dollars a day and had to eat at a Korean buffet restaurant as it was only 3 dollars. He created his own start up business before selling up and working on Wall Street.
Despite becoming a multi millionaire he felt something was missing which lead to him to come up with a return to martial arts and the creation of ONE Championship.
“When I was dirt, dirt poor, I thought that if I made millions and millions — that if I had money — there’d be no problems and I’d be happy,” says Sityodtong. “And the reality is that I was empty inside.”
He felt there was a gap in the market as no big sports leagues in Asia apart from the Indian Premier League cricket tournament.
“But nothing of significance,” Sityodtong explains. “So I thought to myself: what is more Asian than martial arts? And no one had ever tried to unite four billion people — the world’s largest population base — around one sports property.
“And I said ‘man, there’s got to be a way.'”
In 2011 ONE FC, now ONE Championship, was formed and has gone from strength to strength. With sponsorship deals with a host of big brands such as Disney, Facebook and Under Armour. They also have a lucrative TV deal with FOX Sports Asia.
ONE Championship feel they understand the Asian market.
“We understand the DNA of the Asian audience,” explains Sityodtong.
“We connect deeply; we connect deeply culturally, historically, traditionally by showcasing the beauty of true martial arts, as opposed to glorifying the fight.
“So I think UFC is a fight, UFC is a sport. ONE Championship is martial arts.”
Watch his interview here courtesy of CNN: