ONE boss discusses relationship with Dominance MMA

ONE Championship founder Chatri Sityodtong spoke recently with Alan Dawson for Insider, and discussed the relationship with Dominance MMA founder Ali Abdelaziz. The manager guides the careers of a number of top fighters, including UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and interim champ Justin Gaethje, who fight in the main event of UFC 254 on October 24. Other fighters on the Dominance roster include UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, PFL champs Kayla Harrison and Lance Palmer, and top contenders like Gilbert Burns, Cody Garbrandt, and Zabit Magomedsharipov.

Sityodtong explains that the relationship works both ways, expanding Dominance’s powerbase outside the USA, and opening up Abdelaziz’s roster to the ONE. Dawson asked Sityodtong if the next Nurmagomedov or Gaethje could head to Asia instead of Las Vegas because of the relationship.

“Yeah,” replied the ONE boss. “For me, there are three major world organizations in MMA. There’s ONE Championship, UFC, and Bellator, and all of us are genuinely looking for the best talent on the planet. I’m sure that we’ll win some and we’ll lose some, UFC will win some and lose some, and Bellator will win some and lose some.

“But it’s a big world and the fact there are three global players is a good thing. It gives fans a choice, it gives athletes a choice, and yet the market is big enough that three global promotions can succeed as each has its own flavor and approach.”

The partnership between the promoter and manager came about via a mutual relationship with the legendary Renzo Gracie.

“Ali and I have known each other for 10 years because we both happen to be students of Master Renzo Gracie,” said Sityodtong. “Ali’s a black belt under Renzo Gracie and I’m a purple belt under Renzo Gracie who has always been trying to get Ali and I together.

“Renzo Gracie is a phenomenal BJJ master and a legendary martial artist but he’s a very dear friend. We speak almost every week on WhatsApp, and so when Ali and I decided to work together, Renzo was super happy. Renzo, an extraordinary soul, orchestrated this.”

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