Sunday, December 16, 2018
ONE Championship Gets TV Deal with TNT, Signs Sexyama and Sage Northcutt, Muay Thai in the olympics
First things first, In big news that isn’t MMA related but is MMA related is that Muay Thai, the art of eight limbs has been granted provisional recognition as an Olympic sport. For me, this is both potentially good and bad.
In Asian MMA Muay Thai is a very common base discipline for a lot of fighters, especially here in Thailand, so it’s exciting to see another avenue for fighters to develop through. That being said, anyone who has ever seen a single muay Thai match, knows it’s beautifully violent in a way that the Olympics isn’t.
That bring up a lot of fear that the OIC might look to turn Muay Thai into something similar to TKD where fighters come out heavily padded and it becomes more of a points game instead of brutal leg kicks and flesh-slicing elbows.
I personally like my Muay Thai primal and devastating, not Olympic TV friendly.
Now since the last show ONE had two significant signings, or at least high profile. One being Sexyama and the other being Sage Northcutt.
Akiyama makes a lot of sense for ONE, he is half Japanese half Korean, two markets that ONE would like to dominate and he has a fairly good record at 14 and 6 but has not fought since November of 2015. So by the time he steps in the ONE cage, we could be looking at 4 years away from the sport. He’s still a marketable guy and I think he will do well with ONE from more than a just fighting perspective.
Sage Northcutt on the other hand. He has a good record at this point in his career at 11 and 2 with 8 fights in the UFC but He really doesn’t fit the whole “Asian superheroes” model that we here Chatri Sityodtong talking about. He is pretty much as white bread as they come, so I found that a bit odd.
DJ and Eddie Alverez, I can actually see, but with Sage, I have a harder time getting behind the idea of him adding value to ONE.
That being said, he has a look that will really stand out in Asia, and he has become well known in the states so that could be part of the big picture for ONE, we will have to wait and see how that goes.
And to that point, ONE has inked a 3 year deal with TNT broadcasting in the states that will see ONE championship break into the US airwaves.
Apparently, the deal will include 24 live events on Turner Sports digital platform B/R Live and TNT will air taped events as well as a possible reality show.
The first live event will be ONEs January 19th event from Jakarta, Eternal Glory, where the strawweight strap will be on the line as Joshua Pacio defends against Hayato Suzuki.
Over the weekend at ROAD FC 51 Ham Seo-Hee retained her woman's Atomweight strap against a game Park Jeong-Eun via UD.
This is ROADs last event for 2018, with all the changes afoot in the Asian MMA universe it will be interesting to see what they have in store for 2019.
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