How do you explain attending the first-ever ONE Championship workout and media tour in one word?
ONE Championship is Asia’s largest social media property, which is home to the largest martial arts in the world. One Championship has 110 former world champions and over 500 athletes on the roster. Attending this workout were former UFC fighters Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez, and Sage Northcutt, who all defected for ONE in December.
Among the top of the food chain were the Vice Presidents of ONE Championship, Miesha Tate and Rich Franklin. Both have a storied history as champions in mixed martial arts, and both have relocated to Singapore to commit to ONE. Franklin is also the CEO of ONE Warriors Series, of which he travels between Asia, Australia and New Zealand to promote.
Franklin states the best way to describe a ONE Championship match would be “a rock concert meets a sporting event.” When Franklin joined ONE in 2014 they had 15 employees and now they have around 150. He mentioned that there are no plans for a live show in the United States.
ONE went from 700,000 views per event to 20,000,000 views per event in 2018, which speaks for itself in regard to the potential for a greater fan base. The promotion’s official Instagram page boasts a whopping 2 million followers! Tate, a former Strikeforce and UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion, stated her goal of helping the women in the sport.
“As far as female fighters there is no segregation here,” Tate said. “I want to echo that and help recruit females in the world.”
Demetrius “Mighty Mouse” Johnson was the first to showcase his open workout. In his time with UFC, he was doctored to be the greatest mixed martial artist of our time. One fan explained that he flew all the way around to world to see him at this event and that he loved Johnson.
Johnson stated that while he was feeling the love from the fans, there was one person who he felt the most love for.
“I feel love a little but I love my wife more,” Johnson said.
Everyone had their share of laughs as there was an open interview session. When asked about his stances and moves changing and becoming more dynamic, Johnson told us that he broke his hand as an amateur and his trainer talked him into developing and mixing more elements into his fights.
Next up we had Eddie “Underground King” Alvarez, who was my personal favorite. He ran straight over to the fans and even threw his Dri-fit shirt into the crowd. Before stepping into the ring, one of the reporters asked him to say a bold statement. He was more than glad to oblige.
“I’ve never lost a tournament fight and I don’t plan on starting this year,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez sounded over-confident but hearing of his talents, it’s not hard to notice his humility. He shared with us the fact when he envisions his fights they are easy, but in reality they are difficult and a mess. He kept the crowd included in his visit to Los Angeles and explained his love for living in his home state of Pennsylvania.
“Super” Sage Northcutt, the 22-year-old former UFC phenom, was next on the mat. He showcased backflips and strong potential. Northcutt planned on showcasing more of his athleticism later in his ONE debut on May 17 in Singapore, where he will face Cosmo Alexandre in a 185-pound welterweight bout. Both Alvarez and Johnson will make their debut in Tokyo on March 31st.