Asian MMA promotion ONE Championship has held a press conference for its upcoming event “Heart of the Lion” scheduled for Friday (Nov. 9) at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The official “Kick-Off” took place at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Center in attendance of the headline-bout fighters, Chairman and CEO of the organization, as well as newly signed athletes Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson.
“ONE Championship is a different organization. ONE Championship is for martial artists, by martial artists,” said Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship.
“Every fight promotion in the world wants to put on a fight. In ONE Championship, we want to build and unleash real-life superheroes who ignite the world with hope, strength, dreams, inspiration, and courage. We want real martial artists to stand up. Martial arts is not about fighting and violence. It is about unleashing your greatness in life. This is the real beauty of martial arts. I want the entire world to look at our heroes and be inspired through their lives because they bare their souls to the world with every triumph and every failure.”
ONE Heart of the Lion is headlined by a bantamweight title fight between the reigning champion Bibiano Fernandes of Brazil up against the interim titleholder Kevin Belingon of the Philippines. The co-main event features a featherweight battle between Christian Lee of Singapore and Kazuki Tokudome of Japan.
Demetrious Johnson & Eddie Alvarez in ONE World GP
In addition, ONE Championship announced a World Grand Prix for the flyweight and lightweight divisions. Eddie Alvarez and and Demetrious Johnson are expected to participate battling it out in their respective weight-classes.
“I spent seven years in North America fighting the best in the world. I’ve never traveled to Asia to fight the best. I think now is the perfect time to do it,” said former UFC Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. “Now that they just announced a World Grand Prix for the flyweight division, it’s has always been a dream of mine to actually compete in Asia in a World Grand Prix. The biggest thing that you can expect from me for coming over here to compete in Asia is that I’ll do my best. I am taking no shortcuts.”
“It was in Asia where I made a name for myself and started my career. Everything has come full circle for me. I can’t say how excited and grateful I am to be part of the ONE Championship family,” said former UFC Lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez. “This is where true martial arts lives. I’ve been away from Asia so long. It’s good to be back. I feel like I found my way again with ONE Championship. I can respect my opponents, and I can go in and fight like a man. I know my lifelong martial arts journey will be truly appreciated here.”
The dates, locations and opponents for Alvarez and Johnson are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. We will have more information as soon as it becomes available.