Asian promotion ONE Championship announced its partnership with Japanese organization Pancrase which aims “to provide Pancrase athletes the opportunity to showcase their martial arts talents and further develop their skills on a global platform”. The announcement follows a similar agreement recently made with Shooto.
“Following our partnership with Shooto, ONE Championship is excited to offer the same opportunity to Pancrase athletes and World Champions to compete on the world’s largest stage for martial arts,” said Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship Chatri Sityodtong. “We are fully committed to developing Japan’s martial arts ecosystem from the amateur up to the professional level. Our partnership with Pancrase once again marks the world’s top martial arts organizations coming together to create a new era of martial arts in Japan.”
The terms of the partnership read that “all Professional Pancrase World Champions will receive the opportunity to compete in ONE Championship, the world’s largest martial arts organization. Athletes who compete in Pancrase’s Neo-Blood Tournament will also receive the opportunity to compete in ONE Championship’s ONE Warrior Series. In addition, select amateur Pancrase athletes will receive the opportunity to train at Evolve MMA in Singapore for a year.”
“Pancrase is excited to announce our partnership with ONE Championship, which will help to raise the profile of our athletes, as well as provide them with greater development opportunities on a global stage, said Pancrase President Masakazu Sakai. “We believe that this partnership is the start of a long-term relationship with ONE Championship, and we look forward to shaping the future of martial arts both in and outside Japan together.”
On March 31 ONE Championship makes its debut in Japan presenting a mixed show billed as “New Era”. The event takes place at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, featuring four title bouts, as well as such stars as Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez, Yodsanklai Fairtex, Andy Souwer, among others. The complete fight card can be found here.