“The Beginning of Big Things to Come” – Chatri Sityodtong Shares Excitement Over Huge Turnout at ONE 166: Qatar

“The Beginning of Big Things to Come” – Chatri Sityodtong Shares Excitement Over Huge Turnout at ONE 166: Qatar

It has been close to a decade since ONE Championship held an event in the Middle East, and they returned with a huge bang this past weekend.

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ONE 166: Qatar saw Anatoly Malykhin make history as the first three-division MMA World Champion after he dominated Reinier de Ridder to claim the middleweight gold in their main event pairing inside the Lusail Sports Arena.

The success of the ONE 166 event in Qatar


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In August 2014, ONE Championship held its first live event in the region, with ONE: Reign Of Champions held in the Dubai World Trade Center. There, legends like Shinya Aoki, Ben Askren, Narantungalag Jadambaa, and Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke delighted fans with their exciting brand of fighting.

In its return this past weekend, the world’s largest martial arts organization also made sure to come back strong with high-stakes bouts. Apart from Malykhin’s history-making feat, the event also featured two more World Title bouts and a slew of talented fighters from the region testing themselves against ONE’s world-class roster.

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It also featured four different disciplines of martial arts (MMA, Muay Thai, boxing, and submission grappling) competing at the highest levels that only ONE Championship can bring.

No doubt, it was the biggest combat sports event in Qatari history and clearly not the last. In an interview following the event, ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong shared his admiration for the country and promised they were just getting started.

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Chatri Sityodtong talks about the future of the ONE Championship in Qatar

The ONE boss believes there is a lot of room for the growth of martial arts in the region, especially after seeing the massive attendance at ONE 166: Qatar.

“I love Qatar. It’s one of my favorite countries in the world and I’ve grown to love it over the last six, seven years. I’ve come here for many trips and I’m obviously very grateful that Qatar is an investor and owns a piece of ONE,” said Chatri Sityodtong. “We have an outstanding partnership across the entire ecosystem of business and government in Qatar, so I predict that this is the beginning of big things to come, and what a great turnout crowd for a first-time event in Qatar,” he continued.


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“In the Middle East, martial arts are not yet mainstream. It’s just the very beginning but the opportunities are massive here, so we’re excited to play a small part in the martial arts revolution in Qatar.”

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