Chatri Sityodtong, the chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, delivered an important piece of news that will test the patience of the promotion’s loyal Filipino fanbase.
During an Instagram live session on the evening of Wednesday, July 12, the 52-year-old head honcho confirmed that ONE Championship would not be holding an event in the Philippines this year.
However, he provided a glimmer of hope by hinting at the exciting possibility of organizing a fight card in the country during the first quarter of 2024.
The Philippines has been one of the aforementioned combat sports outfit’s key destinations, staging a total of 22 sold-out shows since 2012.
Moreover, the Philippines has proudly occupied the fourth spot on the list of nations hosting the most ONE Championship events since the organization’s inception in 2011, trailing behind China, Thailand, and Singapore.
The last time ONE Championship visited the 20,000-capacity SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, was on December 3, 2022, when the organization featured a doubleheader—ONE Fight Night 5 in the morning and ONE 164 in the evening.
ONE Fight Night 5 witnessed the contrasting results of Eduard Folayang and Denice Zamboanga’s respective matches in the prelims.
Folayang fell victim to a controversial second-round stoppage versus Edson Marques, while Zamboanga walked out victorious at the expense of Lin Heqin by way of a split decision.
On the other hand, ONE 164 highlighted the grudge match between Joshua Pacio and Jarred Brooks in the main event, with the latter beating the beloved Filipino phenom by a close unanimous decision to wrest the ONE strawweight title.
On the same card, former ONE heavyweight champion Brandon Vera called it a career after bowing to Amir Aliakbari by a first-round technical knockout.
Meanwhile, ex-ONE flyweight kingpin Geje Eustaquio was on the receiving end of an excruciating defeat at the hands of Hu Yong via a first-round knockout.
Jenelyn Olsim also suffered the same fate as Eustaquio when she squared off with Meng Bo in a 131-pound catchweight contest.
Furthermore, former URCC bantamweight titleholder Drex Zamboanga spoiled the main-roster debut of ONE Warrior Series Philippines winner Adonis Sevilleno by a unanimous decision.
Two homegrown talents managed to turn ONE 164 into a memorable occasion as Jeremy Pacatiw and Jhanlo Sangiao effortlessly vanquished Tial Thang and Anacleto “L.A.” Lauron, respectively, to earn separate $50,000 performance bonuses.
Sangiao is scheduled to return to action at ONE Fight Night 13 on August 5, going up against Mongolia’s Enkh-Orgil Baatarkhuu in a three-round bantamweight encounter.
Sangiao’s stablemate from Team Lakay, Carlos Alvarez, is slated to make his second appearance under the ONE Championship banner at ONE Friday Fights 25 on July 14 opposite Iran’s Reza Saedi in a featherweight clash.