Pride never dies
ONE Championship looks to continue an Asian mixed martial arts tradition in 2019 with the announcement of the Lightweight and Flyweight Grand Prix.
It’s an innovation started by legendary Japanese promotion Pride FC.
Each single-elimination grand prix will feature world-class athletes, who will compete throughout the year, with the quarterfinal, semifinal, and final bouts taking place at separate events, rather than on one night.
“ONE Championship is a different organization. ONE Championship is for martial artists, by martial artists. Every fight promotion in the world wants to put on a fight,” said ONE Chief Executive Officer Chatri Sityodtong.
“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.”
It’s an opportunity that the two former world champions won’t turn down.
“When I had the opportunity to become a ONE athlete, I couldn’t pass up that opportunity,” Johnson said.
“Now that they have announced a world grand prix for the flyweight division – it’s always been a dream of mine to compete in Asia in a grand prix.”
“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,” added Alvarez.
“I know my lifelong martial arts journey will be truly appreciated here.”
It is still unknown whether reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje Eustaquio and the winner of the Eduard Folayang-Amir Khan bout will join the tournament.
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