Chatri Sityodtong has revealed some big plans for 2024. The headline news is that ONE 166 has been confirmed for Qatar and will take place on March 1st.
Chatri also revealed that ONE 165 will take place in Japan and that ONE Fight Night 19 was set for Singapore. It will be interesting to see how all these events fit into the schedule as there is already one card confirmed for 2024.
ONE Fight Night 18 is set for Bangkok on January 18th. That event will take place at Lumpinee Stadium which currently hosts the majority of the promotion’s cards.
In 2023 there were fight cards in both Singapore and Denver. Apart from that Bangkok was the only city to host ONE Championship but that all looks set to change next year.
ONE Fight Night 19 will almost certainly be in February and that event is going to take place in Singapore. That means the Tokyo event could well be set for the same month.
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Last year it was announced that ONE Championship had signed an MOU with Media City Qatar. The stated purpose was,
To develop a strategic long-term partnership, collaborating in the production and development of a wide range of global content in Qatar across multiple media sectors, including original programming, studio shows, and esports, that will strengthen Qatar’s growing media ecosystem.
It isn’t clear whether ONE 166 will be part of this deal but it will end the nine year wait for the region to host a card. The last time Chatri Sityodtong’s promotion was in the Middle East the likes of Ben Askren, Roger Huerta and Shinya Aoki were all in action.
The first two have long since retired while Aoki is still going strong at the age of 40. ONE: ‘Reign of Champions’ was held at the World Trade Centre in Abu Dhabi in the days when the promotion only put on MMA fights.
Undefeated Ben Askren finishes Nobutatsu Suzuki by TKO,
to become the ONE Welterweight Champion pic.twitter.com/Xigt5ZcbIn
— MMA History Today (@MMAHistoryToday) August 30, 2016
While the UAE has become synonymous with MMA after multiple UFC cards there have been virtually no high profile events in neighbouring Qatar. Saudi Arabia recently acquired a stake in the Professional Fighter’s League through its Sovereign Wealth Fund and has put on some of the biggest boxing matches of the year.
Tyson Fury and Francis Ngannou fought in Riyadh last month. There is more heavyweight boxing coming up in Saudi Arabia with both Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder fighting their in December.
Meanwhile Tyson Fury’s long awaited unification bout with Oleksandr Usyk is set to take place in Saudi Arabia in February. It appears that Qatar, which has already hosted the World Cup, wants to get in on the action and ONE 166 on March 1st could be just the start.