ONE: ‘A New Era’ is set for Tokyo on March 31st and the promotion has been making big moves in Japan. The latest is a groundbreaking partnership with Shooto which was announced on Facebook earlier today by Founder / CEO Chatri Sityodtong:

Yusuke Saruta recently became the latest former Shooto champion to capture a title with ONE Championship, winning the strawweight belt in Jakarta at ONE: ‘Eternal Glory’ last Saturday.

Shooto was founded in 1985 and the inaugural event took place the following year. The first show to be considered professional was held in 1989 making it by far the longest running MMA promotion on the planet.

Former Shooto champions already on the ONE Championship roster include¬†Yoshitaka Naito and Shinya Aoki. This exclusive partnership will see more fighters make the journey from Asia’s oldest MMA promotion to the continent’s biggest stage.

The deal will also see Shooto’s amateur champions offered scolarships to train at Evolve MMA in Singapore. Aoki currently conducts most of his training camps there as does Japanese Karate champion Hiroki Akimoto.

The former will be in action against Josh Tonna at ONE: ‘Hero’s Ascent’ tonight. The latter challenges Eduard Folayang for the lightweight title at ONE: ‘A New Era’, an event which will also feature the promotional debuts of Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez.