ONE Championship will be launching a $1 million USD Muay Thai Grand Prix. The news was announced by Chatri Sityodtong at a press conference in Bangkok this evening.
The lineup for the tournament has not been decided but it will be openweight. However Chatri hinted that the fighters invited would come from the lower weight classes,
I’m announcing the greatest Grand Prix in the history of the sport of Muay Thai. $1 million USD, 16 of the best strikers in the world, fans all over the world please tell me who you want to see. Do you want to see Superbon? Do you want to see Rodtang? Who do you want to see?
While Rodtang and Superbon both compete at flyweight it is difficult to imagine that either would be capable of taking on a heavyweight. But Chatri made it clear he would not be afraid to match together fighters of different sizes
Because this is an openweight Grand Prix. you are going to see big guys against small guys. Tell me who you want to see. I promise you this will blow up the sport all over the world, people will be tuning in all over the world. The very best, irrespective of weight class will be competing.
ONE Championship is going to launch a 16 man openweight Muay Thai Grand Prix with $1 million USD prize money.
— James Goyder (@JamesGoyder) January 11, 2023
In total Chatri made three announcements at the press conference in Bangkok. The second of them concerned Anissa Meksen and Stamp Fairtex who are facing off in a mixed rules bout at ONE Fight Night 6 on Saturday morning.
Chatri told the media that Meksen was not at the press conference because she was sick, although her participation in this weekend’s fight does not appear to be in doubt. Regardless of the outcome he has promised both fighters a shot at the interim atomweight kickboxing belt.
The atomweight Muay Thai title is currently the property of Allycia Rodrigues but she is already booked to face interim champion Janet Todd. That bout was set for ONE on Prime Video 5 but had to be postponed when the American tested positive for Covid-19.
Chatri hailed Meksen as ‘the greatest female striker on the planet, and announced that her and Stamp would face off for the interim atomweight kickboxing belt as soon as they were ready. He wants the fight to take place in February, but will delay it to March if both fighters haven’t recovered in time.
Stamp Fairtex meets Anissa Meksen on January 13 in a mixed rules super-fight at ONE Fight Night 6 🥊#ONEFightNight6 | Fri Jan 13 at 8PM ET
🇺🇸🇨🇦 FREE with an Amazon @primevideo subscription
🌍 Live on https://t.co/eBUfsOlZOd
🎟 Tickets 👉 https://t.co/bGlsLc4RlO pic.twitter.com/FE83X37nrQ
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) January 6, 2023
Chatri also announced that he would be donating 10 million baht ($300,000 USD) to selected Muay Thai gyms,
I am making a 10 million baht donation. I am doing a tour to the smallest gyms all over Thailand, we are doing this on the week of January 28th.
The sport of Muay Thai was hit hard by Covid-19 with numerous camps closing their doors. Chatri wants to help the industry get back on its feet and says the purpose of the donations will be,
To revive all the smaller gyms, smaller camps. This is just the start I’ll be making some big announcements about what ONE is going to do in terms of investment in the sport of Muay Thai, not just around the world but in Thailand as well.
ONE Fight Night 6 is set for Saturday at the Impact Arena in Bangkok. It will be headlined by a featherweight kickboxing world title fight with Superbon Banchamek defending his title against Chingiz Allazov.