Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur Boris Johnson ‘humbled’ after majority win, says Parliament ‘must change’ PLAY LIST 01:56Boris Johnson ‘humbled’ after majority win, says Parliament ‘must change’01:42Stars face off at ONE: Dawn of Heroes02:18Alvarez ready to take risk vs Folayang, looks to end clash by ‘knockout or submission’01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite ONE Championship already claimed it was the largest sports media property in Asia before the latest round of investment, with video programming seen in 128 countries and live shows attracting large crowds throughout the Eastern hemisphere. The promotion received capital last year from Heliconia Capital Management, which is owned by Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.Sityodtong is a Harvard-educated entrepreneur and a lifelong martial artist who left a lucrative career as a hedge fund manager to start ONE Championship as a showcase for homegrown Asian martial artists. He is looking forward to utilizing Sequoia’s expertise on business expansion while he plots his still-young promotion’s next moves.“It’s been a whirlwind,” Sityodtong said. “Just six years ago, this was a PowerPoint presentation, and now we arguably have the most blue chip shareholder base for any sports property out here in Asia.”The UFC, the sport’s richest and most prominent promotion, is striving to increase its presence in Asia with shows in Singapore, Japan and China this year. UFC fights are watched avidly across Asia, and the promotion has a healthy number of fighters under contract with Asian ethnicity, but Sityodtong claims ONE Championship already has “a massive lead over the UFC” in the fight for Asian fans.“We’re very focused on Asia, with Asian content that really resonates,” Sityodtong said. “So it’s very different scale. It would be like ONE Championship coming to America with Asian heroes and trying to ignite American audiences without any Americans on a show. It’s hard to do so.”ADVERTISEMENT Sityodtong told The Associated Press on Wednesday that ONE Championship plans to stage up to 30 events in 2018 and will financially compete to sign the world’s best fighters, all while concentrating on its primary goal of being Asia’s dominant MMA brand. To that mission, Sityodtong intends to expand the Singapore-based promotion’s reach next year into Japan, South Korea and eventually India.“Already we’re the largest martial arts organization in the history of Asia,” Sityodtong said. “All the pieces suggest that we have a big, big runway of growth ahead of us and that we’re just scratching the surface of our potential.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’The growth is already visible: In the final five months of 2017 alone, ONE Championship has 11 scheduled shows spread among Macau, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Myanmar.After doing 18 events this year, Sityodtong projects 24 to 30 shows for 2018. The increase will include aggressive expansion into China, where ONE Championship is already staging events this year in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, just north of Hong Kong. End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets ONE Championship: Kings of Destiny at Mall of Asia Arena last April 21. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netONE Championship has secured a major equity investment from venture capital firm Sequoia India and investment firm Mission Holdings, positioning the ascendant mixed martial arts promotion to increase its presence throughout Asia.The investment means ONE Championship has raised over $100 million in total capital less than six years after its first show, according to Chatri Sityodtong, the promotion’s chairman and CEO.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTube Helicopter carrying WWE exec makes emergency ocean landing MOST READ Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans IT happens: Facebook sorry for Xi Jinping’s name mistranslation McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. ONE Championship’s talent pool is Asian-focused, but not exclusive. Its champions include Filipino-American heavyweight Brandon Vera, Wisconsin-born welterweight Ben Askren, Brazilian light heavyweight Roger Gracie — and Angela Lee , the Canada-born, Hawaii-raised atomweight who has become one of the promotion’s most popular fighters.While ONE Championship’s roster of fighters probably doesn’t measure up to the UFC’s group on pure overall talent, Sityodtong’s promotion is about much more than blood and belts. Although he has the money to bid for top free-agent fighters alongside the UFC and Bellator, Sityodtong is more interested in creating a product that suits ONE Championship’s conception of the Asian audience’s sensibilities.“The UFC has done a wonderful job in the Western hemisphere and deserve their success, but they focus primarily on the fighting, on the violence, on controversy, on disrespect,” Sityodtong said. “You know, Conor McGregor, in your face, F-this, F-that. We’ve chosen to focus on Asian values, and that kind of stuff just doesn’t fly. ONE Championship is a true celebration of martial arts, which is Asia’s greatest cultural treasure, and we want to honor the Asian values of humility, kindness, integrity, strength and discipline. So it’s a very different approach.”Sityodtong believes that cultivated, clean-cut image has the side benefit of attracting corporate sponsors and deep-pocketed partners — including Sequoia India, a branch of the famed U.S. venture capital firm that invested in Apple, Google, PayPal, YouTube, Instagram, Yahoo!, WhatsApp and countless other foundational technology companies.“ONE Championship has been a pioneer and major driving force of the martial arts industry in Asia, with surging popularity across major countries,” said Shailendra J Singh, the managing director of Sequoia Capital (India). “It has played an incredible role in nurturing local talent and developing local stars, led by a wonderful, mission-oriented team. We are delighted to join the team in their pursuit of developing the leading martial arts franchise for Asia’s 4.4 billion people.” LATEST STORIES View comments 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano
1 Ivan Perisic in action for Inter Milan Inter Milan sporting director Piero Ausilio is set for talks with Manchester United officials regarding Ivan Perisic.Jose Mourinho has been closely monitoring the 28-year-old winger ahead of the summer transfer window and even watched him in action for Croatia earlier this year.United are very interested in a deal for the midfielder and Inter are also believed to be keen to sell him to raise funds for their own transfer plans.According to Tuttosport, Inter sporting director Ausilio will arrive in London later today and sit down for talks with Manchester United to discuss the future of his client.The Premier League giants are reportedly prepared to offer a fee of around £34m for Perisic, as opposed to the £45m to £50m Inter are hoping to raise for his departure in the summer.Chelsea and Tottenham are also monitoring the situation and could jump into the fray to drive up the winger’s price, something that could work in Inter’s advantage.