One Championship, led by ex-martial artist Chatri Sityodong, has emerged as one of the biggest sports organisations in the world, giving steady competition to other MMA institutions like the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Bellator MMA, and Professional Fighting League (PFL). However, recent statistics suggest that One Championship has surpassed the UFC in terms of viewership and the CEO of the organisation was more than thrilled to break the news for MMA fans. Although UFC still remains the largest and arguably the most favoured MMA organisation, One Championship and Chatri Sityodong have constantly threatened to take a bite out of UFC viewership in recent years.
One Championship CEO Chatri Sityodong took to Instagram and revealed the list of the world’s top 10 sports properties in terms of online viewership numbers. As per reports, the list has been announced by Tubular Labs, which Chatri Sityodong claims is the world’s leading independent data and analytics provider. Although UFC viewership numbers are just below One Championship viewership numbers in the list, it is being considered as a huge achievement for Asian MMA since UFC has been functioning for over 25 years now, while One Championship is just over eight years old.
WWE notched the top spot in the list with viewership numbers totalling 14.6 billion in 2019 while NBA and NFL are on the second and third spot with a total viewership of 10.3 billion and 6 billion respectively. However, MMA organisations have captured the fourth and fifth spots with One Championship viewership numbers reading 5.6 billion and UFC viewership numbers clocking in at 3.8 billion. This was labelled as a commendable achievement by One Championship CEO Chatri Sityodong himself as he went on to state in the caption, “We faced thousands of rejections after rejections, and failures after failures in the first 3 years. No one would give us a break. Today, ONE Championship is Asia’s largest global sports media property with a broadcast to over 150+ countries around the world. It has broken all records as the world's fastest-growing global sports media property in history. Full stop.”
Both One Championship and UFC have seen numerous fighters come and go, taking different routes in the respective promotions. UFC superstars Sage Northcut, Demetrious Johnson, and Eddie Alvarez paved their way into One Championship. Ben Askren, on the other hand, left One Championship to join hands with UFC and Dana White.