ONE CEO Sityodtong wants crossover dream match between Xiong and Zhang
MANILA, Philippines—In the most basic of aspects, ONE Championship and the UFC are two competing mixed martial arts promotions but there was one time when the two actually pulled off an unprecedented transaction.
Back in 2018, the two promotions “swapped” fighters with former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson ex-ONE welterweight titleholder exchanging places.
It’s been more than a year since and the two promotions have yet to construct another deal but that doesn’t mean fictional dream matches are off the table.
ONE founder and CEO Chatri Sityodtonf said in a fan interaction that he wants a dream match between strawweight champions Xiong Jingnan and Zhang Weili.
“For women’s mixed martial arts, I would love to see Jingnan Xiong vs Weili Zhang. I think Jingnan is the one to beat Weili Zhang,” said Sityodtong.
Both Zhang and Xiong have figured in iconic matches in the past.
Most recently, Zhang defended her UFC title against Jianna Jedrzejczyk in an absolute barnburner while Xion exchanged wins against ONE atomweight champion Angela Lee in a couple of high-octane matches.
Zhang boasts the more impressive record of 21-1 with her lone loss coming in her debut while Xiong is at 14-2 and carried a nine-fight winning streak before losing to Lee via submission in her last bout.
Incidentally, Sityodtong also mentioned Lee as someone who can tangle in the proverbial dream matches.
“I think Angela Lee VS any Atomweight in the world. Angela Lee is incredible. I’ve seen her in training. I’ve seen her go into a bout with pneumonia with doctor’s advice not to compete and I’ve tried my best to stop the fight,” said Sityodtong.
“Angela Lee’s an absolute warrior and she’s just a genius on the ground.”
Sityodtong also mentioned Stamp Fairtex as another woman who can fight Zhang.
Fairtex, 22, once held the World atomweight titles in both muay thai and kickboxing but lost the latter to Janet Todd.
Nevertheless, Fairtex is 4-0 in MMA while holding the two belts before her loss to Todd in kickboxing.
“I think Stamp Fairtex could beat Weili Zhang as well. Stamp Fairtex against any female striker in the world or any female MMA fighter in the world. Even though she’s only 4-0 in MMA she’s a complete beast,” said Sityodtong.
“I would definitely like to see the best of the East vs the best of the West. UFC vs ONE Championship I think would be phenomenal, I think the whole entire world would watch it. And I’d love to see world champions vs world champions so definitely, for sure, I’m open to it.”
The UFC, though, is no stranger to crossover bouts when in 2003 Chuck Liddell fought two bouts in Pride against Alistair Overeem and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.