ONE hands out $50,000 performance bonuses to fighters
MANILA, Philippines—ONE Championship rolled out its first batch of performance bonuses at the end of the ONE: Heavy Hitters card Friday at Singapore Indoor Stadium.
CEO Chatri Sityodtong awarded the $50,000 bonuses to Ekaterina Vandaryeva, Senzo Ikeda, and Saygid Izagakhmaev after the event.
Of the three, only Vandaryeva was on the losing end after she suffered a close split decision loss to Supergirl in the women’s strawweight division.
“We look at it from two criteria: one is performance, meaning displaying martial arts technique at the highest levels in the world; and second is gameness, having that finishing, that killer instinct every second of the fight, looking for the finish and not trying to coast, not trying to play safe, to go back to the true essence of what martial arts is about,” explained Sityodtong regarding Vandaryeva’s bonus.
“Martial arts is about finishing, a self-defense situation, it’s about protecting and defending yourself, whether it’s on the street, in the gym, in competition, and I want to make sure that our athletes have that spirit.”
Izagakhmaev, the protege of former UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, had a strong debut in the promotion as he submitted former ONE title contender James Nakashima via Brabo choke 2:17 into the second round.
Ikeda, unlike Izagakhmaev, earned his bonus with his striking as he knocked out Elipitua Siregar with a booming left hook to the liver 2:00 into the third round of their strawweight contest.
Two Filipino fighters were originally on board for the ONE: Heavy Hitters card but Jeremy Miado and Robin Catalan were pulled out due to COVID-19 protocols.
Sityodtong added that performance bonuses will now be constantly awarded after every event with a minimum of one recipient and a maximum of five across the different disciplines.
“So whether it’s MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, submission grappling, etc., all the different martial arts we feature, this is really an added incentive,” said Sityodtong. “I want to make sure that we are able to give the very best of our roster and at the same time, of course, I want to make sure we reward our fans.”
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