Friday, April 3, 2020

Chatri Sityodtong wants ONE x UFC Super Fight Between Jingnan Xiong and Weili Zhang

Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, Chatri Sityodtong hosted a Facebook Live Q&A on Thursday as fans were invited to send in questions on a variety of topics ranging from potential signings to The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition.

During the candid session which lasted almost 40 minutes, Sityodtong was asked to reveal his ‘dream match-up for women’s mixed martial arts.’ His reply described what would certainly be the biggest fight in the history of Asian MMA and a landmark moment for the sport’s growth in China.

‘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.’

Both competitors have taken part in some of the most iconic fights in the history of women’s MMA in recent times. Weili Zhang defended her UFC Women’s Strawweight belt in an exceptional display of grit and high-level striking against Joanna Jedrzejczyk in March. The fight was an instant classic.

Jingnan Xiong, meanwhile, continued her epic rivalry with ONE Atomweight champion Angela Lee back in October. In a follow-up to her memorable win against Lee in Japan in 2019, ‘The Panda’ lost via submission in the dying seconds of a pulsating affair to tie-up their rivalry at 1-1.

Before that loss to Lee, Jingnan was on incredible 9-fight winning streak, establishing herself as one of the very best in the world.

Incidentally, Lee was another name put forward by the ONE boss when considering dream match-ups.

‘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. Angela Lee’s an absolute warrior and she’s just a genius on the ground.’

Lee is one of the biggest stars in women’s MMA and is likely to be back in action defending her Atomweight crown against Filipino challenger Denice Zamboanga in the near future.

The other name mentioned by Sityodtong was the supremely-talented Stamp Fairtex. The Thai became a double champion in ONE Championship by the time she was just 22 years-old, winning world titles in Muay Thai and Kickboxing.

Despite losing her Kickboxing belt to Janet Todd in February, Stamp has her sights set on winning MMA gold before too long, and showed off the rapid evolution of her ground game with a submission victory over India’s Asha Roka last year.

‘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.’

While a cross-promotion with the UFC remains unlikely, we have seen big promotions collaborate in recent times with Rizin and Bellator co-promoting a show together in 2019 and Sityodtong made it clear that he’s open to the concept.

‘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.

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