ONE Championship has announced that it will be the exclusive partner of the Japanese martial arts organization known as Pancrase. Following a similar partnership finalized in January with the Shooto organization, this partnership will see ONE give Pancrase athletes the opportunity to showcase their talents and further develop their skills on a global platform.
“Following our partnership with Shooto, ONE Championship is excited to offer the same opportunity to Pancrase athletes and world champions to compete on the world’s largest stage for martial arts,” said Chatri Sityodtong, chairman and CEO of ONE. “We are fully committed to developing Japan’s martial arts ecosystem from the amateur up to the professional level. Our partnership with Pancrase once again marks the world’s top martial arts organizations coming together to create a new era of martial arts in Japan.”
“Pancrase is excited to announce our partnership with ONE Championship, which will help to raise the profile of our athletes, as well as provide them with greater development opportunities on a global stage,” said Masakazu Sakai, president of Pancrase, which was founded in 1993. “We believe that this partnership is the start of a long-term relationship with ONE Championship, and we look forward to shaping the future of martial arts both in and outside Japan together.”
Under the terms of the partnership, all professional Pancrase world champions will receive the opportunity to compete in ONE. Athletes who compete in Pancrase’s Neo-Blood Tournament will also have a chance to compete in the ONE Warrior Series. In addition, select amateur Pancrase athletes will be able to train at Evolve MMA in Singapore for one year.
KARATE COMBAT HOLDS COMPETITION IN HOLLYWOOD
arate Combat: Hollywood was recently broadcast live from the Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles. The full-contact competition took place in front of a star-studded audience — with actor Danny Trejo serving as pit announcer.
Luiz Rocha of Brazil won the main event, in which he defeated Myrza Tebuev of Russia by split decision. In the co-main event, Elhadji Ndour of New York by way of Senegal beat Scotland’s Calum Robb by unanimous decision.
The event saw two dramatic first-round knockouts: Abdallah Ibrahim of New York finished off newcomer Kevin Walker of Atlanta after only one minute with a head kick, and Brazil’s Teeik Silva KO’d Kevin Kowalczik of the United States.
“As always, the Karate Combat karate’s delivered again,” said Bas Rutten, who shared commentary duties with Sean Wheelock. “You literally see the fighters grow every time they fight. I’m so excited for the future of Karate Combat. Everybody I talked to loves to watch it.”
Notables in attendance included Frank Shamrock, Fabiano Iha, Fabricio Werdum, actress Olivia Munn and actor Martin Kove.