Bangkok was the venue for the ONE Fight Night press conference on Wednesday, January 11. Fans and media in their thousands showed up to hear what ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong had to say ahead of Friday’s stacked card.
After a moment of silence to honor the late Victoria Lee, Sityodtong made a series of major announcements. One of which was a huge announcement which has the whole of the Muay Thai community talking.
In his speech, Chatri Sityodtong announced ONE Championship will hold a 16-man openweight Muay Thai World Grand Prix tournament in 2023. The grand prize will be a whopping US $1,000,000.
In his statement, he said;
“Fans all over the world, please tell me who you wanna see. Do you wanna see Superbon? Do you wanna see Rodtang? Who do you wanna see because this is an Openweight Grand Prix. Jonathan Haggerty or Liam Nolan..?”
“I promise you this will blow up the sport all over the world. With our global broadcast, people will be tuning in from all over the world. The very best – the very, very, very best, irrespective of weight class – Muay Thai World Champions will be competing. Sixteen of the world’s best.”
The announcement has left many fans opinions on an openweight tournament split. Some of which claim an openweight contest is dangerous and will result in serious injury of some fighters — particularly if a bout occurs between a Welterweight and a Flyweight, for example.