Chatri issues open invitation to UFC
ONE Championship chairman Chatri Sityodtong has issued an open invitation to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), following its senior official's comments on ONE's atomweight champion Angela Lee.
Last week, UFC senior vice-president for International and Content, Joe Carr, told The New Paper that Lee was "long way from competing with the top strawweight women in the UFC".
He added that a potential clash with UFC's strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk "would not end well for her".
Carr also told The Straits Times last week that "there won't be a cross-promotion event between UFC and ONE Championship", citing that UFC's female fighters are of a higher level and are exclusively contracted to the Las Vegas-based promotion.
The comments infuriated Chatri, who told TNP: "ONE Championship has an open invitation to the UFC. Anytime they want to back up their words, I'm game. World champions versus world champions.
"The best way to clear up any opinions is by having a world champion fight between ONE and the UFC. I am willing to give my world champions a go. Why isn't the UFC?
"If they are so sure they are the best in the world, if they are so sure our world champions are way below. There's zero risk!
"If they are going to try and misrepresent the truth to the public, then back it up. Otherwise, it's just all talk.
"I say let's get it on. Anywhere, any place, any time."
Chatri also revealed ONE Championship's plans.
He said: "We are gonna keep on dominating Asia. We are going to be throwing more events.
"We plan to have 30 events for 2018...
"Every region in the world has several multi billion-dollar sports media properties that are part of the fabric of society... For Asia, there is nothing on a pan-Asian basis.
"We are going to unify the entire continent. We are in the process of it to celebrate Asia's first multi-billion dollar sports league... Every day, we are getting closer and closer to that vision."
- JONATHAN LEE