ONE Championship today confirmed that it will be an exclusive partner to Japanese martial arts organization Shooto. The partnership will see both ONE Championship and Shooto work together to further develop the martial arts industry in Japan, providing athletes a global platform to showcase their talents and develop their skills.
Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, stated: “ONE Championship is excited to offer Shooto athletes and World Champions the opportunity to compete on the world’s largest stage for martial arts. We see big potential in Japan’s martial arts talent and are committed to developing Japan’s ecosystem. Our partnership with Shooto is a great opportunity for both organizations to create a new era for martial arts in Japan.”
Kazuhiro Sakamoto, CEO of Shooto, stated: “As Professional Shooto celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, we are excited to announce our partnership with ONE Championship. This is the first time in 30 years that Shooto is partnering with an international martial arts organization. We believe our close collaboration with ONE will not only be beneficial to Shooto and its athletes, but also for the future of the martial arts industry in Japan.”
Under the terms of the partnership, all Professional Shooto World Champions will receive the opportunity to compete in ONE Championship. In addition, the winner of the upcoming All-Japan Amateur Shooto Championship will receive the opportunity to train at Evolve MMA in Singapore for a year.
Shooto has already produced a number of ONE Championship’s current and former world champions, including current ONE Strawweight World Champion Yosuke Saruta, former ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka Naito, and former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki. Shooto will continue to actively support ONE Championship in its scouting efforts in Japan. Shooto will also provide marketing support to ONE Championship’s upcoming events in Japan, starting with ONE: A New Era on March 31 at the Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Evolve MMA is Asia’s No. 1 martial arts training facility boasting of a world-class instructor team which features the greatest number of World Champions available anywhere in the world in martial arts disciplines such as Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, and boxing, among others. It is the largest and most experienced martial arts team in Asia with over 1,000 years of World Championship experience collectively.
Shooto is a mixed martial arts organization governed by the Shooto Association and the International Shooto Commission. Formerly known as Shin-Kakutogi, Shooto was established in 1985 by former Japanese professional wrestler and the original “Tiger Mask” Satoru Sayama. Shooto combines various forms of martial arts, including boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, sambo, and others, forming the foundation of present-day mixed martial arts. Shooto has produced some of Japan’s top martial artists, including Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, Rumina Sato, Kaoru “Caol” Uno, Shinya Aoki, Takanori Gomi, Hayato Sakurai, Kyoji Horiguchi, and others. Professional Shooto has since become one of the most popular and well-established martial arts organizations in Japan, and will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.