Get ready: One X takes place on March 26, and it’s set to be one of the biggest events Singapore has seen since the pandemic began. Chatri Sityodtong and Hua Fung Teh let us in on the anticipated affair and how they grew One Championship into the successful sports organisation it is today

A battle is set to happen in Singapore during the final weekend of March. And this fight will likely be unforgettable. After all, it’s happening in grand style at the Singapore Indoor Stadium—but it’s not what you think.

Mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation One Championship’s 10-year anniversary extravaganza, One X, is finally happening on March 26 and it will bring together Angela Lee and Stamp Fairtex—two hugely popular athletes who will headline the massive event. The duo will face off for the first time as they battle it out for the women’s Atomweight world title, which Lee currently holds.

One X is special for a number of reasons but most significantly, it is the first large live-audience event that Singapore (or even Asia) has seen since the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

Read more: Face Off: Meet Angela Lee and Stamp Fairtex, Two of One Championship’s Grittiest and Most Talented Athletes

“One X is a never-been-done-before mega-event featuring three cards, back-to-back, with multiple World Title fights, and an innovative special rules super-fight between Rodtang Jitmuangnon (Muay Thai) and Demetrious Johnson (MMA),” Hua Fung Teh, group president of Group One Holdings, shares with Tatler via e-mail. “So as a fan, there is a lot to look forward to!”

Indeed, Group One Holdings is among the largest and most influential sports organisations in the world. At the helm of it is Chatri Sityodtong, its founder, chairman and chief executive officer—who is well aware of how his company has grown in the past decade.

Don't miss: Fitness Warrior Tricia Yap On Female Empowerment And Defining Success

“We move at such a fast pace it can be hard to stop and smell the roses. But when I think about how far we’ve come since launching just over 10 years ago, it’s night and day,” Sityodtong tells us via e-mail. “I truly appreciate all of the rejections and failures that brought us to where we are today.”

10 years may seem like an impressive period of time for any organisation or company to have enjoyed continued success and achievements. But Sityodtong says this is just the beginning for One Championship.

In their own words below, both Sityodtong and Teh share what they’re most excited to see at One X, what’s next for One Championship and their most memorable experiences within the organisation thus far.

It’s been an incredible 10 years for One Championship so far. There must have been several highlights, including a successful reality show on Netflix. Can you share some of the greatest learning curves you faced?

Chatri Sityodtong (CS): In terms of a learning curve, I would point to a couple of inflexion points—first, deciding we should be a truly global sports property instead of just focusing on being the largest in Asia, and later making the strategic investment in growing our social/digital audience, which today ranks among the top 10 in the world among all sports properties. 

As a leader, how do you encourage your team and help them achieve the company goals together?

Hua Fung Teh (HFT): A leader has to do different things to keep moving the ball forward. You need to set clear objectives, align and organise resources, and keep people motivated and on a timeline. And the challenges, of course, increase multifold when you have a fast-growing company operating in a very dynamic environment (with increased complexity today due to Covid-19). So while a lot of people talk about leading “from the front” (and I don’t disagree), I also try to lead “alongside”.

I try to stay close to the ground, so I can understand what people’s pain points and bottlenecks are, and figure out how best I can help solve them. This could be anything from helping someone think through a tricky issue, to helping two colleagues smooth out their differences. In general, I am a big believer that such “friction reduction” has big payoffs in terms of helping everyone achieve their goals.

Don't miss: I’ve Seen How Sport Works as a Universally Unifying Force, Says Hua Fung Teh of One Championship

What are you looking forward to the most at One X?

CS: I’m really looking forward to the main event between Angela Lee and Stamp Fairtex. I think this is one of the most anticipated fights in One Championship history given the hype behind Stamp and the long layoff of Angela. There’s also the special rules super-fight between MMA GOAT Demetrious Johnson and Muay Thai megastar Rodtang. We also have other World Title bouts, legend vs. legend matchups, kickboxing, submission grappling... there’s truly something for everyone and fans are definitely in for a treat.

HFT: I see One X as a milestone event for sports in Asia. It is a message to the world that the worst of the pandemic is behind us, and that large audience events in Asia are back. And we are proud to be at the forefront of leading this (safely, of course). I myself love the atmosphere of a big, noisy audience in a big stadium, so I can hardly wait! 

It’s safe to say that the most anticipated event is the fight between Angela Lee and Stamp Fairtex. Why do you think the excitement is exceptionally high this time around?

CS: There are several interesting storylines surrounding this fight. Angela has essentially been on maternity leave since announcing she was pregnant with her first child in 2020, with her last fight coming in late 2019. While she was away, Stamp rose through the ranks and developed into a world-class MMA athlete before our very eyes. A former One Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Champion, Stamp is going for her third World Title in a third sport. Achieving this feat is unprecedented in the martial arts world.

HFT: Here we have two women who are at the very top of their game, and both with unique backstories that Tatler captured beautifully in your cover story on them. Stamp, a former World Champion of ours in kickboxing and Muay Thai, has been running through her MMA competition, while Angela has not competed since 2019 due to an extended maternity leave. But the fight could be anyone’s game considering Angela’s world-class grappling and championship mettle. I think most fans are expecting a finish, one way or another.

How has the response been towards One X thus far? Did you expect it?

CS: There’s a ton of buzz surrounding this event. It really is the greatest martial arts event of the modern era considering the huge fights we have in store for fans across the full spectrum of martial arts. Everyone in the martial arts industry will be watching this event, and I guarantee there will be no shortage of amazing performances and wild finishes. It’s going to be an unforgettable show.

HFT: The response has been excellent, and I expect that the buzz will get pretty crazy when things reach fever pitch in Singapore!

There are One Championship and MMA fans all over the region and not just Singapore. What do you think is the significance of this upcoming One X event to fans all over, especially as the world is recovering from a global pandemic?

CS: Martial arts is a platform to showcase human resilience. That’s the core of our organisation—to ignite the world with hope, strength, dreams, and inspiration. The Covid-19 pandemic pushed humanity to its very limit, but here we are still standing, fighting through the worst that can be thrown at us. Our athletes and their incredible stories serve as beacons of hope for all of our fans across the world. 

HFT: One X is not just a massive MMA event, but also a showcase of the very best globally across all martial arts like Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling. It should also be a special treat to hardcore combat sport fans who followed organisations like Pride Fighting Championships back in the day, as we are putting on some truly unique crossover fights that haven’t been seen in the modern era. But most importantly, this event represents the warrior spirit of our athletes and the organisation as a whole, which I hope will inspire fans to overcome their own obstacles in this difficult time.

Read more: Tiffany Teo, One of the World’s Best Female Martial Artists, on Her Victorious Return to the Cage

What are some of the greatest values you’ve learned through sport?

CS: Humility, integrity, honour, respect, courage, discipline, and compassion—these are the martial arts values that we live by as a company. I’ve been training in martial arts my entire life, and through every obstacle I’ve faced, through every hardship, I’ve drawn strength from my training. Without martial arts, I would not have been able to weather these storms.

HFT: One the most valuable things sports has taught me is the ability to accept and learn from failure. Like many others who played competitive sports, I don’t like to lose. But in sports, you win some and you lose some. So when you lose, it’s important to take a step back and not lose the lesson. Were you poorly prepared? Were you not well coached? Were you out of shape? Or was it just an off day for you? The reality is that you can always think of many reasons why you should have won, or what you could have done differently, But when you lose, it is what it is, and you need to pick yourself up, learn from the failure, and get ready for the next battle. Business is very much the same. You do the best you can, but sometimes you fail, and you need to just accept the outcome, embrace the lessons and move on. Otherwise, you will get stuck. 

Don't miss: Athletes And Mental Health: 5 Insights From A Sports Psychologist

Looking ahead, what do you hope you achieve and see more of in the next five to 10 years?

CS: This is just the beginning for One Championship. We are only beginning to scratch the surface of what’s possible. The next 10 years are going to be even greater, and we’re going to achieve things beyond our wildest dreams. We are already the world’s number one martial arts organisation with the largest collection of World Champions across all martial arts disciplines, but we are just at the start of our journey to becoming the biggest sports media platform in the world.

HFT: What started 10 years ago as a regional martial arts promotion is today Asia’s largest global sports media platform producing martial arts, esports and general entertainment content, with a broadcast to over 150 countries. And yet we're just scratching the surface of what we can achieve. In the next five to 10 years, we will continue to expand into new and distant markets, launch new content stacks and lines of business, and win more and more fans around the world. Our ambition is not just to put Asia on the world sports map—it is to become the world’s largest sports media platform.


One X: Grand Finale will broadcast live on pay-per-view at 8 pm on Saturday, March 26, 2022. Viewers can order One X: Grand Finale at watch.onefc.com or through their local pay-per-view provider.

© 2022 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.