Singapore’s biggest MMA promotion is gaining ground by the day.
First, there was the announcement that former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez was making the jump in order to chase a title in the last major organization he hadn’t fought in.
Then there was the historic trade that saw wrestling sensation Ben Askren be traded to the UFC in exchange for record-breaking titleholder Demetrious Johnson. That move is still sending ripples through the MMA world.
And now it seems ONE has added another legend to their ranks, this time on their management team. Joining up as the company’s vice president will be female fighting legend and former UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate. She said she was thrilled to accept the position.
Tate said: “I truly believe in its [ONE’s] mission of unleashing real-life superheroes who ignite the world with hope, strength, dreams and inspiration. I’m honored to bring my experience as a World Champion and to help inspire the next generation of athletes. And of course, I am excited to relocate to my new home, Singapore, and travel throughout Asia!”
Tate called it quits on the fighting side of MMA two years ago following two consecutive defeats. Prior to that, she made history by becoming a champion in both Strikeforce and the UFC. The latter came after she toppled Holly Holm via submission, when Holm was fresh off her monumental victory over Ronda Rousey. Tate also faced Rousey on two separate occasions, coming up short in both but taking part in one of the best feuds in women’s MMA.
Tate was praised by ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong, who said she is both an incredible pioneer and an inspiration. He noted it was her humility and respect that impressed him the most, and said she displayed the true virtues of a martial artist. Tate will be making her home in Singapore as part of the company’s management team, and she isn’t the first UFC fighter to do so – former middleweight champion Rich Franklin is also on the staff.
ONE is gaining ground quickly, and while some may call their growing fandom a threat to the UFC, it could actually be good for MMA as a whole. It has opened up the possibility of talent trades which could keep rosters from getting stale and allow athletes to make more money. Even Bellator may get in on the action soon, showing the benefits of having multiple independent sports organizations rather than a single sports league.
The format may be the same, with trades and acquisitions being a goal for every organization within the industry, but athletes may enjoy much more freedom. For example, Demetrious Johnson, who was once in danger of having the division he’s in being simply abandoned, could now become a major star throughout Asia and open up a new chapter in his career.
Tate has been one of the more outspoken analysts about MMA in recent years, and her knowledge will likely be of great help to the ONE organization.