The UK and Irish MMA media scene further expanded this week as the ink dries on a freshly signed partnership between ONE Championship (ONE) and Sky Sports.

Becoming one of the more prominent up-and-coming martial arts promotions in recent years, ONE has signed an exclusive deal with Sky Sports to distribute its events across the UK and Ireland.

Based in Singapore, ONE differs from other major martial arts tournaments in that its sole focus is not just MMA – in contrast to the more focused UFC and PFL/Bellator – as it also organises Muay Thai, kickboxing and submission grappling contests.

Chatri Sityodtong, ONE Championship Chairman and CEO, said: “For years, our UK fans have been clamouring for ONE to be broadcast on one of the region’s major networks. 

“Today, I’m excited to announce a new partnership with Sky Sports, the premier broadcaster for live sports in the UK and one of the most well-known sports networks in the world. 

“This deal marks an important milestone for the celebration of martial arts and the continued expansion of ONE Championship’s global footprint.”

Sky’s coverage of the tournament will include primary events and ancillary programming, kickstarting with the ONE Fight Night 18 on 13 January, headlined by Superlek vs Mahmoudi.

ONE’s partnership with Sky is a major boost for the promotion and comes at a time of significant continuing growth for MMA, which over the past 20 years has catapulted in success to become one of the world’s biggest combat sports, rivalling professional boxing.

A notable recent commercial development in the sport saw PFL – which like ONE is one of the more prominent rising stars in professional martial arts tournaments – acquire long-established promotion Bellator.

Meanwhile, the deal further extends Sky Sports’ reach and entrenches its standing as one of Europe’s leading sports broadcasters. The company’s biggest media rights holding is undoubtedly the Premier League and English Football League (ELF)

However, it also has considerable weight with its Formula 1, cricket, golf, rugby league, boxing and tennis coverage, the latter of which was further expanded last month via a deal with the WTA and ATP.

Helen Falkus, Sky Sports Director of Multi Sports, added: “We’re pleased to partner with ONE Championship to bring their full range of martial arts to Sky Sports for the first time. 

“We hope to bring new fans to the world-class competitive formats on our channels, as well as reach new audiences for Sky.”

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