ONE Championship has entered into a multi-year deal with iconic Japanese promotion Shooto to further develop the martial arts industry in Japan.
Under the terms of the partnership, all Professional Shooto 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.
Chatri Sityodtong, chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, described the partnership with Shooto as a great opportunity for both organisations to create a new era for martial arts in Japan.
“We see big potential in Japan’s martial arts talent, and are committed to developing Japan’s ecosystem,” he said in a press statement.
Kazuhiro Sakamoto, CEO of Shooto, added this is the first time in 30 years that Shooto has partnered with an international martial arts organisation.
“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.”
Shooto has already produced a number of ONE Championship’s current and former champions, including current ONE strawweight champion Yosuke Saruta, former ONE strawweight champion Yoshitaka Naito, and former lightweight 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.
Shooto is a mixed martial arts organisation 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.
The legendary promotion has produced some of Japan’s top martial artists, including Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto, Rumina Sato, Kaoru “Caol” Uno, Shinya Aoki and Takanori Gomi.