(James Goyder is the owner/editor of AsianMMA.com)
Towards the tail end of 2021 it was announced that ONE Championship had raised $150,000 USD from investors including Guggenheim Partners and Qatar Investment Authority. That money already appears to be finding its way into the pockets of the fighters on the roster.
Following ONE: ‘Heavy Hitters’ last night it was announced that three different fighters had received $50,000 bonuses. Saygid Izagakhmaev, Senzo Ikeda and Ekaterina Vandaryeva were the recipients of the awards which will be handed out after every event from now on.
Izagakhmaev put on an impressive performance despite the absence of his coach and mentor Khabib Nurmagomedov. The former UFC lightweight champion travelled to Singapore but was forced to quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19.
He earned his $50,000 by stopping former welterweight title challenger James Nakashima in the second round. For his part Ikeda finished Elipitua Siregar with a body shot in the third round, making it back to back wins for the 39 year old strawweight.
The decision to award Vandaryeva the bonus was more contentious because she lost her fight. The judges awarded Supergirl Jaroonsakgym a split decision win in their atomweight Muay Thai fight.
But Chatri Sityodtong, the ONE Championship CEO, was clearly among the many viewers who disagreed with the decision. He decided to award Vandaryeva the bonus for her efforts and was critical of the judges.
Next up for the promotion is ONE: ‘Only the Brave’ which is set for the Singapore Indoor Stadium on January 28th.