ONE Championship has made a new pitch to the Qatar Investment Authority in hopes of securing another round of investor funding, according to a new report from DealStreetAsia.
Qatar is a major investor in ONE and reportedly contributed $50 million of a $150 million round of funding in 2021. So there’s nothing too unusual about ONE approaching the government’s sovereign wealth fund and VC firms for more investment. But there were some worrying claims in the DealStreetAsia article that suggested ONE may be running out of time to generate significant profit for funders.
One source told DealStreetAsia that “ONE’s runway is expected to expire by Q3 of next year,” putting extra pressure on the promotion to secure more financing. That may be more difficult this time around because “several sources have told DealStreetAsia that the Qataris have been increasingly embarrassed about their involvement with ONE, which has been under the spotlight for its weak financials.” They also noted that global liquidity has dried up.
As for how ONE is doing financially, it’s a tricky question to answer. The company regularly files financials with Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority, and those have shown growing revenue figures: $67.7 million for 2021 and a reported $80 million estimate for 2022. But DealStreetAsia claims that these figures include ‘non-cash components,’ and “ONE’s true cash revenue in FY2022 is likely to be just $5-8 million.”
ONE Championship has had an extremely busy 2023, with over 50 events on the calendar. That included weekly events at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, a U.S. event held in Broomfield, Colorado, and Singapore shows. The fights are great, the product is slick, and we have high hopes that ONE continues to grow in the future because it adds a lot of flavor to the combat sports schedule.
Behind the scenes, ONE also seems quite adept at maneuvering through the world of finance. So there’s plenty reason to think the promotion won’t have an issue securing more funding to get them past that scary Q3 runway deadline.
Still, it’s hard not to be a little concerned after we just witnessed Bellator’s slow uncertain fizzle in this grim economy.
“Our expected revenue for 2024 puts our core business on track to be run-rate profitable by next year,” a ONE spokesperson said in a statement to DealStreetAsia.
Whilst the UFC haven’t had a bad year in 2023 by any stretch of the imagination, there has been more talk about their competition over the last 12 months than any other year for some time.
With the PFL confirming their acquisition Bellator earlier today, it’s a very interesting time for the MMA landscape.
That doesn’t mean that the other large promotions in MMA aren’t also having their own battles in trying to keep up.
A recent report from DealStreetAsia stated that ONE Championship have requested more funding from the Qatar Investment Authority, who are a major investor in the promotion.
The report says that they could be short on time to secure the extra funds that are required by “Q3 of next year”, which will only be made more difficult by a lack of trust from the investors in the project.
“Several sources have told DealStreetAsia that the Qataris have been increasingly embarrassed about their involvement with ONE, which has been under the spotlight for its weak financials.”
I can’t express how disappointed I’ll be if ONE goes under. It is easily the best combat promotion outside of UFC since Pride for me and will be sorely missed. They are really putting MT and Kickboxing on the map, as well as BJJ.
Combat sports seemed to be surging in popularity recently, but it’s not looking good with ONE potentially going under and Bellator selling out to shitty PFL. People complain about fighter pay in UFC, but they are the only company that has been sustainable over the last 30 years.
Dana White is right when he says no one can do what they do.
One is a Ponzi scheme that will collapse.
I don’t like the fights anyway. Most of the guys in one couldn’t hack it in the UFC to be honest
I agree with your first two sentences
ONE FC is the best promotion in the world right now. I hope revenue grows for them.
Which guys would do well in UFC?
Most of the top MMA fighters in the promotion, especially Anatoly Malokin, WMMA fighters, Christian Lee, and Fabricio Andrade. They also have the top strikers in the planet.
Women’s mma is unwatchable. I tried to give it a chance but I got sick of watching roided up, tatted out, dykes knocking out somewhat normal looking women. Women’s fighting hadn’t grown with the sport and it’s atrocious to watch. For the most part their celebrations are cringy to watch.
Christian Lee looks good but I really don’t believe that he’d be able to make much noise in the UFC. He got face planted Martin Nguyen who is really a 125lber.
Fabricio Andrade has faced very weak competition so it’s hard to really decipher his level.
Anatoly Malykhin Is a beast for sure. He’d do well in the UFC as a light Heavyweight for sure but the competition in one is so weak that it’s hard to gauge his level. He’s very good though. I’ll give you that.
I think RDR would do pretty well too. Also Rueg Rueg in the HW division.
LMAO at your first paragraph. You aint lying
He’s pretty long as has good BJJ but I don’t think he’d pose problems for the elite MW’s in the UFC. He just wouldn’t be able to get it to the floor.
Look at the rankings at fightmatrix, how is ONE the best promotion in the world when they don’t have any fighters?
At LW for example, only 2 of the 100 top LW’s are fighting in ONE.
How is ONE the best MMA promotion when they hardly have any MMA fighters or any MMA fights?
ONE sucks for MMA.
Then you would really hate Jessica Andrade vs Karolina Kowalkiewicz. Whatever you do, don’t watch that fight.
Unfortunately I’ve seen it.
I watched that roided out Justin Beiber look a like smash Mackenzie Dern’s face while dern’s chin popped up like a rock’em sock’em robot and she flailed at the air.
If they want to continue to women’s mma they should at least separate it. They need a dyke’s division for Larissa Pacheco, Amanda Nunes and Jessica Andrade etc.
And a woman’s division for meisha Tate, Paige van zany, Mackenzie dern and the rest of the normal looking women.
You’re describing UFC Wmma though. There might be a couple dykes in one but for the most part they highlight their femininity and even their pre fight photos they are are dressed up in sexy outfits or bikinis many times.
Doesn’t One have like the highest social media engagement and high viewership?