UFC is the largest MMA promotion in the world, while ONE Championship is the largest MMA promotion in all of Asia.
You might have watched a couple of events from the two organizations and wondered about the key differences between UFC and ONE Championship.
The key difference between UFC and ONE Championship is the fighters’ origin and each promotion’s overall influence. Most UFC fighters are American, African, or Brazilian. ONE focuses on Asian talents. UFC is the biggest in the world, while ONE Championship is the biggest in Asia.
If you want to become as good of a fighter as a ONE FC or UFC talent, then why not learn how to fight from someone who has trained alongside fighters from both promotions:
In the rest of this article, I’ll break down the comparisons between both promotions. There’s no intent to find a winner here, but lay out the facts!
Table of Contents
What is the difference between the UFC and One Championship?
UFC differs from One Championship in terms of fighter origin and the promotion’s overall impact on the MMA community. Of course, there are more differences that set them apart, but these two above are the most notable ones that make them unique compared to other promotions.
Another significant difference between the two is the weight classes. One Championship has more weight divisions with the presence of the Atomweight and the men’s Strawweight. Not to mention the separate divisions for Kickboxing and Muay Thai.
One Championship also administers a grappling-only match that’s done inside the cage. It’s a No-Gi BJJ bout where BJJ practitioners roll for 12 minutes straight. They also have weight classes for this type of event.
UFC fighter country origins
UFC started with western fighters on their roster. Eventually, they welcomed fighters from other countries, such as Africa, Brazil, Australia, Ireland, and more. However, regarding Asian fighters, there are only a few that make it to the octagon.
There are some Asians that make the cut and manage to succeed. A good example is “The Korean Zombie” Chang Sung Jung, Dong Hyun Kim, and Zhang Weili.
Why are there fewer Asian fighters in the UFC?
UFC tends to scout new fighters in famous gyms in America most of the time. They spend little to no time exploring other Asian gyms where top-level Asian fighters train at. That’s also the reason why most fighters in this organization are all western or European.
Potentially there could be more Asian representation in the UFC if these fighters were more active at a high-level inside of American MMA gyms.
One Championship fighter country origin
Unlike UFC, One Championship focuses on Asian gyms to give small fighters a chance to make a statement for themselves on a bigger stage. The promotion started with pure Asian talents showcasing their abilities.
Some One Championship veterans are these Malaysian fighters Gianni Subba and Keanu Subba. As One Championship grew more prominent, they eventually acquired other fighters from all over the world, including fighters from UFC, like “Super” Sage Northcutt and Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson.
Differences in pay between the UFC and ONE Championship
Because the UFC is the biggest MMA promotion in the world, it earns more money from its bigger audience than One Championship. This allows UFC to pay their fighters a bit more and give more significant fight bonuses during events.
From the research I did on thousands of fights data, the salary median of the UFC fighters is $30,000.
In recent years, many are disputing the pay that UFC fighters get because of how the UFC only shares around 20% of revenue with its fighters.
How much do ONE Championship fighters get paid?
The ONE Championship fighter salary has a median of $27,000. They have a $3,000 difference, which is small if we consider how big UFC is, compared to ONE Championship.
If ONE Championship fighters perform well, they will have a $50,000 bonus directly added to their fight purse. That’s a pretty healthy extra packet.
Does ONE Championship pay well?
One Championship arguably pays nearly as well as the biggest promotions in the world, like the UFC. Fighters make about the same amount on average and can earn just as well from bonuses. UFC may have an edge with sponsorships and TV deals.
Sometimes UFC fighters can get a cut of PPV buys, which makes it so lucrative to be in that promotion.
Although, those deals are often reserved for the biggest names that can demand it.
The UFC Vs One Championship audience sizes
With the UFC being the biggest MMA promotion in the world, it is evident that it has a bigger audience size than One Championship.
Outside Asia, specifically, countries like New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and the USA have a majority UFC audience and less than 1% One Championship audience for the past year.
On the other hand, despite One Championship being the most prominent MMA organization in Asia, UFC still manages to win Asian hearts. In Thailand, UFC has a 67% audience, and One only has 33%. In the Philippines, UFC has 92%, while One Championship has only 8%.
Rules differences between UFC and One Championship
The One Championship rules are more diverse compared to UFC. In One Championship, they have Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Grappling, and MMA rules because they administer separate fights on these specific martial arts. One Championship also has a safer weight-cutting rule than UFC.
Unlike UFC, One Championship does a separate match on Kickboxing. They use 8oz Boxing gloves up to Featherweight. All other weight classes use 10oz gloves. One Championship allows knee strikes but only outside the clinch.
One also has a separate Muay Thai roster. Here, Muay Thai fighters use conventional MMA gloves instead of Boxing gloves. They sometimes fight inside an MMA cage or a rectangular roped ring.
The ring selection is based on the number of MMA bouts on a card. If the event has more MMA fights, everyone will fight inside the cage; however, if the event has more Kickboxing or Muay Thai, they will all use a roped ring.
When it comes to the UFC, they only deliver MMA matchups, so they only follow the traditional MMA rules (The Unified Rules Of MMA) and use the octagon as their main ring.
Weight cutting difference between UFC and One Championship
In UFC, fighters usually weigh 170 lbs and fight in 155 lbs. They do this by cutting down weight to reach 155 before or during the weigh-in. One championship encourages its fighters to fight in their natural weight classes to promote better performance for fighters and keep them away from weight-cutting risks.
In UFC, after a 170-pounder passes the 155 lbs weigh-in, he/she will rehydrate and regain 10-20% of his/her original weight, making him/her heavier in the actual fight. This severe weight cut also requires dehydration which may affect the fighters’ overall fight performance.
One Championship has a hydration protocol that encourages fighters to keep the water level on their body normal. They also tell fighters to fight in their actual weight class to prevent some unwanted weight cuts.
Weight class difference between UFC and One Championship
One Championship made its weight classes heavier compared to UFC’s. For example, UFC Lightweight fighters should weigh 155 lbs. In One Championship, Lightweight fighters are 170 lbs. Moreover, One Championship Heavyweights start from 265 lbs to give way for the Light Heavyweights.
Unlike UFC, One Championship has a men’s Strawweight division both in Mixed Martial Arts and Muay Thai. They also have a women’s Atomweight for the lighter-weight ladies to fight.
In short, these are the ONE Championship weight classes:
- Heavyweight (225-265 lbs)
- Light Heavyweight (205-225 lbs)
- Middleweight (185-205 lbs)
- Welterweight (170-185 lbs)
- Lightweight (155-170 lbs)
- Featherweight (145-155 lbs)
- Bantamweight (135-145 lbs)
- Flyweight (125-135 lbs)
- Strawweight (115-125 lbs)
- Atomweight (105-115 lbs)
Fighter quality difference between UFC and One Championship
Both organizations have world-class fighters that can shut the lights off for anyone. However, UFC fighters are known for their trash talks and mind games right before the fight. One Championship fighters are calmer during press cons.
UFC fighters are known for their juicy trash talks to promote their upcoming fight to the media. Some famous trash talkers in the UFC are Conor McGregor, Michael Bisping, Chael Sonnen, Nate Diaz, and more.
On the other hand, most One Championship fighters just show up in the press con and answer some questions, and that’s it. However, there are also some trash talkers who are trying to change the game, like Jared Brooks.
UFC and One Championship have high standards regarding the fighters that they welcome. There is no fighter quality difference because all the fighters in the two promotions are top-level athletes; maybe one is better than the other, but that’s how life works.
A colossal event where UFC fighters fight One Championship fighters will ultimately decide what promotion has the better fighters. Unfortunately, the possibility of it is very slim.
Contract differences between UFC and One Championship
The UFC contract has this so-called “Grant of promotional rights” and “Grant of ancillary rights.” The promotional rights say that the fighter will give ZUFFA the right to arrange, promote and set fights for them as long as they’re on the UFC roster.
Ancillary rights, on the other hand, talk about the UFC’s power to use the fighter’s overall identity and the people connected to the fighter. They might use this identity in game development, fight posters, UFC branding, and all sorts of marketing strategies to promote the entire organization at a specific UFC event.
According to Ben Askren, one of the former superstars of One Championship, he was offered by One Championship a $50,000 contract to show up to a fight and another $50,000 if he managed to win the bout. If he performs well, then a guaranteed $50,000 bonus will be given to him.
This $100,000 show-up and win value may vary depending on how big the fighter’s potential is, relying on his/her entertainment factor and overall ability to win the fight. However, the $50,000 bonus is the same for all well-performing fighters.
The simplest way to explain the fighting contract is that as long as you perform well and be as entertaining as possible, you will continue to fight in the roster. However, if you suffer from 3 or more consecutive losses with incredibly boring performance, you will be subjected to a contract cut.
Is One Championship better than UFC?
Ultimately, One Championship has a large roster of various martial arts experts, but it doesn’t have the same quality of fighters that can be found in the UFC. As the UFC has been around for the longest, it commands the greatest attention and the best fighters.
At the end of the day, having the very best fighters in the world is what brings the eyeballs. The more people that watch, the better the earnings for everyone involved.