Alistair Overeem wants in on ONE Championship’s historic Openweight Muay Thai World Grand Prix tournament.
Ahead of their return to action this Friday night, the Asia-based promotion announced plans for a Muay Thai tournament set to kick off this March with no weight classes, no restrictions, and a $1 million prize to the winner. ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong broke the news during his appearance at the ONE Fight Night 6 press event on Wednesday.
Following the announcement, a report from the South China Morning Post revealed through an anonymous source that former UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem reached out to ONE with interest in joining the field of 16 competitors that will be selected for the Grand Prix. Sityodtong confirmed that the tournament is only for fighters signed to ONE Championship, but left the door open for some surprises.
“The Grand Prix only for ONE fighters but we’re always constantly signing athletes, several we haven’t announced,” Chatri told the Post.
No other details were provided during the announcement, but the promotion’s best strikers are expected to take part in the tournament, including flyweight and bantamweight world champions Rodtang Jitmuangnon and Nong-O Gaiyanghadao.
“I promise you this will blow up the sport all over the world, with our global broadcast, people will be tuning in from all over the world,” Sityodtong said. “The very best, the very, very best, irrespective of weight class. Muay Thai world champions will be competing, 16 of the world’s best.”
With the tournament open to everyone, strikers from the world of kickboxing are expected to get in on the action. Two-division ONE world champion Regian Eersel is rumored to be part of the field of 16 while the general consensus No. 1 pound-for-pound kickboxer in the world, Superbon Singha Mawynn, is practically guaranteed to find a spot in the bracket barring any unforeseen circumstances.
ONE Championship’s CEO is also open to suggestions and is encouraging fans to let it be known who they want to see in the tournament.
“Fans all over the world, please tell me who you wanna see, do you wanna see Superbon, do you wanna see Rodtang? Who do you wanna see because this is an Openweight Grand Prix.”