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ONE 166: Qatar ‘exceeded all expectations’ says Group President, next event already in the works 

Written by on May 10, 2024

With the dust now settled in the wake of ONE Championship’s return to the Middle East, the company’s execs have an overwhelmingly positive reaction to the event – and are already anticipating an even bigger return.  
ONE 166: Qatar played out to a packed house at the Lusail Sports Arena at the start of this month, and featured a night of thrilling competition – including three world title fights, and a main event which saw history being made as Russia’s Anatoly Malykhin became the first MMA fighter globally to hold three world titles  concurrently at different weights. 
Martial arts in the region  are showing a huge boom currently with lots of the world’s key players looking for their place in the market, and ONE certainly made a huge impact in Qatar.  
“It was great, I think it exceeded all expectations,” said Hua Fung Teh, Group President at ONE Championship. 
“The atmosphere was amazing. It’s a big stadium. It’s a 10,000 seater. It was near capacity with a lot of VIPs in attendance. 
“Despite competing with great events happening in Qatar that same evening, we had great attendance, great atmosphere, and great feedback”.
Preceded by ONE’s first ever open workout featuring eight of the organisation’s top martial artists, the historic event gave fans and partners alike a unique experience.   
“I think our partners are all very happy, we had top leadership in attendance and all the feedback was positive,” said Mr. Teh.  
“This was our first major event in the Middle East. It’s our debut in Qatar. 
“But interestingly, it was actually a first for us in terms of the event week activities. We did our first ever open workout on a beach, and I give Qatar Tourism credit –  that was an idea put together in partnership with them. And it went very, very well. So I think there was a certain spirit of innovation, and creativity. 
“And we want to apply that same spirit to the next event and see what else we can do.” 
And that is the line local fight fans will have been wanting to hear – ‘the next event’. It is something Mr. Teh is already planning along with the wider ONE team and how the experience can be made even better for fans. 
“Now we’re just thinking about the next one and what else we can do to further enhance the experience,” he said. 
“This is  going to be hopefully a recurring thing for us, this is a long-term partnership that we have with Qatar.. We want to figure out when and how the next one should look like. 
“Watch this space.” 
 

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