MANILA, Philippines—In the most basic of aspects, ONE Championship and the UFC are two competing mixed martial arts promotions but there was one time when the two actually pulled off an unprecedented transaction.
Back in 2018, the two promotions “swapped” fighters with former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson ex-ONE welterweight titleholder exchanging places.
It’s been more than a year since and the two promotions have yet to construct another deal but that doesn’t mean fictional dream matches are off the table.
ONE founder and CEO Chatri Sityodtonf said in a fan interaction that he wants a dream match between strawweight champions Xiong Jingnan and Zhang Weili.
“For women’s mixed martial arts, I would love to see Jingnan Xiong vs Weili Zhang. I think Jingnan is the one to beat Weili Zhang,” said Sityodtong.
Both Zhang and Xiong have figured in iconic matches in the past.
Most recently, Zhang defended her UFC title against Jianna Jedrzejczyk in an absolute barnburner while Xion exchanged wins against ONE atomweight champion Angela Lee in a couple of high-octane matches.
Zhang boasts the more impressive record of 21-1 with her lone loss coming in her debut while Xiong is at 14-2 and carried a nine-fight winning streak before losing to Lee via submission in her last bout.
Incidentally, Sityodtong also mentioned Lee as someone who can tangle in the proverbial dream matches.
“I think Angela Lee VS any Atomweight in the world. Angela Lee is incredible. I’ve seen her in training. I’ve seen her go into a bout with pneumonia with doctor’s advice not to compete and I’ve tried my best to stop the fight,” said Sityodtong.
“Angela Lee’s an absolute warrior and she’s just a genius on the ground.”
Sityodtong also mentioned Stamp Fairtex as another woman who can fight Zhang.
Fairtex, 22, once