A recent press release from ONE Championship revealed that the Singapore-based MMA promotion has cut 20 percent of its staff.
The release claimed the promotion has “streamlined operations” by “20% reduction of total worldwide headcount.” A tweet from Josh Gross, a former writer for The Athletic, claims that the figure is even higher.
“I was told that ONE actually parted ways with closer to 50%-60% of its workers, which includes all freelance contractors,” said Gross on Monday.
In a letter obtained by Joseph Gan, a writer for Tech In Asia, a company email in ONE described the cuts as “a reflection of the global macroeconomic environment and the need to sharpen core priorities.”
The statement also mentioned that the promotion has gained $70 million more in investments to its funds, which brings their “total capital to $346 million.”
UFC President Dana White was puzzled by the announcement, commenting on Twitter “why the f*** would they announce that.”
A report in June from John Nash of Bloody Elbow revealed the promotion has seen an increasing loss in revenue year-over-year, including a loss of $82 million in 2018.
ONE Championship is known for holding events that include various forms of martial arts, including MMA, kickboxing, muay Thai and boxing. The promotion has signed big talent in all of the sports.
Their most notable signing was an exchange with the UFC, where the promotion gave up Ben Askren in exchange for former UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson.
The promotion had held six events in 2020 before COVID-19 halted their schedule. A January tweet from the promotion’s CEO, Chatri Sityodtong, claimed the promotion aimed for 50 events in the year.