ONE Championship announced a partnership with Great Sports Media for the upcoming ONE: Battle for the Heavens event set for May 26 from the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai, China.
The card features strawweight champion Xiong Jing Nan returning home to defend her belt vs. Laura Balin.
Great Sports Media is one of China’s largest sports broadcasters. Under the new deal, all live ONE Championship events will be broadcast by Great Sports alongside the addition of a weekly magazine show.
“ONE Championship is proud to announce its partnership with Great Sports Media, to bring fans the unique action of world class martial arts to the Chinese audience,” ONE CEO Victor Cui said. “Martial arts is on the rise globally, and ONE Championship is the home of martial arts. Xiong Jing Nan is an incredible martial arts champion and we are extremely proud of her accomplishments. ONE: BATTLE FOR THE HEAVENS is going to be a spectacular evening that fans will not soon forget. We are excited to continue delivering an authentic martial arts experience to fans all throughout China.”
Additional plans for ONE in China were made during the press conference for the coming year. Ni Tianqi and Zhuang Ningyu have joined the ONE Chinese language broadcast team to serve as the cageside announcers.
“Recently combat sports are growing very fast in popularity,” Great Sports Media General Manager Weng Weimin said. “We believe ONE Championship has a bright future in China, and we share the same culture and values. We hope though joint efforts to introduce this sport to a wider Chinese audience, makes them fall in love with ONE more.”
Nan sports a 14-1 overall record, moving from boxing to MMA. She won gold at the China Open BJJ Tournament last year and defeated Tiffany Teo in the fourth round to win the belt.
“Thanks to ONE Championship for giving me the great opportunity to perform at home in Shanghai, China in the one of biggest international cities of the world,” Nan said. “It’s really honor for me as an athlete. Although I have experienced competing in China so many times, this time I feel so much more excited because I have the chance to showcase the beauty and strength of Chinese martial arts to the entire world on the ONE Championship platform. I will do my best to defend my title and bring honor and glory to my country.”
Balin, from Argentina, will be making her promotional debut with a record of 10-2. She has scored nine finishes in her career, including five knockouts.
“I am very thankful to ONE Championship for giving me the opportunity to compete for the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship,” Balin said. “I am excited to join the organization and showcase my talents and skills on the global stage of martial arts. My opponent Xiong Jing Nan is a talented athlete, and it will be a difficult test for me. But I will bring my absolute best to the cage to bring the title back home to Argentina.”