ONE Championship Clarify Soccer Kick Ban

ONE Championship Clarify Soccer Kick Ban

ONE FC CEO Victor Cui explains the reason the promotion has banned soccer kick strikes.

Sep 18, 2016 by Jim Edwards
ONE Championship Clarify Soccer Kick Ban
Last month, ONE Championship banned the use of soccer kicks from their fights prior to their event ONE: Heroes of The World on August 13.

The decision was taken by the ONE Championship owner Chatri Sityodtong, who announced that any kick to the head of a downed opponent was banned with immediate effect, and that ONE Championship would no longer prohibit the technical ground kick.

“If you look at studies that were done on soccer kicks, it’s the same as a normal head kick because you cannot generate more pivotal force,” Sityodtong said in a media scrum back in August. “It’s more of a perception thing. No one has been injured and no one has been in any serious situation from a soccer kick.”

Sityodtong also that they removed soccer kicks from ONE Championship to protect the image of the sport and help it enter the mainstream.

“There’s bad publicity. If we really want to go mainstream. People will have to understand that we have to make certain steps,” Sityodtong said.“Everything we are doing, especially with the investment from Temasek and Heliconia, it has really raised the bar for everything that we do in terms of institutionalization of the sport.”

Speaking earlier this week in London, ONE Championship CEO Victor Cui offered similar thoughts.

“From a safety perspective there weren’t any issue with it,” Cui began. “The rule was always very safe, but as our sport continues to grow and become more mainstream, we are getting really big mainstream brands and there are some adaptations that we have to make if we want to bring in new fans.

“Disney is our partner, LG is our partner, I mean, if you buy and LG TV in Asia these days, it comes preloaded with ONE Championship content on your TV. We simply just want to continue to build our fan base and deliver sports to them in the way the masses want to consume them.”

Since the new rule was put in place, ONE Championship officials have clarified the punishment for a fighter who breaches the new restriction.

“Should a soccer kick be used by one of the fighters, each case will be judged on its own merits.,” Cui said. “Factors such as severity, whether it was intentional, damage taken by the opponents etc. A fighter can be DQ’d from the fight if the referee believes that is the correct course of action.