ONE Chairman Says Conor McGregor is Arrogant, Lacks Humility

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Conor McGregor probably thought that the most damning assessment of his character this week would be coming from the direction of Eddie Alvarez, but Philadelphia’s own has been given a run for his money by a certain Asian businessman.

Earlier this week, ONE Championship chairman Chatri Sityodtong spoke to about the UFC’s presence in the Eastern markets and while doing so gave a stern assessment of the current UFC featherweight champion.

“The formula that attracts fans in the Western hemisphere is violence, disrespect, controversy, arrogance,” Sityodtong said. “That kind you see in Conor McGregor, bling bling, driving a Rolls Royce—that doesn’t work in Asia.

“Asians don’t like heroes who are arrogant, materialistic, who lack humility, or fighters who disrespect opponents and throw water bottles at people.

“Who are our heroes in Asia? Jackie Chan and Manny Pacquiao — they are real-life heroes who achieved greatness but are such humble, kind, sweet, gentle human beings. This is what Asians are about. You can’t impose Western values on Asians when we have our own core values.”

Having canceled their only event in Asia last month, Fight Night Manila, it was reported shortly after that the UFC had laid off roughly 50% of their staff in their Asia offices including the Executive Vice President and General Manager of Asia, Ken Berger.

The ONE chairman gave his own assessment of the UFC’s activities in Asia and pointed out where ONE had operated differently in comparison.

“I think that’s why ONE Championship is successful in Asia as we celebrate the true beauty of martial arts, the tradition, the history, the culture of Asia,”Sityodtong said. “UFC is focused on creating nastiness and anger and arrogance. That’s what has succeeded in America but not necessarily in Asia.

“UFC has been successful in the Western hemisphere, especially in North American markets, and it is basically a more homogenous market as compared to Asia. 

"Asia has a diverse demography in terms of culture, religions, governments, policies, even societal and cultural norms. You can’t just use what’s successful in America and come here and say it’s going to work in Asia. The product and the approach must be tailored specifically to each Asian country.”

Despite seeing the UFC seemingly pull back resources from the market, Sityodtong said he believed that the UFC would be back and learn the from the experiences they’ve had so far in Asia.

“I do believe UFC is a great company and will do very well in the future in Asia,” he said. “I just believe they went through a trial and learning process for the past seven years.

“Hopefully they have learned a lot, and they’re regrouping now to make a comeback into the Asian market.”

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