UFC vs. ONE FC: What’s The Difference?

Singaporean combat promotion, ONE Fighting Championship (ONE), has been a relatively lesser-known entity in the West when compared to the UFC. However, ONE marked its entry into the American scene in 2023 with its promising partnership with Amazon Prime.

Their inaugural American daytime event was well met, showcasing world-class martial arts, impeccable production value, and exceptional value for spectators.

For the first time in many years, we have a strong contender on the world stage for martial arts. This is great for us fans, as these two mega-corporations must compete with one another to hold our attention.

UFC vs. ONE: What Are The Differences?

ONE Championship Doesn’t Just Broadcast MMA

The UFC currently holds a monopsony on MMA, a fact well understood by ONE. To distinguish themselves, ONE stacks their fight nights with disciplines such as MMA, Muay-Thai, Kickboxing, and Submission Grappling. A typical ONE fight card is a dynamic blend of diverse fighting styles, offering audiences the spectacle of Thai boxers showcasing their skills, followed by intense MMA bouts, and concluding with submission grappling matches.

ONE Fight Night's card structure vs. UFC Fight Night
ONE Fight Night’s card structure vs. UFC Fight Night

ONE Friday Fights

Every Friday morning, ONE presents ‘Friday Fights’ at Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand. Serving as ONE’s counterpart to ‘Dana White’s Contender Series,’ ‘Friday Fights’ serves as a platform to scout and recruit promising talent to enrich their professional roster. Notably, the majority of bouts during ‘Friday Fights’ are centered around the art of Muay Thai.

‘Friday Fights’ are broadcasted live on ONE’s YouTube channel.

What are the rules in ONE Championship?

Depending on the venue, ONE’s events will either take place in a circled cage similar to the UFC, or a conventional boxing ring.

Mixed Martial Arts

ONE Championship uses the Global Martial Arts Ruleset, which is described as blending a combination of Best Practices from Asian and Non-Asian rules. These are essentially the same rules as the UFC, except knees to the head of a downed opponent are legal. Previously, soccer kicks to the head of a grounded opponent were legal, but have since been deemed illegal as part of ONE’s worldwide expansion plan.

Kickboxing

ONE uses K-1 rules in their kickboxing bouts. Bouts are 3×3 minute rounds, with title fights being five rounds. Fights are scored using a ten-point must system. Fighters weighing at or below 65.5kg wear 8-oz gloves, fighters above wear 10-oz gloves.

Muay Thai

ONE Superseries Muay Thai uses 3×3 minute rounds, with 5 rounds for title fights. Fights are scored using a 10 point must system. Elbow strikes, clinch fighting, sweeps and throws are all allowed. Fighters use open-fingered 4-oz gloves as opposed to boxing gloves.

Submission Grappling

Using the ONE Grappling ruleset, grapplers can either win by submission or decision, which is scored over the course of one 10-minute round. Winners are determined on the “number of real submission attempts”. Yellow cards can also be issued for stalling.

UFC vs. ONE FC: Difference in Weight Divisions

ONE FC Weight Divisions

Weight ClassLower Limit (LBS)Upper Limit (LBS)Gender
Atomweight105lbs115lbsFemale
Strawweight115lbs125lbsMale / Female
Flyweight125lbs135lbsMale / Female
Bantamweight135lbs145lbsMale / Female
Featherweight145lbs155lbsMale
Lightweight155lbs170lbsMale
Welterweight170lbs185lbsMale
Middleweight185lbs205lbsMale
Light-Heavyweight205lbs225lbsMale
Heavyweight225lbs265lbsMale
ONE Championship’s Weight Divisions

The UFC uses nine weight divisions as opposed to ONE’s ten. ONE introduces women’s Atomweight to account for female fighters who are too small for Strawweight. ONE’s weight divisions are also heavier than the UFC’s.


UFC Weight Divisions

Weight ClassLower Limit (LBS)Upper Limit (LBS)Gender
StrawweightNo minimum115lbsFemale
Flyweight115lbs125lbsMale/Female
Bantamweight125lbs135lbsMale
Featherweight135lbs145lbsMale
Lightweight145lbs155lbsMale
Welterweight155lbs170lbsMale
Middleweight170lbs185lbsMale
Light Heavyweight185lbs205lbsMale
Heavyweight205lbs265lbsMale
UFC’s weight divisions

How does ONE Championship weigh fighters?

How does ONE weigh their fighters

No dehydrating in ONE Championship

ONE’s weight limits are based on a fighter’s “walking weight”. Weight cutting by dehydration is banned to promote fighter safety, instead, ONE checks fighter urine samples to check that they are hydrated, even up to three hours before a scheduled bout! The UFC allows fighters to cut massive amounts of weight through dehydration, and doesn’t allow rehydration via IV. In some states like California, they won’t let fighters cut more than 10% from what they determine to be “healthy hydrated weight”, which is a half-measure compared to ONE’s stance on dehydration.

ONE Championship Fighter Salary

Fighter salaries are not publicly disclosed. ONE does use a cash bonus known as the “ONE Warrior Bonus”, in which fighters can be awarded US$50,000 for meeting particular criteria such as:

  • Thrilling the fans with exciting action
  • Demonstrating an incredible warrior spirit
  • Exhibiting amazing skill
  • Delivering a phenomenal finish

ONE isn’t as transparent as the UFC about fighter pay (which isn’t saying a lot).

“For every event, the bar will be very, very high. If a few fighters impress me, then I will hand out the bonus to a few fighters. If no one impresses me, then no one will get it. Extraordinary performance deserves extraordinary rewards. Ordinary performances deserve ordinary rewards.”Victor Cui – CEO of International at ONE

Should you watch ONE Championship?

Without a doubt. The production value, spectacle, and skills on display all work together to give the viewer the best combat sports experience possible. ONE Championship is pure value for entertainment.

How to watch ONE Championship

ONE is moving away from free event streaming on their YouTube channel. You can still watch particular events on their channel for free, but PPV events are moving to Amazon Prime and the ONE FC website. PPV events are typically between £19.99 and £25 in the UK.

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