Asian MMA Podcast
What you need to know about the new ONE Championship Thailand President
A few weeks back ONE Championship announced that they have appointed Plai Asdamongkol as the President of ONE Championship Thailand.
While on the surface this might seem like a fairly run of the mill appointment in the industry, this could actually have a fairly significant impact on MMA across Asia.
Now, first off, I have to say I know Plai, I like Plai, he’s been on the show before. If there was a single person who has done more for MMA in Thailand I can’t think of them. He’s also a super nice, honest and upfront guy, which I’ll get into why that makes this situation more confusing in a bit.
You guys might remember a few episodes back I talked about that very strange deal between ONE Championship and a new organization called GAMMA where Chatri was claiming he was going to work with GAMMA to bring MMA to the Olympics.
In that episode, I talked about the important role that IMMAF has actually played in amateur MMA.
Well before joining ONE Championship, Plai was the president of TMMAF the Thai chapter of that organization and was a key player in bringing the IMMAF Asian Open to Bangkok.
Plai had done a lot of work with the sports authority of Thailand to help sanction and regulate MMA in the kingdom and he had worked with his counterparts in the neighboring countries.
He’s sort of good like that.
Under Plais leadership of TMMAF, MMA, especially at the grassroots level came a long way in Thailand.
We haven’t seen anything change just yet in Thai MMA, but I am sure it is just a matter of time before ONE starts trying to force out IMMAF, which again, is a legitimate organization in MMA and force in GAMMA to further their own agenda.
But getting back to Plai actually being a nice guy and why that is worrying.
I have heard from a number of ONE employee about how alpha the company culture and I have a very hard time seeing someone like Plai fitting into a culture like that.
I would hate to see someone who has been so good for the sport to become a casualty of it.
The flip side to that coin and the one I am really hoping for is that Play becomes a catalyst for positive change within ONE and is able to push ideas like a partnership with IMMAF or being more transparent, or perhaps even getting away from the conflicts of interest I’ve covered before.
I think that is unlikely, but let’s see what happens.
This is a smart move by Chatri, he was able to negate a strong player in the ecosystem and get them under his control.
From a business perspective, I can’t argue with it. But as a fan of the sport, it hurts.
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