Update: ONE Championship restored the division on its page.

The Lightweight MMA division on ONE Championship’s webpage is no longer available, suggesting the company has already removed it entirely.

As first spotted by South China Morning Post’s Nicolas Atkin, the division is no longer included in the ranking page of the company. There’s still no official statement from ONE to explain the reason, but fans have their own speculations about the matter.

Some point to the lack of activity within the division, with Christian Lee, the Lightweight World Champ, pausing his activities after his sister’s death. To resolve this, CEO Chatri Sityodtong shared that there was a plan to have an interim fight in the division while Lee was still inactive, but this never materialized despite interest from various fighters.

Making the situation of the division worse was the lack of fights of some of the ranked fighters on the list. For instance, No.2-ranked Dagi Arslanaliev has not been active in MMA for two years, while Saygid Izagakhmaev’s last three fights were in 2022. With this, some speculate that ONE might be moving away from its MMA business and focusing more on Muay Thai and kickboxing. 

“I wouldn’t be shocked if they get rid of MMA entirely,” commented one fan on Reddit. “They’re becoming focused on Muay Thai and kickboxing to the point that MMA is kind of a sideshow.”

“That lack of notable MMA fights and now this gives me a bad feeling about ONE’s future,” said another one. “Muay Thai is cool but I don’t think they’re going to get as big as they want by just having regional Thai champs fight cans for $5k while having 1-2 MMA fights per month with it mostly being lower-level fights between guys from Russia or SEA. Makes me think they can’t afford to pay their Western MMA athletes to fight regularly.”

ONE Championship still hasn’t commented on the matter, but here is the ranking of the removed division:

ONE Championship Lightweight MMA Division

World Champion: Christian Lee

No. 1: Ok Rae Yoon

No. 2: Dagi Arslanaliev

No. 3: Saygid Izagakhmaev

No. 4: Halil Amir

No. 5: Shinya Aoki

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