Rich Franklin teases potential US venue for ONE Empower.
ONE Championship vice president, Rich Franklin, has revealed to FanSided MMA that the postponed ONE Empower might have a new venue and it’s going to make American fans very happy. In an exclusive interview on Thursday, Franklin revealed he’s flown from Singapore to the United States, in part, to shop potential venues for the Asian promotions first US event.
“I don’t have an update on One Empower,” Franklin said. “I know that we’re working on that, but I will say this to tease you guys a little bit. I am in the U.S. right now because One Championship is looking at bringing a card to U.S. soil, actually. So there could or could not be some sort of overlap there with the postponed One Empower.
Anything else I tell you, I can tell you but then I’d have to kill you. It’s that kind of thing.”
ONE Empower was postponed due to coronavirus
ONE Empower was postponed due to Singapore’s health and safety protocol, leaving the promotion to air previously recorded fights. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, ONE Championship had voiced their desire to hold an event in the United States and they ramped up their promotion to the viewers on North America, including airing a series of events featuring American fighters on TNT.
“Going into that show [One on TNT 1], we wanted to and thought that we needed to, depend on our U.S.-based athletes, like the ones that had their followings here: the Eddie Alvarez, Demetrius Johnson, and whatnot,” Franklin said. “But what we learned after the broadcast happened is that ratings didn’t drop off. And people were really interested in the foreign athletes as well. And a lot of that just comes down to the excitement level of the matches and the performance. So, you know, the natural instinct for us is like, well, maybe it’s time to look at the U.S. So we’re over here looking around and poking our nose and seeing what can happen.”
The full interview, which can be watched in the video play above or on YouTube, also sees Franklin reveal, in-depth, how ONE Championship’s hydration testing process works, his opinions about weight cutting and concussion dangers, his fight to watch at ONE Blast 2, how ONE Championship has been able to stay afloat during COVID and much more.
ONE Full Blast 2 takes place on Friday, June 11, 2020, live from Singapore. Follow along with FanSided for all your live news and highlights.