My Favorite Photo

My Favorite Photo

Sunday 12:28 AM

I’ve been blessed with many incredible memories as a martial artist over the last 30+ years, but this photo below is my favorite photo of my entire martial arts journey. It was taken at the very first ONE Championship event in Singapore in 2011.

On the left is my jiu-jitsu master, the legendary Renzo Gracie (who is genuinely one of the greatest human beings alive that I know). On the right is my late Muay Thai master, Kru Yodtong Senanan (who played the most influential role – outside of my family – in shaping me as a person). I am so full of gratitude and appreciation for everything they have done for me. These two legends of martial arts not only taught me how to fight, but they taught me how to live.

It was truly a magical moment for me when they met each other. (They actually met for the 1st time when I opened Evolve MMA in January 2009, as the Guests of Honor for the Grand Opening Ceremony). Despite the language barrier between them, I could feel the love, respect, and admiration they had for each other. Without these legends, ONE Championship would have never been born.

No one achieves his/her greatness alone. We all stand on the shoulders of great men and women. As Isaac Newton once said, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”


Chatri Sityodtong is a self-made entrepreneur and lifelong martial artist from Thailand. His rags-to-riches life story has inspired millions around the world on BBC News, CNN, Financial Times, Bloomberg TV, CNBC, Channel NewsAsia, and other major media. He is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of ONE Championship, Asia’s largest global sports media property in history with a global broadcast to over 1.7 billion potential viewers across 136 countries around the world. Forbes most recently selected Sityodtong as one of Asia’s next generation tycoons. He was also named “Asia’s King of Martial Arts” by the Financial Times and the “3rd Most Powerful Person in Sports in Asia” by FOX Sports. He is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD, Europe’s top business school. Sityodtong holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Tufts University.


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