Asia-Based MMA Promotion Launches Agent Certification Program To Rout Theft

One Championship

If you are interested in representing fighters participating in the ONE Championship, then you now must first be certified with the organization. Chairman Chatri Sityodtong announced the creation of a certification program earlier today and made it clear that only agents and/or managers who have received certification by ONE Championship will be permitted to work with ONE athletes.

“Effective immediately, ONE Championship has strengthened its Agent Certification to global standards similar to those of the top global sports media properties in the world such as NFL and MLB,” said Sityodtong.

The certification guidelines specify that individuals interested in being certified must currently be a resident in Asia for at least one year. Additionally, applicants must have no prior criminal record, no history or current ongoing matters of legal or lawsuit activity with any athlete, a minimum of ten years of related experience in the martial arts industry and a college or university degree.

Interestingly, Sityodtong posted on Facebook that exceptions to the criteria will be made on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, it appears that he is closely connected to an entity called ONE Elite Agency (OEA), which props itself up as an exclusive, invitation-only sports agency reserved for the top 10% of athletes in ONE Championship. Sityodtong wrote that OEA has the full backing of ONE Championship resources, connections and intellectual property around the world.

Potential conflicts aside, Sityodtong appears to have the best interests of the athletes at heart.

“Unfortunately, some ONE athletes have been victims of theft by their agents and/or managers,” added Sityodtong. “In order to create a safer, happier, and healthier environment for our athletes, all agents and/or managers wishing to work with ONE athletes will need certification by ONE Championship.”

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.