One Championship to make Qatar debut, Inter Miami heads to Hong Kong

Featured image credit: One Championship

Mixed martial arts promotion One Championship has scheduled its first event in Qatar, while Hong Kong has now been announced as the first destination for Major League Soccer (MLS) club Inter Miami CF’s inaugural international tour.

One 166: Qatar will be held at Lusail Sports Arena on March 1 in what is the promotion’s return to the Middle East. The event will feature five One World Championship fights across MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling.

The event is being backed by official presenting partner Qatar Tourism, official media partner Media City Qatar, and official partner Ooredoo. The news comes after One last week announced its return to Japan. One 165: Rodtang vs Takeru will take place on January 28 at Ariake Arena in Tokyo.

Abdulaziz Ali Al Mawlawi, chief marketing and promotion officer at Qatar Tourism, said: “Qatar Tourism is delighted to be the official event host, presenting partner, and VIP lounge sponsor of what will be the biggest One Championship event the region has ever seen.

“This exciting addition to Qatar’s world-class roster of events reinforces our commitment to bringing exceptional experiences that resonate with local and global audiences. As we strategically position ourselves as a hub for diverse and dynamic experiences, the partnership with One Championship showcases our dedication to hosting world-class sports and entertainment year-round for residents and visitors to enjoy.” 

Inter Miami pivots to Hong Kong

Inter Miami has announced that it will travel to Asia in February for the club’s first-ever international tour.

Inter Miami will visit Hong Kong, where it will take on the ‘Hong Kong Team’, an all-star squad from the domestic First Division League. The match will be hosted at the 40,000-capacity Hong Kong Stadium on February 4.

The club said additional 2024 preseason matches and destinations will be announced in the coming weeks. The latest news comes after Inter Miami last month announced the cancellation of its planned China Tour due to “unforeseen circumstances” in the country.

Inter Miami said the tour promoter, NSN, had informed the club of the cancellation. The news came just days after the club’s first international tour was reduced to just one match following last-minute amendments.

Inter Miami, buoyed by the impact of signing Lionel Messi, announced in October that it would play Qingdao Hainiu FC on November 5 at the 50,000-capacity Qingdao Youth Football Stadium, before facing Chengdu Rongcheng on November 8 at Phoenix Hill Sports Park, which seats over 60,000 fans.

However, the team then announced that the match against Qingdao had been moved to the 41,000-capacity Wuyan River Stadium in Haikou, with the Chengdu leg then cancelled outright.

Commenting on the latest arrangements, Jorge Mas, Inter Miami CF managing owner, said: “From the very beginning we set out to be a global club at Inter Miami. This is a wonderful opportunity to do just that; we hope to enthuse and inspire new Inter Miami fans in Hong Kong and across Asia who share our passion for fútbol.”