Since 2011, ONE Championship has aimed to ignite the world with hope, strength, dreams, and inspiration – and with some help from its world-class martial artists, the organization has done just that.
Along with showcasing their incredible skills on the global stage, athletes from all walks of life have reached out to fans with unique, inspiring messages.
Here, we look at 10 inspirational martial arts quotes from some of ONE Championship’s biggest stars.
Since he started competing in ONE Championship during 2012, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio has been an inspiration for martial arts fans across his home country of the Philippines. But perhaps the highlight of his career was winning the ONE Flyweight World Title against former foe Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes in 2018.
“Ladies and gentlemen, when I started 14 years ago, this was impossible. But now, after 14 years, impossible is not a word – it is just a reason,” Eustaquio said after his hard-earned split decision victory.
“Anybody can be a World Champion, as long as you have the drive and the attitude. I am proud to be the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion this time.”
Former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang constantly inspires his adoring fans. After all, he’s been competing in ONE Championship since the organization’s inception in 2011, even headlining its first event.
One of Folayang’s career highlights came when he defeated Amir Khan for the vacant ONE Lightweight World Title in November 2018, making him a three-time World Champion.
“Thank you to the Lord God who teaches me how to fight and who blessed me with this victory,” he said. “I am so blessed to join my three teammates who have won their belts. I am so inspired by their hard work.”
Twelve-time Mixed Martial Arts World Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson has produced one of the most inspirational martial arts careers in history, but he chalks up that success to the message his mother drilled into him as a child.
“There’s one thing that’s always stuck with me that my mom said,” Johnson recalled. “‘Just work hard, and you can have whatever you want.’ That’s one of the things I keep in the back of my mind.”
Singaporean knockout artist Amir Khan doesn’t just consider himself a competitor – rather a martial artist – and it shows with his training mindset. Khan believes that practitioners of any martial art must put in the sacrifice and discipline to grow their skills.
“Training is sacred. You have to be dedicated to getting better each day. That’s what it means to be a true martial artist,” he said.
“You put in the work, you reap the results. Sometimes things get hard, but you have to push through it both mentally and physically. You have to will yourself to get up every day and put yourself through the paces. Push yourself to the limit, and discover what you are capable of. Over time, you’ll improve drastically.”
“Unstoppable” Angela Lee gave a heartfelt in-ring speech after she defeated Mei “V.V” Yamaguchi for the inaugural ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship in 2016 in front of her hometown fans in Singapore.
“I told you guys I was born for this, this moment right here. I worked really hard for it, but I couldn’t do this all by myself. It takes a whole army to build a champion and I’m really lucky to be surrounded by amazing people,” Lee said.
Christian “The Warrior” Lee epitomizes what it means to be a World Champion. He defends his belt on every occasion, never turns down any fight – short notice or not – and usually surprises the world with come-from-behind finishes. He attributes that success to his father’s teachings.
“My dad always tells my sister and I, ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way. If you want something bad enough, you’ll get it done. You’ll find a way to do it.’ That’s impacted me in every aspect of my life. In terms of martial arts, it helps me to push that extra round, run that extra mile, train that extra hour,” Lee said.
Aung La N Sang
When Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang became Myanmar’s first-ever World Champion in any sport, he addressed his compatriots at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, and his message was nothing short of inspirational.
“I cannot do this without God. I cannot do this without my teammates. I cannot do this without you, Myanmar,” Aung La N Sang said in 2017 after defeating Vitaly Bigdash for the ONE Middleweight World Championship.
“I’m not talented. I’m not good. I’m not fast. But with you, I have courage, I have strength, I have what I need to win the World Title.”
Xiong Jing Nan
ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan may not consider herself an inspiration, but she always motivates her fans in China and hopes to represent them every time she steps into the ONE Circle.
“I do not think I am qualified to say I am inspiring my nation. But, I could use myself to inspire more people in China – those who have the talent and interest in martial arts,” Xiong said.
“I want the world to see the power of Chinese martial arts through me. I’m really glad to be showing the world that Chinese martial arts is on a different level now.”
In 2017, Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen stepped into ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS battling two fights – first for the ONE Featherweight World Championship and second to bring closure to an old promise. Ultimately, he defeated then-World Champion Marat “Cobra” Gafurov by second-round knockout and dedicated the win to a late family member.
“This one was for my dad. He was the sole inspiration of this whole camp. I mentally broke. The boys kept me together. I kept turning back to my dad,” Nguyen said.
“This was the one thing I wanted to do in front of his eyes. Unfortunately, he couldn’t be here today. But I know he’s watching over me.”
Former ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera ignited the Philippines at ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS in 2018 by defending his belt against Mauro “The Hammer” Cerilli. Afterward, he let his compatriots know that the win was the start of something special for the home country.
“To all my countrymen, listen. In the world of martial arts, the Philippines owns five World Titles,” Vera said. “This ONE [Heavyweight] World Title, we can definitely win this here in our country. We can do it here – we can win all the ONE World Titles here.”