IBJJF and ADCC world champion Leo Vieira has just been announced as the Vice President of Grappling for Asian-based combat sports promotion ONE Championship. The organization originally started life as an MMA promotion but quickly added striking arts like Muay Thai and Kickboxing to it’s roster, and has now started to turn it’s hand to submission grappling as well. They dabbled in the sport originally before signing the first wave of elite grapplers like Andre Galvao and Silver Fox black belt Danielle Kelly to make their promotional debuts.
Since then ONE Championship has shown no signs of slowing down, signing some of the best competitors on the planet like Gordon Ryan and creating fantastic matches like Mikey Musumeci v Masakazu Imanari. There has been a steady increase in grappling matches announced for upcoming ONE Championship cards, and in just a few weeks both of the Ruotolo brothers will make their promotional debuts against Garry Tonon and Shinya Aoki. It isn’t just about building submission grappling within the ONE Championship brand either, as the promotion has also started to put money back into the sport itself and has become one of the latest sponsors for the 2022 ADCC world championships.
It’s unclear exactly what role Leo Vieira will play as the Vice President of Grappling for ONE Championship but he will definitely have his hands full judging by the amount of work the promotion has put into the sport. With one of the sport’s most well-respected competitors and coaches leading the way for them, the future seems bright for submission grappling both inside and outside of the Asia.
ONE Championship Founder and CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced the news with the following statement:
“It is my honor to announce that Leo Vieira, one of the most accomplished and respected Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners in history, has decided to join ONE Championship as Vice President of Grappling. Leo is a true trailblazer in martial arts, and as we continue to add depth to our grappling roster, his guidance will be invaluable. ONE is proud to continue providing the world’s best martial arts athletes with a platform to showcase their unique talents and skills.”
Leo Vieira gave the following statement on his appointment as Vice President of Grappling for ONE Championship:
“I am thrilled to join ONE as Vice President of Grappling. I appreciate the trust and opportunity that Chatri and the ONE team have given me to shape ONE’s submission grappling divisions. As a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt for over 25 years, I have been able to positively impact lives as a competitor, professor, and team leader, and I will continue to do so at ONE. It is a dream come true to work alongside people who share similar values and beliefs about martial arts as I do. I am committed to building the world’s most exciting submission grappling promotion with ONE’s amazingly talented roster.”