Multiple-time IBJJF No-Gi world champion Garry Tonon will make his professional MMA debut under the ONE Championship banner after it was announced earlier today that Tonon had signed with the top Asian promotion.
Company officials revealed that the American grappling superstar had signed a multi-fight deal with the promotion, although the full terms of the contract, as well as the identity of Tonon’s first opponent and the date of his debut are yet to be announced.
“It is with great excitement that I announce the newest addition to ONE Championship’s elite list of global martial arts superstars, American submission grappling legend Garry Tonon,” Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, Chatri Sityodtong, announced in a press release.
“Garry is an amazing individual with a long list of accolades in submission grappling. I have no doubt that his transition to the ONE Championship cage will be a successful one. Fans have a lot to look forward to when Garry finally makes his debut with us.”
26-year-old Tonon, who hails from New Jersey, has grappled since the age of 14 and was awarded his black belt in 2013 by the legendary Ricardo Almeida and Tom deBlass. Since then, “The Lion Killer” has become one of the biggest names in competitive BJJ and has won multiple IBJJF World and Pan American Championships as well as accolades in professional tournaments such as the Eddie Bravo Invitational and Metamoris.
It will not be Tonon’s first time competing under the ONE FC banner though as the American took part in a marquee grappling contest against former ONE Lightweight champion Shinya Aoki last May. The grappling super-bout at ONE: Dynasty of Heroes saw Tonon walk away with the victory after forcing Aoki to tap to a tight heel hook around the midway point of their 15 minute battle.
“I am thrilled to be able to finally announce my arrival in ONE Championship,” Tonon stated in this morning’s official press release.
“It is the natural evolution in my career as a grappler. I have achieved all that I have set out to do in the world of jiu-jitsu, and now I am ready to take on a new challenge. I am excited to begin my ONE Championship career, and proud to showcase my skills on the biggest global stage of competition.”