ONE Championship signs elite grappler Garry Tonon

ONE Championship signs elite grappler Garry Tonon
PHOTO: ONE Championship signs elite grappler Garry Tonon

ONE Championship has bolstered its roster of athletes with the signing of one of the best submission grapplers to ever step onto the mats.

American Garry ‘Lion Killer’ Tonon has signed for the promotion on an exclusive contract to compete professionally in the ONE Championship cage. Details of his first bout will be announced in due course.

New Jersey native Tonon has been wrestling and grappling since his school days, having taken up wrestling as a 10-year-old, then starting Brazilian jiu-jitsu aged 14.

Coached by Tom deBlass and Brazilian legend Ricardo Almeida, Tonon quickly developed into a world-class grappler, and went on to win multiple IBJJF No-GI world titles in different weight classes.

Tonon earned his BJJ black belt in September 2013, then the ‘Lion Killer’ began showcasing his skills in a host of major grappling tournaments, including the Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBI) and Metamoris, winning multiple titles along the way.

Tonon competed under the ONE Championship banner earlier this year in the promotion’s first-ever Grappling Super-Match. In that contest, he defeated Japanese legend and former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki, defeating the Japanese star via heel hook submission.

Now the 26-year-old is turning his attention from grappling to the cage, and joins ONE Championship looking to make a major impact.

Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, Chatri Sityodtong, was delighted with Tonon’s signing.

“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,” he said via 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.”

Meanwhile, Tonon said he’s ready to take on a fresh challenge and test himself in a new environment as an all-round martial artist.

“I am thrilled to be able to finally announce my arrival in ONE Championship. It is the natural evolution in my career as a grappler,” he said.

“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.”