One Championship just had a titlist and grappling legend in Roger Gracie retire in the past few days but the leading Asian MMA promotion was quick to announce the addition of a new star from the mats.
On Monday, One announced the signing of American Garry Tonon, who will make his MMA in the promotion in the coming months. Financial terms and length of the deal were not disclosed. No opponent or date has been set for the debut of Tonon, who figures to compete in One's 170-pound “middleweight” division.
“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,” said Tonon in a press release. “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.”
Tonon, 26, is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under Tom DeBlass and Ricardo Almeida, training out of Brunswick BJJ in New Jersey. In the last six years, “The Lion Killer” has racked up a host of gi and no-gi grappling titles over his belt progression to black, most notably winning the International BJJ Federation no-gi worlds as a brown belt in 2011 and 2012 and winning the IBJJF Pan-American no-gi world title in 2015 as a black belt.
Over the last two years, Tonon has also made his name alongside fellow grappling stalwart Gordon Ryan by shining in Eddie Bravo Invitational tournaments. Most recently, at the 2017 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships in Espoo, Finland, Tonon took a bronze medal in the 170-pound category.
Interestingly, when Tonon does make his MMA debut in the One cage, it will not be the American's first One appearance. This may May at One's “Dynasty of Heroes” in Kallang, Singapore, Tonon took on Japanese MMA star and former One champ Shinya Aoki in a grappling bout, tapping “The Tobikan Judan” with a heel hook.