“The Voice” Michael Schiavello Talks ONE Super Series, Nguyen/Fernandes Rematch, And More

Michael Schiavello has probably witnessed more fights live than any other human trotting the face of the planet. In addition to calling some of the greatest fights of all time, he has created a unique style that cannot be replicated but continuously imitated.

As known as “The Voice” to the masses, the Australian combat sports commentator ventured back to the Eastern Hemisphere after spending many years over on the other side of the globe calling events mainly for AXS TV.

Settled in nicely at ONE Championship now, Schiavello has added stability and an enormous amount of excitement to the broadcasting team alongside Mitch “The Dragon” Chilson.

John Hyon Ko caught up with Michael Schiavello to talk about how he hooked up with ONE Championship, the greatest fights he has ever commentated, Martin Nguyen versus Bibiano Fernandes, ONE Super Series kicking off in Manila on April 20, and more.

Notable excerpts from the interview:

John Hyon Ko: When you started, what did you see different about ONE Championship compared to all the other shows you have done?

Michael Schiavello: “I think the difference with ONE Championship was the ideals behind it and the mindset, the psychology, behind it and the message they are trying to push. And the sort of breed of combat sports or martial arts they are trying to push. That really, for me, stands them apart from any other promotion I’ve worked for.”

John Hyon Ko: Commentating in Asia, what are some of the challenges you face?

Michael Schiavello: “Some of the differences are when it comes to the global rule set, you know, martial arts in a cage. The Asian audience is not as educated as the U.S. audience. With that said though, their passion is unbelievable. But you’ve got to be careful. Because they are not as educated, is not getting too technical. Why call an omoplata an omoplata when you can call it a shoulder lock.”

John Hyon Ko: When you were cage side. When you were watching [Nguyen vs Fernandes], what did you think of what played out in that fight?

Michael Schiavello: “It was one of the most entertaining main events I’ve seen. Though there was no knockout and neither man got close to a submission finish and both of them tagged each other but not heavy enough to render anyone unconscious, it was so entertaining because here you had two fabulous martial artists at the peak of their powers.”

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