The world’s best martial artists will converge on Shanghai, China on Saturday, 15 June for ONE: LEGENDARY QUEST.
This battle of martial arts supremacy will feature a stacked card of World Champions and international superstars competing in Muay Thai, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts.
As ONE Championship makes its return to China, we examine three major storylines ahead of this epic martial arts showcase.
How Will Stamp Fairtex Fare In Her First World Title Defense?
A showdown between two of the youngest and brightest stars in The Home Of Martial Arts will take place when two-sport ONE World Champion Stamp Fairtex defends her ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title against Australian teenage sensation Alma Juniku.
As the older and the more experienced between the two, Stamp will be looking to build upon her recent string of success in ONE, which saw her capture belts in Muay Thai and kickboxing.
The Thai’s offensive repertoire of shrewd kickboxing, when combined with her skills in the clinch, makes her a nightmare match-up for most competitors. Yet she will need to be wary of Juniku’s strong knockout power, which will be ever so amplified with the smaller 4-ounce gloves used for their bout.
The 18-year-old Australian prodigy’s debut will be Stamp’s first roadblock as she attempts to lay the foundations for a long and fruitful title reign.
Will the Pattaya native roll out her victory mat to welcome Juniku, or will the teenager score yet another upset in a year full of surprises so far in The Home Of Martial Arts?
A Japanese Superstar Debuts With ONE
ONE has only grown stronger in Japan since the spectacle that was ONE: A NEW ERA in Tokyo earlier this March.
On that note, former K-1 HERO Grand Prix Champion Yoshihiro “Sexy Yama” Akiyama has announced his return to mixed martial arts and will make his debut at the Baoshan Arena.
The Japanese-Korean legend has competed in North America and Asia, and he has even won medals at the Asian Judo Championships and Asian Games.
As Akiyama embarks on the latest chapter in his highly decorated career, waiting at the ropes to greet him will be Malaysian welterweight Agilan “Alligator” Thani.
The 23-year-old has no qualms about testing his youth against the more experienced master judoka, believing that his BJJ skills hold the keys to winning what looks to be an unmissable co-main event.
In supreme fitness and conditioning, Akiyama will be looking to further impress with his judo ability and shake off any doubts about his three-year absence from active competition.
Will the Kuala Lumpur-born Thani rewrite the narrative in the latest chapter of Akiyama’s storied career, or will the experience of “Sexy Yama” win out and prompt a career renaissance with The Home Of Martial Arts?
Heavyweight Artillery Battle It Out To Be The Division’s Frontrunner
Tarik “The Tank” Khabez has been on a demolition run since debuting in ONE Super Series last year.
Racking up three wins in quick fashion has vaulted Khabez to the top of the heavyweight and light heavyweight division’s totem pole, where he foresees a title shot materializing.
Before that can happen, the two-time SUPERKOMBAT Heavyweight World Champion will have to contend with the ascent of Anderson “Braddock” Silva, who is fresh off a highlight-reel knockout win over Andre “The Giant” Meunier at ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR.
Equally powerful knockout artists and seasoned competitors in the international kickboxing circuit, both giants will be jostling for pole position in the race to be the top dog in both the heavyweight and light heavyweight kickboxing categories.
Can Silva follow up on his strong debut with a definitive win, or will “The Tank” have enough firepower to prevail in this clash of the titans?