ONE Championship returns to Manila this Friday, 2 August for the biggest martial arts event in Philippines history.
The Mall Of Asia Arena will play host to ONE: DAWN OF HEROES, and this epic card is filled with incredible match-ups featuring some of the biggest names in martial arts.
Here are three reasons why Singaporeans must watch the action on this phenomenal night in the Philippine capital.
Two World Grand Prix Semifinals
A pair of ONE Flyweight and ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix semifinal bouts are set to steal the show on Friday night.
Johnson, the greatest pound-for-pound flyweight in mixed martial arts history, will face Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada in the Flyweight World Grand Prix semifinals.
In the Lightweight World Grand Prix semifinals, his fellow countryman Alvarez squares off against Eduard “Landslide” Folayang in a best of the East meets West mixed martial arts battle.
“Mighty Mouse” is motivated to turn in a dominant performance after the former 12-time World Champion eked out a hard-earned win over Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu during his debut in Tokyo, Japan at ONE: A NEW ERA.
“The Underground King,” on the other hand, is on the road to redemption, and a new path back to the ONE Lightweight World Title has opened after his insertion back into the World Grand Prix.
Both men know they have unfinished business waiting for them back in Tokyo in the World Grand Prix Finals at ONE: CENTURY, and they will want to make good on their goals to dominate mixed martial arts in Asia.
The ONE Featherweight World Title Is On The Line
Although the vastly more experienced and famous duo of Alvarez and Johnson will steal headlines, Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen will undoubtedly be the star of the evening.
Every time the Vietnamese-Australian has stepped into the Philippines, he has put up amazing performances for the fans in attendance.
Widely considered to be his favorite hunting ground, the Mall Of Asia Arena brings back memories for Nguyen. It is where he dethroned hometown hero Eduard “Landslide” Folayang to capture the ONE Lightweight World Title and become the first-ever two-division World Champion in ONE.
His opponent this time, Koyomi “Moushigo” Matsushima, has youth on his side, and Nguyen will instead play the role of the elder statesman in his third World Title defense.
His Japanese challenger is a dangerous foe, whose well-rounded skills in both the stand-up and ground game have propelled him to becoming the division’s top contender.
Nguyen is not short on confidence, having recorded a spectacular flying knee KO of former World Champion Narantungalag “Tungaa” Jadambaa earlier in April.
This featherweight clash will be the first meeting between the two men, and it looks to be an absolute firecracker.
Arjan Bhullar Makes His Heavyweight Debut
ONE has made serious moves into India, and one of its biggest steps is the signing of Olympic wrestling veteran Arjan “Singh” Bhullar.
“Singh” wants to be the driving force to bring mixed martial arts into India, and the Commonwealth Games wrestling gold medalist believes ONE is the perfect vehicle to achieve those goals.
Aside from fulfilling the vision he shares with a co-founder and Vice Chairman of the Board of ONE Championship to bring mixed martial arts events into India, Bhullar wants to become the ONE Heavyweight World Champion.
Bhullar will lock horns with Italian powerhouse Mauro “The Hammer” Cerilli in his promotional debut, and he will be looking to announce his arrival to the rest of the division with a definitive win.
The Indian-Canadian knows victory will edge him closer to a World Title shot and an opportunity to reclaim national glory on the biggest stage in mixed martial arts.