This Friday, 16 August, ONE Championship will return to Thailand with ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD at the Impact Arena in Bangkok.
A collection of World Champions, elite contenders, and rising stars will grace this momentous event and deliver what looks to be an epic showcase of martial arts glory in “The Land Of Smiles.”
Here are three reasons why Singaporeans should not miss the action from this star-studded event.
#1 Evolve Fight Team Duo Returns To Action
Despite the recent infusion of youth into the Evolve Fight Team, Alex “Little Rock” Silva is not ready to pass the baton just yet.
The Singapore-stationed Brazilian is one of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu veterans at Evolve. The Copa do Mundo World Champion will pit his BJJ skills against BJJ brown belt Stefer Rahardian on the main card in Bangkok. Expect a high-level grappling showcase, especially for BJJ fanatics. This is a must-watch contest.
Also, his teammate – and highly touted Japanese shooto and wrestling sensation – Ryuto “Dragon Boy” Sawada makes his promotional debut against Aziz Calim in the prelims. An alumnus of Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series, Sawada earned his way into a coveted spot on the Evolve Fight Team via the global tryouts last November.
The duo will further add to their team’s accomplishments if they can both score clean sweeps over their Indonesian rivals.
#2 A Pair Of ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Semifinals
Good things come in pairs, and we are now in the final four of the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix.
The is no shortage of star power in these two semifinal bouts.
Kickboxing czar Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan will meet “Smokin” Jo Nattawut for the second time in hopes of securing a repeat victory against the Thai hero.
Petrosyan, having maintained a decade-long dominance in kickboxing, knows that winning it all in the World Grand Prix will put him in rarefied air among the game’s all-time greats.
That being said, “Smokin” is known to pack heavy hands and quick feet, and “The Doctor” could be left licking his wounds if he slips up against the wily Thai native.
The other side of the bracket will see Russian powerhouse Dzhabar “Genghis Khan” Askerov squaring off against Frenchman Samy “AK47” Sana.
Sana showed he had the heart of a lion and the firepower to match in his huge upset victory over the legendary Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex earlier in May.
The tournament’s US$1-million-dollar grand prize is a life-changing sum of money, but the Frenchman has to first get past Askerov to book his ticket to the final in Tokyo.
If Askerov can pull out his rolling thunder heel kicks and spinning backfists, he may well turn the tide against his rangy French rival and steal the victory.
#3 Stamp Fairtex Begins Her Quest For 3-Sport World Title Glory
Two-sport World Champion Stamp Fairtex has trailblazed a path in ONE Super Series, winning belts across two different sports. The undefeated Thai starlet is not resting on her laurels just yet and is gunning for a third World Title in mixed martial arts.
Undefeated atomweight Asha “Knockout Queen” Roka is ready to welcome Stamp into the deep waters of mixed martial arts.
A deadly finisher who holds a 4-0 record in mixed martial arts and a 7-0 record in boxing, Roka poses a stern test to Stamp’s mixed martial arts ambitions.
However, competing on home soil in front of her compatriots might just give Stamp the support she needs to get the win.
Both young athletes have tremendously high upsides and it is up to each woman to make the best of this opportunity as they attempt to ascend the atomweight ranks.
At 10:00pm SGT, Channel 5 will cut into the live broadcast, just in time for the co-main event and main event.
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