Martin Nguyen Gets Second Chance at Becoming Three-Division Champion at ONE: Reign of Kings
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Manila, Philippines– The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), has just announced the complete card for ONE: REIGN OF KINGS, set for the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila this 27 July. The absolute best in local and international martial arts talent are ready to showcase their incredible skills on the largest global stage of martial arts competition.
Once again, ONE Championship’s finest athletes will electrify the Mall of Asia Arena with explosive, action-packed contests. In the main event, hometown hero Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon of Baguio City, Philippines will take on two-division ONE World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen of Sydney, Australia.
Ticket information for ONE: REIGN OF KINGS is available at www.onefc.com.
Filipino Flyweight Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon of Team Lakay hails from Kiangan, Ifugao province. He made his professional cage debut in 2007, winning his first nine bouts while capturing a local flyweight title. After joining ONE Championship in 2012, Belingon put together a series of tremendous performances, including several highlight-reel finishes, to earn a shot at ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes in early 2016. Although Belingon failed to capture the title, he has since been on a warpath back to world title contention, putting together a sensational win streak which includes huge knockout wins over several former world title challengers. In the main event of ONE: REIGN OF KINGS, Belingon will compete against Martin Nguyen for the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship.
ONE Featherweight & Lightweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen of Sydney, Australia made his professional mixed martial arts debut in 2012. He quickly took the featherweight circuit by storm, winning an eight-man tournament to be crowned Australia’s BRACE MMA Featherweight Champion. Shortly after, he signed with ONE Championship in 2014 and has since put together a string of stunning finishes. Nguyen became the first-ever two-division titleholder in ONE Championship history, having knocked out both Marat Gafurov and Eduard Folayang to become the very best featherweight and lightweight mixed martial artist in the world. At ONE: REIGN OF KINGS, he hopes to become the world’s first three-division mixed martial arts world champion when he takes on Kevin Belingon for the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship.
Naksu Champion Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai is Thailand’s top lightweight, and has provided plenty of drama in all his ONE Championship bouts to date. Coupled with his elite martial arts skills, his highly-entertaining walkouts to the ONE cage have also made him a fan favorite. Wiratchai’s explosive power makes him exciting to watch, and he has never been stopped by submission or by strikes in his career. With a background in judo, Wiratchai is highly-effective with trips and throws, but it is his ability to stop opponents in a variety of ways that has stood out in the cage. With his very own “OneShin Striking System” that utilizes creative combinations, Wiratchai has proven to be a well-rounded competitor. Next up, he faces the legendary Shinya Aoki.
Former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki is the most successful submission specialist in Asian martial arts. An iconic figure, he is known for his overpowering ground game, which had already won him titles with WAMMA, DREAM, and Shooto before he began his dominant run as a ONE lightweight. Aoki is for many the face of Asia in the cage, holding an incredible slew of submission wins and almost 75 percent of his overall victories coming inside the distance. Throughout his fabled career, the Japanese veteran has beaten some of the biggest names in the world, including Tatsuya Kawajiri, Caol Uno, and Eddie Alvarez. He now returns to face rising star Shannon Wiratchai next.
A true martial arts legend and 6th degree Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, Renzo Gracie of the famed Gracie family will resume his legendary martial arts career in ONE Championship after eight years since his last professional bout. Grandson of the famed Gracie Jiu-Jitsu founder Carlos Gracie, and son of 9th Dan BJJ black belt Robson Gracie, Renzo started training in BJJ as a toddler, like most in his family. Over a storied career, he has won multiple competitions, the most prestigious being the ADCC Championship, which he captured twice. A mixed martial artist with a 13-7 record, Gracie has faced the biggest names in the cage, and is a skilled grappler with decades of competition experience under his belt. He makes his way back into the spotlight for the last time to face the veteran Yuki Kondo.
Mixed martial arts veteran Yuki “Sora” Kondo of Japan has more than 100 professional bouts on his resume, lending his talents to famed Japanese mixed martial arts promotion Pancrase for the greater part of the last two decades, where he became a two-division champion. Beginning his professional career in 1996, Kondo has amassed an incredible 60-34-9 record, which includes 19 knockouts and 17 submissions. After years of showcasing his skills, Kondo now marches toward his farewell bout against the legendary Renzo Gracie.
Former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang of Baguio City, Philippines is an alumni of the Philippine Wushu Team, winning 11 medals including three golds at the SEA Games to become a national hero. Not long after his amateur martial arts career, the Team Lakay veteran took up mixed martial arts and became a professional athlete under the guidance of Filipino martial arts pioneer Mark Sangiao. Folayang captured a Filipino Welterweight Championship in his 2007 debut, and helped ONE Championship kick off its inaugural show in 2011. Five years later, he took on then-lightweight titleholder Shinya Aoki, shocking the Japanese legend with a third round knockout to capture the title. Folayang’s childhood hero Manny Pacquiao called him “one of the legends of mixed martial arts in the Philippines,” elevating the Filipino to superstar status. He returns to action at home in Manila to take on Aziz Pahrudinov.
NAGA Champion Aziz Pahrudinov is an undefeated professional mixed martial artist who hails from Buynaksk, Russia. The 29-year-old who represents the K-Dojo Warrior Tribe is an exciting lightweight proponent that has now joined ONE Championship’s elite lightweight ranks. An extremely high-level grappler and explosive striker, Pahrudinov has built a reputation as a bonafide finisher, featuring close to a 95% finishing rate in competition, whether by submission or by knockout. Now on the biggest global stage of martial arts competition, Pahrudinov is looking to test his skills against the world’s best. He makes his ONE debut against former lightweight titleholder Eduard Folayang.
Multiple-time No Gi BJJ World Champion Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon of New Jersey, USA began his martial arts career as a wrestler, competing extensively throughout grade school. He was introduced to Brazilian jiu-jitsu at age 14, enrolling at Tom DeBlass’ Ocean County BJJ and became one of DeBlass’ most dedicated students. He won his first BJJ world title in 2008 in the juvenile blue belt division. Today, he is one of the world’s most decorated grapplers, having won multiple tournaments across the globe. He is a former IBJJF World Champion, two-time IBJJF World No-Gi Champion, and four-time Eddie Bravo Invitational Champion. He made his professional mixed martial arts debut in early 2018, stopping Filipino Richard Corminal by second-round TKO. Tonon now makes his way back to face Rahul Raju.
Ultimate Satira Champion Rahul “The Kerala Krusher” Raju is originally from Kerala, India, but moved to Singapore in 2011 to further his studies. He began training in Chinese kung fu at age 14 after losing in a schoolyard scuffle, which triggered a lifelong passion for martial arts. In Singapore, Raju began training at Juggernaut Fight Club in 2013, and soon competed in various combat sports as an amateur before switching focus to competing professionally in the cage. He made his debut in February 2016 with a submission win and has not looked back, running up an impressive record along the way by competing in the Singapore Fighting Championships. After signing with ONE in 2018, Raju vowed to make his mark on the global stage of martial arts competition. He faces dangerous grappler Garry Tonon next.
WMTA World Super Welterweight Champion Armen Petrosyan is a kickboxer from Milan, Italy and is the brother of world-renowned kickboxing legend Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan. Known as an aggressive fighter, Petrosyan is a former two-time Italian Kickboxing Champion and a former European Kickboxing Champion. In 2013, Petrosyan took part in an eight-man tournament, emerging as the overall winner to be crowned the WMTA World Super Welterweight Champion. With a professional kickboxing record of 69-17-1, Petrosyan makes his ONE Super Series debut against Chris Ngimbi in a kickboxing contest.
Being a WKA Muay Thai World Champion, It’s Showtime 70MAX World Champion, and SUPERKOMBAT Champion, Chris “The African Warrior” Ngimbi is one of the very best strikers to have emerged from Africa. Born in Zaire, which is now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ngimbi changed his life when he moved to the Netherlands at age 17, taking up kickboxing shortly after. Following just three months of training, Ngimbi was already stepping into the ring to compete. Ngimbi has faced some of the biggest names in kickboxing, such as Giorgio Petrosyan. He returns to action in Manila to face Armen Petrosyan in a ONE Super Series kickboxing bout.
Two-time Muay Thai World Champion Panicos Yusuf is originally from Limassol, the second-largest city in the island nation of Cyprus. He briefly studied Shotokan Karate as a child, but didn’t seriously train in martial arts until he discovered Muay Thai when he was just 15 years old. Two months after he began training, Yusuf competed in his first Muay Thai bout, and eventually joined the Cyprus national Muay Thai team, traveling to Russia and Lebanon to test his skills in the ring. In 2005, Yusuf relocated to Manchester, England, opening up his own gym named All Powers. He has since compiled almost 40 wins in a sterling professional career, becoming ranked as the United Kingdom’s very best Muay Thai competitor for his weight class. He will take on Han Zi Hao in a ONE Super Series Muay Thai bout.
Top King Muay Thai World Champion Han Zi Hao of China is a Muay Thai practitioner who is based out of Bangkok, Thailand. The 23-year-old already owns an impressive professional Muay Thai record of 57-14 early in his career. A representative of Mad Muay Thai Gym, Han Zi Hao now finds himself looking to showcase his incredible striking skills on the biggest global stage of martial arts competition, joining elite athletes in the world of striking martial arts as part of ONE Super Series. Han Zi Hao’s first appearance for the promotion will be a tough one however, as the Chinese stalwart takes on Panicos Yusuf in a ONE Super Series Muay Thai bout.
Former ONE Strawweight World Title challenger Joshua “The Passion” Pacio of Baguio City, Philippines was inspired to take up martial arts ever since he was 12 years old. After an undefeated amateur career, Pacio soon made his professional debut, where he went 6-0 before making it to the global stage of ONE Championship. He is inspired by former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang, whom he trains with every day at Team Lakay. In 2016, he got his chance against reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito, falling just short of victory. Despite the setback, Pacio continues to chase his dream of becoming a world champion and has put together three solid victories in his last four outings. Next up, Pacio takes on surging Thai superstar Pongsiri Mitsatit.
Chiang Mai Muay Thai Champion Pongsiri “The Smiling Assassin” Mitsatit hails from the North East of Thailand and was raised in humble surroundings. After repeated encounters with childhood bullying, Mitsatit decided to pick up Muay Thai to learn how to protect himself. Through his hard work and talent, he soon ran up an impressive 72-17 record, and even won a Muay Thai championship in the process. Mitsatit then made his professional mixed martial arts debut in 2014, and has since rapidly emerged as one of Thailand’s most exciting talents. At just 22 years of age, Mitsatit already holds a perfect professional record, including several TKO wins in ONE Championship. Now training at the prestigious Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Mitstatit will see action in Manila against Joshua Pacio.
Multiple-time Wushu World Champion Rene Catalan of the Philippines is one of the most decorated wushu artists ever to make the transition to mixed martial arts. Having won both the Wushu World Championship and Wushu World Cup two times each, Catalan is undoubtedly one of the very best in the world to have taken up the discipline. He has also won gold medals for wushu at the Asian Games, SEA Games, and Asian Championships. Catalan inevitably joined ONE Championship in 2013, gaining valuable experience by taking on some top strawweight talents. The veteran is currently riding an impressive four-bout win streak, two of which have ended in exciting finishes. He looks to build on his success by taking on rising Indonesian martial arts star Stefer Rahardian next.
ONE Indonesia Flyweight Tournament Champion Stefer Rahardian has been on a tear ever since he debuted on the global stage of ONE Championship, and quickly became Indonesia’s foremost martial arts star with a perfect professional record. An elite BJJ specialist under the lineage of the legendary Carlson Gracie, Rahardian has claimed gold in various BJJ tournaments around the region. He has utilized his grappling wizardry to sterling success in the ONE cage, running up an impressive professional record with the majority of his victories coming by way of submission. Rahardian is now set to face Rene Catalan in his next contest.
After over 145 wins in the ancient striking art of Kun Khmer, Sor Sey sought a greater challenge and has set his sights on the ONE cage. He decided to add other martial arts disciplines to his arsenal, under the tutelage of famed coach Chan Reach and BJJ black belt Fernando Salvador. Driven by the desire to forge a better future for his family, Sor Sey wants nothing more than to succeed on the global stage of martial arts competition, under the bright lights of ONE Championship. Today one of Cambodia’s best martial artists, Sor Sey continues his search for glory when he takes on Xie Bin.
ONE Hefei Bantamweight Tournament Finalist “The Stalker” Xie Bin grew up in Hunan, China, and trains alongside ONE Championship veterans Li Kai Wen and Ma Jia Wen at Tianjin Top Team. He is part of a new breed of Chinese athletes who have been training in mixed martial arts since the beginning of their careers. At just 20 years old, Xie has tremendous potential to make an impact on ONE Championship’s bantamweight division. With skills in boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and Muay Thai, Xie is determined to become China’s first-ever male mixed martial arts world champion. He faces Sor Sey in his next outing.
ONE: REIGN OF KINGS
Friday, 27 July
Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, Philippines
ONE Interim Bantamweight World Championship
Martin Nguyen vs Kevin Belingon
Mixed Martial Arts: 65.8kg (Bantamweight)
Shannon Wiratchai vs Shinya Aoki
Mixed Martial Arts: 77.1kg (Lightweight)
Renzo Gracie vs Yuki Kondo
Mixed Martial Arts: 83.9kg (Welterweight)
Eduard Folayang vs Aziz Pahrudinov
Mixed Martial Arts: 77.1kg (Lightweight)
Garry Tonon vs Rahul Raju
Mixed Martial Arts: 77.1kg (Lightweight)
Armen Petrosyan vs Chris Ngimbi
ONE Super Series Kickboxing: 72.5kg (Catch Weight)
Panicos Yusuf vs Han Zi Hao
ONE Super Series Muay Thai: 65.8kg (Bantamweight)
Joshua Pacio vs Pongsiri Mitsatit
Mixed Martial Arts: 56.7kg (Strawweight)
Rene Catalan vs Stefer Rahardian
Mixed Martial Arts: 56.7kg (Strawweight)
Sor Sey vs Xie Bin
Mixed Martial Arts: 70.3kg (Featherweight)