There is a lot on the line for our heroes competing at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER. A pair of thrilling World Title matches top the action-packed card, which broadcasts live from the Studio City Event Center in Macau on Saturday, 23 June.
The headliner features a World Champion versus World Champion clash to decide who will become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion, while the co-main event sees the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title defended for the first time. Also, many of the world’s best martial artists will do battle, in an effort to secure a title shot in their respective weight classes. With so much at stake, let’s take a closer look at how a victory on Saturday can transform these warriors’ lives.
The Undisputed ONE Flyweight World Title
There has never been a bigger flyweight contest in ONE Championship than the rematch between Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes and Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio. Moraes, the reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion, has used his world-class Brazilian jiu-jitsu and an ever-evolving striking arsenal to stifle almost every athlete he has faced. This includes Eustaquio, whom he submitted for the inaugural belt in September 2014. The Brazilian has become the most decorated World Champion in the weight class, with five victories in World Title bouts across two reigns.
Although “Gravity” failed in his first World Title bid almost four years ago, he has improved dramatically in that time. From a pure wushu specialist, the Team Lakay standout has developed his grappling to compete with the best in the division and, as a result, he has achieved his lofty position as the ONE Interim Flyweight World Champion. Both athletes’ World Titles will be put on the line, with the winner emerging as the undisputed best flyweight in the world.
ONE Women’s Strawweight Gold
China’s Xiong Jing Nan made history in her last bout – and now she has to prove she can handle the job of being World Champion. “The Panda” claimed the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title against Tiffany “No Chill” Teo in her second promotional bout in January, and looked brilliant in the process. Now, she has the task of defending her belt for the first time, as she welcomes Laura “La Gladiadora” Balin to the organization.
The Argentinian is riding a four-bout win streak from her contests in South America, and is aiming to become the first competitor from her country to be crowned World Champion in the cage. Not only will the winner leave Macau with the gold, but the titleholder could have a tantalizing contest in store. ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee has spoken about her desire to challenge for a second belt. That could make for a huge main-event clash anywhere in Asia later this year.
A Spot At The Top Of The Lightweight Ranks
The lightweight division may be the most talent-rich in the organization. There are several athletes who are making legitimate bids to challenge Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen for his ONE Lightweight World Title. Among them is Ev “E.T.” Ting. The Malaysian previously challenged for the belt in April 2017, but fell to Eduard Folayang via unanimous decision. Since then, Ting has had two superb victories – he defeated Nobutatsu Suzuki in August, and followed that up with a thrilling split-decision victory over Ariel “Tarzan” Sexton in February. If he gets his hand raised for a third consecutive time, then he would undoubtedly be in the top echelon of contenders.
However, doing so will be no easy feat. He faces a fellow former ONE Lightweight World Title challenger in Koji “The Commander” Ando. If the Japanese veteran earns the win, he could very well find himself with another shot at gold.
If you are looking for a weight class that is just as stacked as lightweight, then featherweight has a fine group of athletes to focus on. Two of the promotion’s top featherweights will collide in Macau, as the Philippines’ Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly is scheduled to face former ONE Featherweight World Champion Narantungalag “Tungaa” Jadambaa. A win could put the victor in line to face Nguyen, who also rules the roost in this division. Kelly, who has a flawless 100 percent finishing rate, enters this battle on the back of his record-setting 21-second knockout of Meas Meul. He acknowledges Jadambaa will be his toughest opponent yet, but also knows a win will push him into title contention.
Although the Mongolian has been absent from competition since November 2016, he has taken the time to plug all the holes in his game exposed by Marat Gafurov, and is adamant he will be better than ever when he returns to action. Once again, if his name ends up in the win column on Saturday night, expect him to be talked about as one of the men who could provide an interesting new challenge for the division’s reigning World Champion.
Macau | 23 June | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
(ONE Championship app, 8:30 a.m. ET)
For the flyweight title-unification bout: Adriano Moraes vs. Geje Eustaquio
For the women’s strawweight title: Jing Nan Xiong vs. Laura Balin
Koji Ando vs. Ev Ting
Edward Kelly vs. Narantungalag Jadambaa
(ONE Championship app, 6:30 a.m. ET)
Rodian Menchavez vs. Li Kai Wen
Ma Hao Bin vs. Danny Kingad
Rin Saroth vs. Mario Wirawan