ONE Championship has set the pace for what is going to be a historic year.
In the first month of 2018, ONE has staged some of the biggest matches in the company’s history, broke some unbelievable records, and have done some incredibly wonderful things outside of the cage.
The promotion has truly started the year off on a high note. Here are the six biggest moments from ONE in January 2018.
#1 ONE’s Partnership With Global Citizen
ONE is not just doing big things inside the cage, but also outside the cage, too. The organization has partnered up with Global Citizen to help remedy some of the largest issues plaguing the world today. Together, through their groundbreaking partnership, they plan to reach their shared goal of ending extreme poverty by the year 2030.
That partnership got off to a great start on 24 January, as ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee, ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera, former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard Folayang, and Global Citizen co-founder Wei Soo visited Smokey Mountain in Tondo, one of the largest poverty-stricken areas in Manila, Philippines.
There, they worked with Young Focus, a local NGO in Manila that helps underprivileged youths escape poverty through education. Besides meeting and greeting the community of Smokey Mountain, they visited Young Focus education centers, where they helped underprivileged children of all ages with their classes, and reinforced the importance of education as a means of realizing their dreams.
So as a martial arts fan, take action and help ONE in their global initiative. To become proactive and support the effort, click here.
#2 The Crowning Of The Inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion
On Saturday, 20 January, history was made, as the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion was crowned.
“The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan made a statement in the main event of ONE: KINGS OF COURAGE, as she stopped the previously-undefeated Tiffany “No Chill” Teo to become the first women’s strawweight world titleholder, and the first China-born world champion in the cage.
In a touching moment, Xiong dedicated the victory to her grandparents, who passed away during a recent training camp.
“I want to thank ONE Championship for this chance to show what China, and what women, can do. I am happy to represent China and take a lot of pride in that,” an emotional Xiong stated in her post-victory interview.
“This win is dedicated to my grandmother and grandfather who passed away recently. I feel great and I am overwhelmed. This is a message to all the women across the world – you can achieve anything.”
#3 Geje Eustauio Claims The ONE Interim Flyweight World Title
Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov was 24-1 and had a victory over Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio heading into their ONE Interim Flyweight World Championship match. Still, that did not intimidate the Filipino at all.
On Friday, 26 January, in front of his home country of the Philippines at ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES, Eustaquio made his fans roar, as he captured world title gold.
The two warriors battled furiously over five rounds, but “Gravity” showcased his improved takedown defense and masterful striking to claim victory over Akhmetov. His reward was the realization of a childhood dream — a world title in the form of the ONE Interim Flyweight World Championship.
“I don’t know what to say, guys,” an emotional Eustaquo said following the win. But soon, he found the right words. “This belt is not mine, it’s ours. I’m proud to represent this flag, this country.”
#4 The Premiere Of Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series
After months of hard work, ONE finally unveiled its first original documentary program in the form of “Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series.”
The pilot episode officially dropped on ONE’s YouTube channel on Monday, 22 January, and the series premiere saw Franklin embark on Bangkok, Thailand to begin his search for Asia’s next martial arts superstar.
So far, a Muay Thai specialist named Detch and a talented 18-year-old Filipino named Rockie Bactol have gained entry onto the show. Also, ONE athletes Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai, Rika “Tinydoll” Ishige and Leandro “Brodinho” Issa appeared on the program as special guest judges and stars.
Each and every Monday, fans will be treated to a new episode.
#5 Four New ONE Records Were Set
The preliminary card to ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES all featured first-round stoppages, but two of them in particular set new records.
First, Catalan Fighting Systems’ Jomary “The Zamboanginian Fighter” Torres made history when she knocked out Team Lakay’s April Osenio with an epic slam just 40 seconds into the contest. Not only did she move to 4-0, but she set the record for both the fastest finish and knockout in ONE’s women’s history.
Also, Filipino fan favorite Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly needed just 21 seconds to knock out Cambodia’s Meas Meul with a stunning knee strike. The pinpoint finish set the record for not only the fastest knockout, but also fastest finish in the promotion’s featherweight history.
#6 ONE’s First-Ever Muay Thai Bout
There was another piece of history made at ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES, as fans were witness to the first-ever Muay Thai bout in the organization’s history.
Multi-time Lumpinee Stadium Champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao faced off against Italy’s Joseph “The Hurricane” Lasiri, and both competitors delivered an action-packed contest.
Gaiyanghadao, known as a counter striker, started off slow in the opening round, but went on the offensive in the second frame. He connected with many of his famous blistering kicks and rattled Lasiri with massive punches, eventually knocking the Italian down three times to obtain the stoppage win.
As ONE remains committed to showcasing the beauty of martial arts, do not be surprised if you see more Muay Thai bouts in the future.