Since its launch in April, ONE Super Series has added a new dimension to ONE Championship events, as the world’s greatest strikers have converged in Asia to showcase their impeccable skills to a global audience.
The very best athletes from the worlds of kickboxing and Muay Thai have gone head-to-head in thrilling contests that have had martial arts fans on the edge of their seats. There has not been a slow moment in any of these contests.
With that in mind, here are five of the very best ONE Super Series contests thus far.
#1 Giorgio Petrosyan VS Jo Nattawut
In April, kickboxing superstar Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan – widely considered one of the greatest of all time – lived up to his moniker.
The Armenia-born Italian delivered a performance of surgical precision, as he defeated Muay Thai powerhouse “Smokin’” Jo Nattawut via unanimous decision in the co-main event of ONE: HEROES OF HONOR in Manila, Philippines.
Nattawut uncharacteristically found himself on the back foot as Petrosyan’s impeccable timing and powerful, varied striking attack kept the Thai star guessing throughout the three-round affair.
It was far from one-way traffic, however, as the “Smokin” athlete utilized his kicks – particularly to the head – to keep his adversary on his toes.
However, after a captivating back-and-forth battle, it was Petrosyan’s consistent forward pressure and cleaner handiwork that saw him earn a unanimous decision victory.
The Italian’s performance undoubtedly established the gold standard for ONE Super Series bouts moving forward.
#2 Nong-O Gaiyanghadao VS Fabio Pinca
In addition to the aforementioned co-main event tilt, two of the world’s best Muay Thai competitors engaged in a compelling tussle on the main card of ONE: HEROES OF HONOR.
Four-time Lumpinee Stadium World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao faced two-time WBC World Muay Thai Champion Fabio Pinca in a breathtaking match at the Mall Of Asia Arena, which thrilled fans from the opening bell.
Nong-O was making his first appearance in the ring for three years, but he did not miss a beat, and drew on more than two decades of experience to read his French opposition. He immediately forced Pinca backward, and mixed up his strikes beautifully.
Pinca, however, was not about to back down from the veteran. He stood his ground, and fired back at the Singapore-based Thai with gusto whenever he could.
Even so, Nong-O always had the edge, and he showed his superiority with a pair of leg sweeps that sent the Frenchman crashing to the canvas. His aggression and physical dominance earned him the unanimous win on the judges’ scorecards.
#3 Sergej Maslobojev VS Antonio Plazibat
In May, at ONE: GRIT AND GLORY, two of Europe’s hardest hitters stepped into the cage for an epic kickboxing showdown in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Sergej “Kuvalda” Maslobojev’s maiden showing under the ONE banner came against a familiar foe, as he squared off against Croatian wunderkind Antonio Plazibat in a catch weight bout contested at 95 kilograms.
Plazibat was particularly motivated, as he looked to redeem one of his two career defeats. That helped to make this match an instant classic.
The pair traded heavy shots from the first minute, and they enthralled those in attendance at the Jakarta Convention Center with an extraordinary show of kickboxing excellence.
It was a clash of styles, with Maslobojev – a three-time Kickboxing World Champion – focusing much of his offense on his kicks, whereas Plazibat, who won the 2017 K-1 Heavyweight World Grand Prix, adopted more of a traditional boxing style.
Ultimately, the Lithuanian’s power proved to be the difference-maker. His heavy shots clearly damaged Plazibat in the second and third rounds, which led him to a unanimous decision victory.
#4 Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex VS Chris Ngimbi
A top highlight at one of the biggest ONE events in its history was Muay Thai legend Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex’s promotional debut.
Yodsanklai’s thumping body kicks and super-fast hand speed made their mark throughout the match, as the Thai icon demonstrated his elite-level striking to the capacity crowd inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Though he fired back with heavy shots of his own – particularly in the third round – Ngimbi did not have enough in his arsenal to match Yodsanklai’s mastery. The Thai legend claimed a unanimous decision victory to put the seal on a virtuoso performance.
#5 Ognjen Topic VS Stergos Mikkios
In one of the most entertaining Muay Thai bouts yet, Serbian competitor Ognjen Topic traded heavy leather with fellow bantamweight Stergos “Greek Dynamite” Mikkios for three action-packed rounds at ONE: GRIT AND GLORY, which brought the fans inside the Jakarta Convention Center to their feet.
Topic, a Lion Fight Lightweight World Champion, used a traditional Muay Thai style against the aggressive Greek star. He countered his attacks beautifully and controlled the range, which allowed him to unleash kicks to the body and the head.
The Serbian put the stamp on a dominant display when he dumped the competitive Mikkios to the mat, before the pair exchanged strikes all the way to the scorecards.
Though the knockout eluded him, Topic’s showing was still nothing short of excellent, and he earned a clear-cut unanimous decision victory.