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What’s Next For The Biggest Winners Of June 2018?

July 19, 2018

June was an unforgettable month of action in ONE Championship.

Our brightest stars showcased their dynamic skills in a pair of action-packed events – ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER in Macau, followed by ONE: SPIRIT OF A WARRIOR in Yangon, Myanmar.

Those cards featured some of the most entertaining main events in the sport’s history, as well as a plethora of memorable knockouts, submissions, and complete performances.

Here is what could be in store for the heroes of June 2018.

Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio

In June, at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER, Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio defeated Adriano Moraes via split decision in a World Champion versus World Champion main-event clash to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion.

The Team Lakay veteran has officially ushered in the “Age Of Gravity” and is ready to take on all challenges – both in mixed martial arts and even ONE Super Series.

It is likely the Filipino will be required to defend his belt before he can think about going after Sam-A Gaiyanghadao, and his ONE Super Series Muay Thai Flyweight World Title.

Reece “Lightning” McLaren has been patiently waiting for his shot, and proved in his victory over DEEP Flyweight Champion Tatsumitsu Wada that he is ready to challenge for the gold after missing out earlier this year.

Given how competitive their rematch was, a rubber match between Eustaquio and Moraes could also be possible to complete their trilogy, and put an exclamation point on their rivalry.

“The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan

ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan got her title reign off to a momentous start. In the co-main event of ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER, she dominated Argentina’s Laura “La Gladiadora” Balin en route to a clear-cut unanimous decision.

There are a couple of challengers in her division, including BJJ World Champion Michelle Nicolini and Singapore Olympian “Mighty” May Ooi.

However, there has been some buzz among fans who crave a bout against ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee, who recently expressed interest in moving up a division to challenge for a second World Title.

The Chinese star is also interested in a bout with Lee, so this contest could be more than just a pipe dream.

Ev “E.T.” Ting

Top lightweight contender Ev Ting keeps on rolling through difficult opposition. At ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER, the Malaysian beat fellow former ONE Lightweight World Title challenger Koji “The Commander” Ando via unanimous decision.

“E.T.” has made his intentions clear – he wants to challenge two-division ONE World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen for the lightweight belt. If the Vietnamese-Australian remains focused on other challenges in different weight classes, then he wants to face Timofey Nastyukhin – possibly for an interim title.

A clash with either of those competitors make sense, and both matches would undoubtedly produce fireworks.

However, if neither of those athletes is available, there are plenty of other tests available at the top of the ultra-competitive weight class.

A rematch with former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang could be in order – assuming the Filipino defeats Russia’s Aziz Pahrudinov at ONE: REIGN OF KINGS.

Danny “The King” Kingad

Following a hard-earned decision victory over “The Southern Eagle” Ma Hao Bin at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER, former ONE Flyweight World Title challenger Danny Kingad has re-emerged as a threat to the top contenders in the stacked weight class.

Now that his teammate, Eustaquio, is the division kingpin, “The King” says he is more than happy to take on top contenders as a gatekeeper, instead of challenging his “big brother.”

In fact, he has proposed a clash with former titleholder Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov, which would be just as likely to set pulses racing. Akhmetov is clamoring for a third bout with Eustaquio, but a showdown with his old rival’s Team Lakay stablemate would bring a new, fascinating dynamic to the cage.

A match-up with Gianni Subba is also an intriguing option, as the two were previously scheduled to collide before an injury forced the Malaysian out of their scheduled tilt.

Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang

Two-division ONE World Champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang captivated fans around the world with his dynamic performance at ONE: SPIRIT OF A WARRIOR.

In his first defense of the ONE Middleweight World Title, he thrilled his countrymen inside the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium by knocking out Ken Hasegawa in the final round to retain his belt.

The Myanmar hero is riding a four-bout win streak, and all signs point to five-time BJJ World Champion Leandro Ataides as the next man to challenge him for the middleweight belt.

“Leo” earned the right to face Aung La N Sang when he knocked out former titleholder Vitaly Bigdash in May.

That promises to be yet another epic clash.

Leandro “Brodinho” Issa

Leandro Issa’s return to the ONE cage has been a spectacular success, as the Brazilian posted his third straight victory at ONE: SPIRIT OF A WARRIOR.

He put his world-class grappling skills on full display, forcing promotional newcomer Roman Alvarez to submit to his slick arm-triangle choke in 86 seconds.

“Brodinho” expressed his desire to remain active while the Bantamweight World Title picture sorts itself out. Luckily for him, there is no shortage of top talents.

A showdown with Russian grappling extraordinaire Yusup “Maestro” Saadulaev, who is riding a five-bout win streak, would have the potential to be an unforgettable battle on the mat.

Another ground battle for Issa could come against former ONE Bantamweight World Title challenger Andrew Leone, whose wrestling and grinding style could also pose a fascinating challenge for the Brazilian.

“Rock Man” Chen Lei

“Rock Man” Chen Lei kept his spotless record intact at ONE: SPIRIT OF A WARRIOR. He rallied back from an early scare to knock out Afghanistan’s Ahmad Qais Jasoor in the final round.

Now at a perfect 8-0, the Chinese bantamweight’s has the experience to take on some of the more well-known contenders in the weight class.

Former ONE Bantamweight World Title challenger Toni “Dynamite” Tauru could offer a stern test. The Finnish sensation is a ground wizard who has plenty of experience against the division’s elite.

Also, the well-rounded “Rock Man” could face another versatile talent in Jordan Lucas, who is looking to climb back into the ONE cage soon.

Kritsada “Dream Man” Kongsrichai

Rising Thai superstar Kritsada Kongsrichai continued his ascent up the strawweight ranks with an exciting unanimous decision victory over Filipino striker Jeremy “The Jaguar” Miado at ONE: SPIRIT OF A WARRIOR.

“Dream Man,” a 13-time Thai Wrestling Champion with a Muay Thai background, has become more comfortable in all aspects of mixed martial arts, and seems poised for another step up in competition.

There are lots of options for Kongsrichai, including Japanese wrestler Hayato Suzuki, or the diversely-talented Riku “The Outsider” Shibuya. Both are among the division’s elite and would present challenges both on the ground and on the feet.