With 22 World Champions, four World Title bouts, and five World Grand Prix contests on the bill, ONE: A NEW ERA is certain to thrill.
There are so many elite martial artists with a proclivity for in-ring drama set to compete in Tokyo, Japan, and fans can be certain they will spend much of 31 March on the edge of their seats.
Much of the attention and excitement will be rightfully focused on the quartet of World Championship main events, but there are a dozen more encounters that should set the table with breathless back-and-forth action in the Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Check out this trio of tussles the ONEFC.com editorial team believes could live long in the memory after the lights go down on the biggest event in ONE Championship history.
For months, fans have been eagerly awaiting the debut of Eddie Alvarez and the stage could not be set any better for his return.
The American will go back to “The Land Of The Rising Sun,” enter the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix, and face an opponent in Timofey Nastyukhin who loves to punch, kick, and knee just as much as he does.
Alvarez has a well-rounded game and quite a few submissions in his locker, but the four-time Lightweight World Champion loves nothing more than to exchange strikes.
“The Underground King” – who is particularly brilliant with his boxing – has 16 career victories by knockout, and he would love to start his ONE campaign with a bang.
Nastyukhin, however, is an explosive athlete who can turn off his adversary’s lights with a single strike. In fact, half of the Russian powerhouse’s dozen career wins come via knockout – including his flying knee victory over the division’s reigning World Champion, Eduard Folayang.
Between each gladiator’s weapons and the stakes involved, this battle is sure to live up to the hype – and it will most certainly provide an epic highlight-reel moment.
You could pick any one of the four ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix contests and be confident of an amazing encounter, but the recent form of Senzo Ikeda and Danny “The King” Kingad suggests their match could top them all.
The Philippines’ Kingad has become one of his division’s elite athletes in the past year after a quartet of wins against top competition.
In each of them, the 23-year-old has been relentless in his offense, as he attacked with Team Lakay’s trademark wushu striking, as well as a new focus on dynamic grappling.
However, “The King” is no stranger to danger. He competes in a way that can expose him to offense, but he has the heart to battle through adversity.
Ikeda is relentless. The Pancrase Flyweight World Champion has proved how destructive he can be when he lets his strikes go – punches, knees, and elbows with the power to finish any flyweight.
He also has the spirit and veteran experience to take a licking and keep ticking. Up against a hungry young star, he is sure to want to take “The King” into deep waters and test his mettle.
Thailand’s Rodtang “Iron Man” Jitmuangnon has been one of the breakout stars of ONE Super Series thanks to his high-octane, aggressive style.
The order of the day for each man will be to go on the front foot and unleash combinations with fierce intent, but each athlete has a few weapons they are likely to rely on to make the difference.
Rodtang’s elbows are formidable weapons that the two-time Omnoi Stadium Muay Thai World Champion can use in the clinch to destructive effect. Hamech, also a two-time Muay Thai World Champion, has a right hand with game-changing velocity.
Both men like to race to the middle and exchange, and they have the durability to take their opponent’s best shots and keep on coming. It should be a test of warrior spirit that should leave fans’ pulses racing by the final bell.