ONE Championship’s Singapore shows are always stacked full of unmissable match-ups, and ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE should be no different.
The main event bouts offer up to 10 combined rounds of excitement as Stamp Fairtex defends her ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Title against Janet “JT” Todd in the headline contest, and the inaugural ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title is up for grabs as Sam-A Gaiyanghadao and Rocky Ogden face off in the co-feature.
However, that is just the tip of the iceberg as a ton of electrifying clashes are set for the undercard. These three, in particular, are bouts that the onefc.com editorial team believes are practically guaranteed to thrill.
#1 Yoshihiro Akiyama Vs. Sherif Mohamed
Can you ever remember Yoshihiro “Sexy Yama” Akiyama being in a boring bout?
The Japanese-South Korean athlete has brought action to arenas around the world since he began his mixed martial arts career in 2004, and he showed he is still capable of thrilling audiences when he made his ONE debut last June.
His opponent, Sherif “The Shark” Mohamed thinks he has a superior grappling skill set, which is likely to mean he will test himself against Akiyama’s world-class judo abilities, which include a range of beautiful, high-amplitude throws.
If not, “Sexy Yama” has no qualms about wading into the pocket to stand and bang, so whatever complexion this contest takes, there is unlikely to be a second for anyone to catch their breath.
#2 Tiffany Teo Vs. Ayaka Miura
The last time Tiffany “No Chill” Teo faced an elite, black-belt grappler, she put on one of the most entertaining women’s bouts of the year.
In the opening round against Michelle Nicolini, Teo battled for her life as the eight-time BJJ World Champion caught her in a tight armbar that would have made most women tap. However, Teo was tough enough to endure the pain of her arm bending the wrong way to make it to the second round.
From then on, she was filled with confidence and shrugged off the Brazilian’s grappling offense with increasing ease. Her cardio was on point and she showed her superior striking as her rival faded to overtake Nicolini on the judges’ cards and capture the win by decision.
Her match against Ayaka Miura seems to have a similar complexion as the Japanese judoka will aim for an early submission. Even if Teo maintains her record of never tapping, Miura may have the cardio to maintain her grappling offense for longer than Nicolini.
On the other hand, Teo will be prepared to do exactly what she did against the Brazilian, or perhaps even outgrapple Miura, as she believes she can. Whatever happens, we should be in for more nailbiting fun, and the winner will have truly earned their status as the top contender in the women’s strawweight division.
#3 Honorio Banario Vs. Shannon Wiratchai
Although these men rarely engage in toe-to-toe battles, they are not afraid to throw heavy leather. Both have concussive power and tend to try to control the range before exploding into action.
Wiratchai’s unique style draws from a smorgasbord of striking arts – including kung fu, Muay Thai and boxing – but it works. He likes to feint to find gaps to land powerful strikes and his reward has been five knockouts on the global stage.
Banario is a wushu stylist who is more content to wait for his opponent’s attack to launch a counter, just like he did when he finished Jaroslav Jartim with a clean left hook at ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY.
This means fans should expect a finely-balanced game of inches between two high-level stand-up martial artists – but one that is primed to deliver a knockout in a split-second.