With a main event featuring two of Asia’s top strikers, the previously recorded ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES II is ready to deliver fireworks from Singapore this Friday, 16 October.
Before that bout takes place, though, five Chinese athletes will battle for the chance to either enter or move up ONE’s Athlete Rankings.
Here, we break down three matchups that have the potential to steal the show at the REIGN OF DYNASTIES sequel in “The Lion City.”
Sagetdao Petpayathai Vs. Zhang Chunyu
Sagetdao is a multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion who retired from the sport in 2014. Three years later, he transitioned to mixed martial arts and earned three straight knockout victories under the ONE Championship banner before taking a break from competition in mid-2018.
Make no mistake about it, though. “Deadly Star” will feel right at home when he enters the Circle on Friday night. He spent nearly two decades battling and defeating Muay Thai’s greatest athletes, including ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao and Liam “Hitman” Harrison.
With his dangerous knees and elbows, Sagetdao will look to kick-start one more run to the top of the sport by knocking off a fellow Muay Thai World Champion.
But standing in his way will be Zhang, who will be more dangerous than many expect.
This will be the first time the man from China will be competing on the same ONE card as his younger brother, “Muay Thai Boy” Zhang Chenglong. And a win for both fighters would satisfy their shared desire to elevate Chinese martial arts on the global stage.
Meanwhile, Zhang said in pre-fight interviews that he wants to finish the Thai legend with a KO. And “Bamboo Sword” shouldn’t be discounted after standing toe-to-toe with other striking icons like Superbon and Buakaw Banchamek in his career.
Expect fireworks on Friday when Sagetdao uses his devastating elbows and gut-piercing knees to fend off the attacks of Zhang, who will no doubt look to push the Thai to his limit.
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Keanu Subba Vs. Tang Kai
Subba has long been considered one of the most talented young competitors in the weight class. The Kuala Lumpur native has ferocious grappling, fierce striking, and an especially dangerous ground game. That combination has led to seven career victories with a perfect 100 percent finishing rate – with nearly all those finishes coming in the first round.
The Malaysian can easily take an opponent down and seamlessly transition between positions until sinking in the bout-ending hold, as he did against Phoe Thaw, and he can also position himself to deliver frightening ground-and-pound, as he did to Rayner Kinsiong.
But also, Subba is making his first appearance since suffering a broken tibia and fibula in his bout with Ryogo Takahashi in May 2019, so he is extra motivated to make a loud statement in the bustling division.
Lately, Tang has been making a few loud statements with his skills inside the Circle.
The Chinese athlete is riding a five-bout winning streak, has a 90 percent KO rate, and in his two promotional appearances he knocked out Sung Jong Lee with a head kick and then decimated Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly with a mix of wrestling and striking for three rounds.
Between their extremely high finishing rates and all-around skill sets, either of these men could get an explosive highlight-reel finish at any moment.
Azwan Che Wil Vs. Wang Wenfeng
Azwan will enter the Circe looking to turn around his luck in ONE Super Series. The Malaysian suffered back-to-back losses against top competition in his two promotional appearances, and he is hungry for what has been the elusive win.
Despite those setbacks, martial arts fans shouldn’t underestimate the OneSongchai S1 Champion. In his last bout with “No.1” Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat, for example, he showed how he could create openings to sneak in his sharp elbows.
Moreover, his aggression is second to none. The N41 Madness Muay Thai Gym representative loves to push his opponents while tearing them up with body kicks.
Against Wang, however, he may not get the opportunity to do so. The KLF World Champion had an extensive amateur Muay Thai run before going pro, which means he’s seen and been through it all. And once he did make the leap to the major leagues, he proved to be just as successful.
The Xingbo Shengshi Fight Club standout has a 40-8 (1 NC) professional record in kickboxing. And although he lost his only promotional matchup to his longtime rival, ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion Ilias “Tweety” Ennahachi, it was by a very close split decision.
Wang loves to stay light on his feet and use his boxing to set up bruising low kicks, which could be to Azwan’s detriment if he stays too heavy on his feet. The Chinese star also has very good evasions and counters, which he worked to near perfection against Ennahachi.
If Azwan is able to keep the pressure on Wang and score with his body kicks, he could earn himself his first win in ONE. But if “Metal Storm” can evade and counter the Malaysian, then he could possibly earn the victory and maintain his status as the #4-ranked contender in the ONE Super Series kickboxing flyweight division.