ONE: FISTS OF FURY III tops off the promotion’s latest event series with a card stacked full of exciting matchups.
While the main event between ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Champion Regian “The Immortal” Eersel and #2-ranked contender Mustapha “Dynamite” Haida will cap things off in style, there are several other contests that could compete for ‘Fight of the Night’ honors.
Here are three bouts that could steal the show in “The Lion City” on Friday evening.
#1 Alma Juniku Vs. Janet Todd
Reigning ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Todd returns to her favored rule set of Muay Thai. Though she has been effective in both sports, “JT” will relish the chance to add the rest of her striking tools to the mix against the Aussie.
The American will be happy to slug it out with Juniku in the center of the Circle, but expect her to also use the clinch to try to control her younger foe and hit her with knees and elbows.
Juniku is not someone who can be easily herded, however. The Logan City scrapper has powerful hands, sharp elbows, and hurtful push kicks to ward off the threat.
It will be a battle for dominance in every range of the night’s only Muay Thai contest — which could serve as a way to determine the next challenger for Allycia Hellen Rodrigues’ World Title strap.
Both Todd and Juniku want their second shot at the ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title after strong first attempts against the division’s former queen, Stamp Fairtex. Fueled by that desire, expect them to bring their all to this crucial battle.
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#2 Alex Silva Vs. Hiroba Minowa
Silva is a former BJJ World Champion who has delivered some of the finest submissions ever seen in The Home Of Martial Arts. The Evolve star is a master of armlocks, and he is dangerous in setting them up from his guard.
Minowa – who wrestled his way to a debut win against Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang last November — likes to drag his opponents to the canvas and work from top position. The 21-year-old Japanese phenom has a punishing ground-and-pound output, but that does not make him immune to Silva’s armbar and sweep attacks, so he will need to stay on the ball.
Fans shouldn’t discount the potential for heavy leather being thrown on the feet by both athletes, but the world-class action on the mat will showcase some of the best grappling in all of mixed martial arts.
Will the veteran former World Champion’s arsenal prove that the old-school is the best-school, or will the rising star show that the new breed is ready to take over?
#3 Yoidkaikaew Fairtex Vs. Hu Yong
Yodkaikaew “Y2K” Fairtex has been sensational since he kicked off his ONE tenure last August. The Thai has picked up three straights wins — with two knockouts — and looks like a force to be reckoned with in the flyweight division.
He showed skillful grappling alongside his powerful striking in his career-best win over Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada last time out, so his opponents are quickly running out of ways to shut down the MAX Stadium Muay Thai Champion.
That will make him more confident to wade in with powerful strikes, but “Wolf Warrior” Hu Long will be waiting for him in the middle.
Hu has just graduated from ONE Hero Series after an impeccable run in the Chinese developmental league. The man from Beijing has racked up four straight wins to earn his shot on the big show, and he could have his breakout moment.
“Y2K” has attracted a lot of attention with his rapid rise up the ranks on the global stage, but the Chinese knockout artist has the chance to get all eyes on him with his aggressive sanda output.
Both men are capable of scoring highlight-reel finishes, and that will make the biggest impact as they eye up the top contenders in the flyweight division.