The Home of Martial Arts put the ONE Atomweight World Grand Prix back in the spotlight at ONE: NEXTGEN on Friday, 29 October.
The two semifinal bouts of the greatest women’s mixed martial arts tournament in history headlined the evening. But the four additional matchups on the card also delivered in a major way inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Now that the final bell has rung, here are the three biggest takeaways from a spectacular evening of martial arts on the global stage.
#1 The ONE Atomweight World Grand Prix Championship Final Is Everything You Want
The ONE Atomweight World Grand Prix Championship Final is set and brings together two of the sport’s brightest talents who shine on the global stage.
Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat first punched her ticket with a unanimous decision victory over Jenelyn Olsim in the co-main event. The Filipina threatened with a slick submission game early, but it was “The Indian Tigress’s” powerful wrestling that won out in the end.
Following her match, Phogat returned and stood Circle-side to find out who her opponent would be in the final.
After 15 minutes of nonstop action, Stamp Fairtex claimed her own unanimous decision victory to set the bracket. The Thai superstar controlled the action on the feet against Julie Mezabarba with superior Muay Thai and showed her improved ground game coupled with impressive ground-and-pound.
Phogat and Stamp always felt destined to collide inside the Circle, and it seems only fitting for their first battle to be in the final of the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix. The two fast-rising stars represent the best in their respective fields and have developed into top contenders as complete martial artists.
As an opportunity to compete for the ONE Atomweight World Championship hangs in the balance, the meeting between “The Indian Tigress” and Stamp puts their global star power centerstage to see who gets a crack at “Unstoppable” Angela Lee.
#2 Azizpour Affirms His Place As A Top Heavyweight Contender
A late change in opponent did not affect Iraj Azizpour‘s ONE debut, as the talented Iranian striker took home a unanimous decision victory over Anderson “Braddock” Silva in their heavyweight kickboxing battle.
Azizpour came out firing in the first round and briefly put Silva on the canvas with a left-high kick. “Braddock” answered the eight-count but could not answer the output from the Iranian in any of the three rounds. The constant pressure from Azizpour paid off with a clear-cut unanimous decision victory.
If he was disappointed that his meeting with Roman Kryklia was postponed due to the ONE Light Heavyweight World Champion withdrawing for medical reasons, he did not let it show. The Iranian had plenty of fun during his first ONE Super Series bout and flashed a smile both during and after the action.
And he had every reason to smile. The resounding victory cemented the status he entered the Circle on Friday with – a top contender for the inaugural ONE Heavyweight World Championship.
#3 Miado Puts The Strawweight Division On Notice
When Jeremy “The Jaguar” Miado and Miao Li Tao met two years ago, the Filipino scored a highlight-reel jumping knee knockout. As if to prove that result was not a fluke, Miado put together a sensational striking display in their rematch at ONE: NEXTGEN.
From the opening moments of the action, “The Jaguar” hunted his prey by stinging him with a sharp jab. As Miado peppered Miao, he established his range and kept him at the end of his punches. His comfort on the feet grew, and the Marrok Force MMA representative began working the body and throwing hard kicks at his opponent’s legs.
Early in the second round, Miado hammered Miao with a left hook. The Chinese star attempted to get the attention of referee Justin Brown, and “The Jaguar” took this chance to move in for the finish. A flurry of strikes followed until Miao had to turn away, giving the referee the sign to halt the contest.
The Filipino put his contemporaries on notice with the sterling performance. He flashed some of the most impressive striking the division has seen to prove he has made the necessary adjustments to take the next step up the ladder and challenge the upper echelon of the strawweight division.