ONE Championship’s first-ever event in Japan will see the organization land in Tokyo’s iconic Ryogoku Kokugikan for ONE: A NEW ERA with a blockbuster card.
The main card on 31 March features the most stacked lineup of match-ups in the promotion’s history, with an unprecedented four World Title contests making it unmissable.
However, to write off the prelims because of that jaw-dropping number of marquee bouts would be a big mistake.
While the attention is understandably drawn to the top of the bill, there is plenty for fans to get excited about on the talent-filled preliminary card, which is packed with encounters that would populate the upper echelons of any other event.
Here are just four reasons why fans should ensure they take their seats – either in the arena or in front of their screens – from the very start of the night.
Three More ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Bouts
In fact, all four quarter-final contests will feature in Tokyo.
The final preliminary bout features the mouth-watering clash between top flyweight contenders Danny “The King” Kingad and Senzo Ikeda as the Filipino star faces the Pancrase Flyweight World Champion, who will make his ONE debut in his hometown.
The bracket will be completed on 31 March by Japan’s Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada’s head-to-head meeting with Brazil’s undefeated Ivanildo “Monstrinho” Delfino, who will also make his bow in The Home Of Martial Arts.
Tonon’s Toughest Mixed Martial Arts Test Yet
Submission grappling ace Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon returns to action in the toughest match-up of his career competing under the global rule set.
The American will face off against Dutch-Indonesian star Anthony “The Archangel” Engelen in a bout that will test his full mixed martial arts arsenal.
Engelen returned to ONE with a pair of quickfire finishes last year, and he is excited to test himself against an elite opponent and eclipse all his wins to date by becoming the first man to defeat the multiple-time grappling World Champion in mixed martial arts competition.
However, Tonon has shown a remarkable evolution across his three ONE Championship bouts so far, and he will be looking to show the latest additions to his all-around skill set when he goes after his fourth consecutive victory on 31 March.
A Trio Of Explosive ONE Super Series Bouts
ONE Super Series’ Muay Thai and kickboxing bouts have brought an added dimension to events since last April. When fans see the world’s best strikers matched up, they can be sure unforgettable action is likely to occur.
As you would expect, ONE: A NEW ERA‘s prelims feature a strong ONE Super Series lineup with three world-class bouts set to entertain the Tokyo crowd.
No athlete in this trio of match-ups will receive a bigger ovation than Japan’s own Hiroki Akimoto. The Kyokushin Karate World Champion made a huge impression in his debut victory over Josh “Timebomb” Tonna, and he will aim to build on that in a hotly-anticipated flyweight kickboxing clash against Joseph “Hurricane” Lasiri.
Also on the preliminary card, Thailand’s crowd-pleasing Muay Thai superstar Rodtang “Iron Man” Jitmuangnon returns to action. Both of his efforts in The Home Of Martial Arts will live long in the memory, and he is set to put on another showstopper against French knockout artist Hakim Hamech.
Japanese martial arts pioneer Mei Yamaguchi heads to Singapore on 22 February for her next challenge ▶️ Chinese phenom Meng Bo!Singapore | 22 February | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onegreatness19
Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, February 13, 2019
The two-time ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title challenger will look to produce another strong performance against Kseniya “The Tigress” Lachkova as she continues in her quest to book herself into a third World Title match with her longtime rival “Unstoppable” Angela Lee – who will challenge “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan for the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title later in the evening.
Yamaguchi is coming off her domination of Jomary Torres in December, and the 30-bout mixed martial arts veteran will have the support of her compatriots as she bids to secure another decisive win and make an undeniable case to challenge for the belt again later this year.