We may have just come off the biggest event in ONE Championship history, but do not think for a second that there is not a ton more top-class martial arts to come in 2019.
The slate of quality matches will resume this Friday, 25 October, as the world’s largest martial arts organization returns for ONE: DAWN OF VALOR.
It will bring a stacked card to Jakarta, Indonesia, and these are just some of the reasons why you will not want to miss what goes down at the Istora Senayan.
#1 The Battle For Welterweight Gold
On paper, there may not be a World Title bout that is more guaranteed to bring action to the Circle than the tilt at the top of the bill.
Both ONE Welterweight World Champion Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam and his challenger, Kiamrian “Brazen” Abbasov boast 100-percent finishing rates in The Home Of Martial Arts, and it would be a surprise to see that statistic change.
Both men like to come out of their corner firing from the first bell in search of a finish – even Abbasov, whose specialty is grappling.
We also know that the Swedish superstar continues to be dangerous no matter how long a bout lasts, too. All but one of his knockouts in ONE have come in the final round, including the victory that won him his belt, which he snatched in the closing seconds of the fifth round.
Though this is Abbasov’s first test at the very highest level, he has risen to the occasion to upset a pair of highly-regarded opponents in high-profile bouts to earn his shot, so this one looks like it could go either way.
#2 Dutch Kickboxing Rivals Rematch For The Belt
The inaugural ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Title bout contained five rounds of top-class martial arts entertainment, in which two elite strikers threw everything in their lockers at each other. In the end, it was arguably only a perfectly-timed flying knee that was the difference between them.
Now, these two men from the Netherlands will go at it again, and all signs point to their second encounter being even more exciting than their first.
Holzken has gone back to the drawing board to make sure he can replicate his best moments throughout the entire bout, but Eersel says he is prepared to be better than ever to counter whatever improvements his rival brings to the table.
#3 All-Star Indonesian Lineup
Nothing gets the Jakarta crowd going like some top-notch, homegrown stars, and there are more than ever at ONE: DAWN OF VALOR.
Wushu specialist Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol will lead the charge on the main card as she goes in search of a record seventh win in the women’s atomweight division against heavy-hitting Myanmar boxing champion Bozhena “Toto” Antoniyar.
She will be joined by one of the nation’s most gifted grapplers, two-time SEA Games wrestling medalist Eko Roni Saputra, who will aim to earn his first win on the global stage against Kaji “Alpha” Ebin from the Philippines.
The featured prelim bout will bring one of the biggest all-Indonesian bouts in ONE history, as ONE Strawweight Indonesia Tournament Champion Adrian “Papua Badboy” Mattheis and ONE Jakarta Flyweight Tournament Champion Stefer “The Lion” Rahardian go to war.
But before all that, the fans’ vocal chords will be warmed up as they cheer on their compatriots through three more contests as national champions Rudy “The Golden Boy” Agustian and Abro “The Black Komodo” Fernandes face off at flyweight, Egi Rozten and Elipitua “The Magician” Siregar battle at strawweight, and “Zenwalk” Adi Paryanto faces Angelo “The Unicorn King” Bimoadji in the strawweight division.
#4 KO Artists Clash
The martial arts world has been waiting for the ONE debut of John “Hands Of Stone” Lineker, the Brazilian bantamweight who only knows one way to compete – throw haymakers until his opponent falls down.
He could not have asked for a better opponent for his debut in the world’s largest martial arts organization, as the man who will touch gloves with him in the Circle is even more fond of a finish.
Muin “Tajik” Gafurov has never gone the distance to win a bout, and all but three of his 17 professional wins have come in the very first round. The 23-year-old from Dushanbe, Tajikistan, will not be afraid to stand and trade with his 29-year-old counterpart from Florida, USA, but if the action does go to the ground, both men carry a substantial submission threat, too.
That means that whatever complexion this takes, fans should be treated to a fast-paced thriller that could determine the next challenger for Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes and his ONE Bantamweight World Title.