Once again, the Singapore Indoor Stadium set the stage for another unforgettable night of martial arts action with ONE: FULL CIRCLE.
The event on Friday, 25 February, delivered an exciting show filled with mixed martial arts and ONE Super Series matchups that kept eyeballs fixated to screens.
Over the course of the night, two World Champions defended their crowns in dominant fashion, new stars were born, and old scores were settled. The outcomes left the martial arts world wondering what’s next for these athletes.
Here, then, are four takeaways from ONE: FULL CIRCLE.
#1 De Ridder Could Be ONE’s First Three-Division World Champ
Every athlete who competes on the global stage wants to build an enduring legacy, but only a few actually do so. Reinier “The Dutch Knight” De Ridder is one of them.
The finish was so good it earned him one of the night’s US$50,000 performance bonuses.
After his successful ONE Middleweight World Title defense, he then called out top athletes in other divisions, such as ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan “Singh” Bhullar and ONE Interim Heavyweight World Champion Anatoly “Sladkiy” Malykhin.
There are very few athletes who can float between two divisions at the championship level, but as the ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight king, De Ridder is one of those rare martial artists.
#2 Kryklia Has Heavyweight Aspirations
Like De Ridder, his walk-off KO earned him an extra US$50,000.
After putting away another strong contender with relative ease, Kryklia stated in the post-match interview that he’s interested in competing at heavyweight for an even bigger challenge. Honestly, it’s something the 6-foot-6 Ukrainian seems capable of handling.
There are several tantalizing options for the light heavyweight king, too.
On the same night that Kryklia retained his belt, Guto Inocente used his thudding power to stop Bruno “Ironclad” Susano in the second round. Also looming in the hulking division is Rade Opacic, who has been just as dominant as Kryklia during his ONE tenure.
No matter who Kryklia faces next, his challenger will know one thing – that he is standing across the Circle from one of the most dominant strikers ONE Super Series has produced.
#3 Andrade Is Within Inches Of ONE Gold
Fabricio “Wonder Boy” Andrade did not only nab another emphatic knockout win at ONE: FULL CIRCLE, the #4-ranked bantamweight contender thrust his name to the forefront of the World Title picture.
In just 97-seconds, Andrade put away Jeremy “The Juggernaut” Pacatiw with a scintillating knee to the body. The picture-perfect attack that burned up the rising star exemplified why the Brazilian has become one of the division’s most exciting and dangerous competitors.
With the ONE Bantamweight World Championship bout between Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes and #1-ranked John “Hands of Stone” Lineker going down at ONE: LIGHTS OUT on 11 March, Andrade will be watching closely given his status in the division.
“Wonder Boy” has firmly and boldly stated his case for World Title contention, and 2022 could be the year that one of the sport’s most dynamic athlete gets his shot.
#4 A Swedish Star Is Born
Seventeen-year-old striking sensation Smilla “The Hurricane” Sundell arrived on the global stage with a somewhat obscure name. However, by the time her debut was over, she made sure the world knew who she was.
While other athletes many years her elder may have buckled under the pressure of debuting in The Home of Martial Arts, Sundell thrived all the while wearing a smile on her face.
As “The Hurricane” matures and develops her skills, the Swedish star will be a problem for whoever stands across from her inside the Circle for many years to come.