The first two events in the groundbreaking “ONE on TNT” series delivered some incredible results, and “ONE on TNT III” looks set to continue that trend.
The card — which airs this coming Wednesday, 21 April — has everything from the biggest names in the striking world to record-breaking submission specialists.
#1 Lineker Wants To KO His Way To ‘The Flash’
John “Hands of Stone” Lineker rose to prominence in North America as one of the hardest pound-for-pound punchers in mixed martial arts. Now, he wants to use that incredible knockout power to win World Title gold in ONE Championship.
With 14 KOs to his credit, the Brazilian earned a spot on the ONE roster and then used a sterling performance to defeat Muin “Tajik” Gafurov via decision in his promotional debut at ONE: DAWN OF VALOR.
That victory saw “Hands of Stone” become his division’s #1-ranked contender, and an emphatic win over Troy “Pretty Boy” Worthen at “ONE on TNT III” would likely book a World Title shot against Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes.
“I’m the most dangerous ONE bantamweight. Nothing can stop me. I’m motivated and ready. I will knock everybody out until I get the World Title,” Lineker stated ahead of his return.
#2 Worthen On The Hunt For Redemption
Worthen will be in tough against the hard-hitting Lineker, but their matchup is also a massive opportunity for the American wrestler.
After tasting defeat for the first time in a closely contested battle with #3-ranked bantamweight Yusup “Maestro” Saadulaev at ONE: COLLISION COURSE in December, Worthen can regain all of his momentum — and more — if he overcomes “Hands of Stone.”
The 27-year-old Sanford MMA representative learned a lot from his loss, and he can bring those lessons to bear in the biggest fight of his career.
He certainly has the grappling acumen to pose many problems for Lineker, and with redemption on his mind, Worthen could crash the bantamweight rankings by defeating an international star.
Both men have huge goals in mind, which means fans can expect their best on Wednesday.
- Alvarez To Face Winner Of Gafurov-Ok At ‘ONE On TNT IV’
- Nieky Holzken: My Knockout Power Will ‘Surprise’ John Wayne Parr
- Parr Excited For ‘Dream’ Match Against Fellow Legend Holzken
#3 Flyweights Battle For World Title Consideration
McLaren has been a perennial contender at flyweight ever since moving down after challenging Fernandes for bantamweight gold. The Aussie is one of the most potent submission finishers in the division, and he is coming off back-to-back wins over Aleksi “The Giant” Toivonen and Gurdarshan “Saint Lion” Mangat.
Following a difficult start against #2-ranked flyweight Danny “The King” Kingad and #1-ranked Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson in his first two ONE contests, Wakamatsu has raced to three straight wins, including a KO over former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio.
Wakamatsu and McLaren now hold the #4 and #5 spots in the flyweight rankings, respectively, and a win for either man would continue to propel them forward.
Both athletes have the tools to end this bout at any time — albeit with very different skill sets — and they will leave everything inside the Circle, knowing that a victory could put them in World Title contention for Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes.
#4 A Dream Matchup Of Striking Legends
Parr had briefly retired, but the pull of ONE Super Series changed his mind – as did the opportunity to face an icon.
Now, the Australian will battle Holzken, who jumped at the chance to fight somebody he’d always looked up to in the combat sports world.
It’s a rare bout in “the art of eight limbs” for the Dutchman, and Parr will look to bring his varied arsenal into play against the kickboxing specialist.
However, “The Natural” believes his immense knockout power will be the great equalizer in this fascinating stand-up battle.
#5 Alvarez Awaits Winner Of Gafurov-Ok
Gafurov was already a ONE record-breaker during his run to featherweight gold – which consisted of six straight rear-naked choke finishes – and he is eyeing the World Title in his new division.
“Cobra” will now welcome South Korea’s Ok Rae Yoon to the Circle. Ok has tasted international success with title wins in Japan, but his step up to the big leagues will raise the level of difficulty immensely.
Still, Ok is a formidable striker who’s never been submitted. By taking on such a big name in his ONE debut, he will be acutely aware of his chance to make a name for himself globally.
It’s another fascinating stylistic matchup with major consequences — the winner will officially hold the #5 spot in the lightweight rankings and make a quick return to fight Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez at “ONE on TNT IV” next week.