5 Burning Questions Ahead Of ONE Fight Night 19: Haggerty Vs. Lobo

Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong Eddie Abasolo ONE Friday Fights 22 46

ONE Fight Night 19: Haggerty vs. Lobo on Prime Video is just days away, and fans can’t wait for the action to get going inside the famous Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.

With a card full of guaranteed barnburners airing live in U.S. primetime this Friday, February 16, there’s plenty of excitement and intrigue ahead.

But just like any lineup littered with 50-50 battles, it’s impossible to know how things will play out and which athletes will take a step forward.

Here are five burning questions that will be answered when the dust settles in Bangkok, Thailand. 

#1 Can Anyone Touch Jonathan Haggerty At Bantamweight?

Jonathan “The General” Haggerty was an elite-level flyweight, winning the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title with a victory over Sam-A Gaiyanghadao, but he’s looked even more destructive since moving up in weight. 

Now the reigning ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai and Kickboxing World Champion, Haggerty will defend his Muay Thai gold against Felipe “Demolition Man” Lobo this Friday, and after his first-round destruction of Nong-O Hama to take the crown last April, he’ll enter as a strong favorite.  

No longer drained like he was in the lower weight class, “The General” has looked more powerful than ever in dispatching Nong-O and then Fabricio “Wonder Boy” Andrade in recent contests. 

Lobo is as tough as they come and brings his own firepower, but only time will tell whether he can stand up to Haggerty’s concussive striking. Even if the Brazilian has the chin to take the shots, does he have the skills to match Haggerty once they start trading? 

The British superstar’s stock is at an all-time high – for good reason. Can Haggerty prove that he’s head and shoulders above the current crop of contenders by taking out an elite challenger?

#2 Can Saemapetch Get His Redemption? 

Saemapetch Fairtex is eager to settle a score in his bantamweight Muay Thai rematch with Mohamed Younes Rabah. 

Rabah stepped in at late notice when they first met last December, and after missing weight for their catchweight battle, he finished the Thai star in circumstances that have been the subject of much debate.  

After legitimately dropping Saemapetch with a knee and punches, the unbeaten Algerian then struck his downed foe with another knee – an action the former ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title challenger believes forced the match to end prematurely

With that sour taste still lingering, #4-ranked Saemapetch is desperate to get one back on Rabah, but can he show that he’s still a force to be reckoned with in the competitive division? 

Controversy aside, Rabah proved he is a dangerous opponent with serious skills, and he’ll be just as eager to legitimize his original victory and earn a spot among the elite. 

#3 Will Liam Nolan Keep Rolling Since Return From Injury?

“Lethal” Liam Nolan is looking to continue his positive momentum following a frustrating layoff due to injury and illness.  

After not competing for the entirety of 2023, the British rising star picked up a win over Ali Aliev at ONE Fight Night 18 last month, and he’s set to return just five weeks later in a lightweight Muay Thai battle with Nauzet Trujillo

Already boasting a 4-1 record in his last five outings, the Knowlesy Academy representative could move closer to his goal of ONE Lightweight Muay Thai World Title contention with another win this week.

For his part, Trujillo is a high-level foe who has promised to bring the fight. Can Nolan fend off the Spanish veteran and continue to put his past issues behind him?

“Lethal” certainly has the skill and desire, but Trujillo won’t go down without a fight as he tries to establish himself in the world’s largest martial arts organization.  

#4 Who Is ONE’s American Muay Thai King? 

ONE’s entry into the U.S. primetime market has sparked fresh interest in Muay Thai in America, and two exciting strikers will clash this Friday as they aim to become the biggest face of the movement.

Both Eddie “Silky Smooth” Abasolo and Luke “The Chef” Lessei have offered up some stunning performances so far, but this featherweight battle is a massive chance for one of them to take the lead in the market’s growth. 

Each athlete has a fan-friendly style that helps them entertain in victory and defeat. However, they have higher hopes than just putting on exciting fights – they want to show that North American Muay Thai can compete with the best.  

The winner will earn a step up to the next level – especially with Lessei already holding the #5 featherweight Muay Thai rankings – and with that will come more eyeballs and increased expectations. 

Abasolo and Lessei will thrive on that opportunity, but only one man will move up to carry the flag. Who will it be? 

#5 Which Strawweight Will Make The Biggest Statement? 

The ONE Strawweight MMA World Title rematch between Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks and Joshua “The Passion” Pacio is set for ONE 166: Qatar on March 1, and while they prepare for that showdown, several contenders will look to shake up the division in Bangkok. 

Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang will meet “Mini T” Danial Williams in a clash of dangerous strikers, with both men aiming for re-entry into the top five with an emphatic victory.  

Earlier in the night, #5-ranked Mansur Malachiev takes on former divisional king Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta in a high-stakes clash between a pair of grappling specialists.  

While a win is unlikely to put any of the men next in line for the gold, a decisive victory would give them a significant boost ahead of the World Title fight in Qatar. 

Adiwang, Williams, Malachiev, and Saruta are all capable of show-stopping performances, but whose reputation will grow the most when all is said and done at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium?  

More in Features

Kairat Akhmetov Reece McLaren ONE Fight Night 10 12
Wei Rui
Regian Eersel Alexis Nicolas ONE Fight Night 21 12
Natalia Diachkova Chellina Chirino ONE Friday Fights 55 14
Sean Climaco
Nanami Ichikawa
Hu Yong Woo Sung Hoon ONE Fight Night 11 50
Wei Rui
Smilla Sundell Allycia Hellen Rodrigues ONE Fight Night 14 20
Halil Amir Ahmed Mujtaba ONE Fight Night 16 38
Mur Hawk Slater
Thongpoon PK Saenchai Timur Chuikov ONE Fight Night 19 39