ONE Championship has enjoyed three incredible weeks on U.S. prime-time television, and now, the promotion is ready to cap off its “ONE on TNT” event series with the most dynamic edition yet.
This Wednesday, 28 April, the world’s largest martial arts organization will conclude the inaugural season with “ONE on TNT IV,” and the stakes are through the roof.
Aside from a World Champion versus World Champion main event showdown, the stacked card features a slew of legends looking to make a run at lightweight gold, heavyweight rising stars attempting to continue their ascents, and young female warriors trying to make a name for themselves in front of a North American audience.
Here are the stakes for every athlete on Wednesday night.
Aung La N Sang & Reinier De Ridder
Six months later, the two are running it back in the main event of “ONE on TNT IV,” and the stakes could not be any higher.
Aung La N Sang has a chance to earn redemption against the only man to finish him on the global stage. By doing so, he would keep his light heavyweight belt, ruin the Dutchman’s spotless record, and perhaps earn a trilogy fight for the middleweight crown in the future.
On the other side, De Ridder has a rare opportunity to become a two-division ONE World Champion. If he succeeds, he’d also be the only athlete in promotional history to own two belts while being undefeated in his professional career.
Eddie Alvarez & Ok Rae Yoon
These two explosive lightweights will be fighting for a coveted spot in ONE’s Athlete Rankings, and the victor could also become next in line for a shot at the ONE Lightweight World Title.
South Korean phenom Ok Rae Yoon had an unforgettable promotional debut at “ONE on TNT III,” as he defeated #5-ranked lightweight contender and former ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat “Cobra” Gafurov via unanimous decision.
Meanwhile, Alvarez kicked off the “ONE on TNT” series in controversial fashion, as he was disqualified against #2-ranked Iuri Lapicus. That loss was later overturned to a no contest, but Alvarez will still be looking for redemption in his quick return to action against the South Korean. With a victory, the American would also take Ok’s spot in the lightweight rankings.
And given that ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee has already beaten the top four lightweights, the winner of this co-main event showdown could become the Singaporean-American’s next challenger.
Oumar Kane & Kirill Grishenko
Kicking off the main card will be a battle between undefeated heavyweight behemoths.
“Reug Reug” Oumar Kane has been absolutely dominant since making his transition from Senegalese wrestling to mixed martial arts.
The African is a viral sensation due to his monstrous power, enormous fists, and devastating takedowns, which he’s used to finish every opponent to date. “Reug Reug” has already racked up a pair of first-round TKO victories in ONE, and he’s looking to score the hat trick on Wednesday night.
While Kirill Grishenko is making his promotional debut at “ONE on TNT IV,” he’s been just as decisive since making the switch from Greco-Roman wrestling to mixed martial arts. He’s finished all of his opponents in the first round, either by submission or TKO.
Only one heavyweight will leave the Circle with their perfect record intact, and that man will also hope to maintain their 100 percent finishing rate.
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Eduard Folayang & Shinya Aoki
Two of Asia’s greatest mixed martial arts legends will settle their historic rivalry while trying to inch closer to another run at the ONE Lightweight World Title.
Filipino pioneer Eduard “Landslide” Folayang did the improbable back in November 2016, as he knocked out then-ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki in the third round to claim the gold.
When they met in a rematch in March 2019, however, the Japanese icon put the Team Lakay veteran to sleep halfway through the first round and reclaimed the belt.
Since that meeting, a lot has transpired. Aoki dropped the strap to Lee in his next contest but bounced back to win three straight fights and earn the #4 contender spot. Folayang, on the other hand, has lost three of his last four battles.
A victory here would help the Japanese icon maintain his spot in the rankings, extend his winning streak, and keep his hope of rematching Lee for the belt alive. And if he makes “Landslide” tap out again, Aoki would improve his record for most submissions in ONE history, which currently sits at eight.
Folayang will instantly set a new record when he enters the Circle, as he will be competing in his 21st promotional fight – the most by any athlete in ONE history. Should he defeat “Tobikan Judan,” the Filipino star will be tied with Amir Khan for the second-most wins in ONE history (13), and he would stay within reach of the lightweight rankings.
Jackie Buntan & Ekaterina Vandaryeva
There will be a different type of grudge match going down at “ONE on TNT IV.”
Jackie Buntan is the longtime training partner of ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Janet “JT” Todd, who just so happened to knock out Ekaterina “Barbie” Vandaryeva with a highlight-reel head kick in October 2019.
Now, the Filipino-American is looking to make it 2-0 for the Boxing Works camp against the tall Belarusian.
But redemption is on Vandaryeva’s mind. The multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion may not be able to avenge her loss to “JT” directly, so she’ll aim for the next best thing: beat her teammate and even the score with the Southern California-based camp.
Also, the winner of this contest would undoubtedly become a front-runner for the ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Championship if the title is inaugurated.
Colbey Northcutt & Courtney Martin
Leading off “ONE on TNT IV” is an exciting battle between a pair of rising stars in mixed martial arts.
Colbey Northcutt was a legendary teenage Karate World Champion, and she is looking to replicate that success in the all-encompassing sport.
The American has openly expressed her desire to become the ONE Women’s Flyweight World Champion when the belt is inaugurated, and though she’ll be competing in a 60.6-kilogram catchweight bout on Wednesday, she can continue to solidify her case with an impressive outing.
Northcutt’s opponent, Courtney “No Mercy” Martin, will be making her debut on the global stage, and she could prove to be the perfect foil.
Unlike Northcutt, who devoted much of her adolescence to crushing a single sport, Martin began her mixed martial arts journey by training in several disciplines.
She may not be setting any records on Wednesday, but if “No Mercy” can upset the American karate superstar in front of a U.S. audience, she could become a celebrity overnight.