5 Reasons To Watch ONE 163: Akimoto Vs. Petchtanong On November 19
This Saturday, November 19, ONE Championship will stage the second half of a martial arts doubleheader at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
From a World Title headliner to a long-awaited trilogy fight to a pivotal #1 contender bout, the 12-fight card will be must-see television for every type of fan.
To make matters more interesting, the event features all four of ONE’s combat sports disciplines, showcasing the depth of the promotion’s unique roster of talent.
As we look ahead to ONE 163, here are five big reasons to tune in live.
#1 An Electric Kickboxing World Title Fight
The main event has “action” written all over it.
After stringing together four straight victories inside the Circle, former WFKO Kyokushin Karate World Champion Hiroki Akimoto put on the performance of his career to capture the ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title from Capitan Petchyindee in one of the year’s best firefights at ONE X.
Now, the 30-year-old Japanese superstar will face another Thai legend in his first World Title defense, as he takes on challenger Petchtanong Petchfergus.
With both men typically fighting at a blistering pace, this southpaw-versus-orthodox matchup has the makings of an all-out war.
#2 Rivals Meet In Heavyweight Kickboxing Grand Prix Final
The co-main event will see massive heavyweights collide in a trilogy fight to determine the winner of the ONE Heavyweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix.
Tall, lanky, and brutally powerful, the Ukrainian superstar has won all four of his bouts inside the Circle, three of which had the ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Title on the line.
The Iranian, though, is no pushover. Like Kryklia, the power-punching Azizpour is undefeated in ONE Championship, and he knows that a victory here would firmly establish him as the Middle East’s next breakout star.
Adding to the stakes, the tournament winner will also cement himself as the leading contender for the inaugural ONE Heavyweight Kickboxing World Title.
#3 Legend Meets Phenom In Clash Of Lightweight Contenders
The highly touted protege of MMA great Khabib Nurmagomedov, Dagestani sensation and #4-ranked lightweight contender Saygid Izagakhmaev will face the stiffest test of his career when squares off with former lightweight king Shinya Aoki.
In what could play out as a grappler’s delight, the surging Russian hopes to use his relentless wrestling and submission attack to overwhelm fellow ground specialist Aoki, possibly landing him in a World Title fight next.
However, #5-ranked Aoki is a true legend of the game and owns one of the most potent submission arsenals in history.
The Japanese icon could keep himself in the World Title hunt and stop the meteoric rise of his opponent with a victory on Saturday.
#4 Asia’s Top Middleweight MMA Fighters Battle For Supremacy
The owner of 37 impressive victories over world-class competition, Okami has long been considered one of the best fighters to come out of Japan.
It makes sense, then, that “The Burmese Python” wants to measure himself against such a legend.
In this intriguing matchup, he’ll see how his dangerous stand-up game fares against Okami’s gritty takedowns and suffocating top control.
#5 Atomweights Aim For Next World Title Shot
At 23 years old, Hirata will test her endless gas tank and crushing judo against the ferocious kickboxing and veteran savvy of 35-year-old “Hamzzang.”
Their clash of styles – youth versus experience and grappling versus striking – makes for a fun fight just as much as the high stakes attached to it.
Expect both women to try to impose their respective wills from the opening bell, as each athlete surely knows that a win could lead to a shot at reigning atomweight queen Angela Lee.