From some of the greatest competitors in martial arts history to rising stars in the early stages of their careers, ONE: BATTLEGROUND truly has it all.
Before the action broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, 30 July, here are five massive reasons to catch the blockbuster show.
#1 A Generational Clash Between Legend And Phenom
Sam-A Gaiyanghadao is undeniably one of the greatest nak muay of all time, and even at 37 years old, he’s still operating at an elite level.
Since his drop to strawweight, the Thai legend has gone 4-0 and picked up the ONE Strawweight Muay Thai and Kickboxing World Titles.
However, the old guard has to give way at some point. Could debuting phenom Prajanchai PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym usher in a new era?
The 26-year-old, who won multiple Rajadamnern and Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Championships, is at the top of his game and trains alongside Rodlek PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym and Tawanchai PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym.
Sam-A has looked untouchable as of late, but Prajanchai might be the challenger who can finally dethrone the all-time great.
#2 Aung La N Sang’s Career Crossroads
This time last year, Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang was one of the most dominant forces in ONE Championship, but since then, he’s lost the ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Titles to Reinier “The Dutch Knight” de Ridder.
The Myanmar icon’s back has never been up against the wall during his time in the promotion, but he described his middleweight matchup against Leandro “Wolf” Ataides as a “make-or-break battle.” Indeed, the longtime star could earn himself a World Title challenge, or he could fall further out of contention.
Given the high stakes, fans could witness the most dangerous version of Aung La N Sang to ever set foot in the Circle. At the same time, he won’t get an easy ride against the hulking Brazilian.
Ataides is a BJJ World Champion and a knockout machine who’s been hunting for ONE gold for years. He knows that a victory over the division’s former king would put him next in line for a shot at De Ridder’s middleweight strap.
There’s a huge amount on the line for both men, and that should bring out the best in them.
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- Prajanchai Plans To Dethrone Sam-A: ‘I’m Younger And Stronger’
#3 World-Class Kickboxers Aiming For Title Shot
Sitthichai “Killer Kid” Sitsongpeenong entered ONE Super Series with a reputation as a pound-for-pound kickboxing great, and despite a debut loss to his old rival Superbon, he’s still a top contender for the vacant ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Title.
But earning that shot in the most stacked combat sports division in history will not be easy, and Tayfun “Turbine” Ozcan is another man who wants the gold. The Dutch-Turkish star has been waiting to face a name like Sitthichai and wants to prove that he can beat anyone on the planet.
Although they’re stylistically very different, both men bring serious heat and intensity to the Circle, and with their eyes on the ONE World Title — and a potential matchup with all-time great Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan — they’ll have to put on a dominant performance in Singapore.
#4 Can Phogat Bounce Back?
There is still a lot of excitement around Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat, and she’ll be able to answer a lot of questions about how far she can go in mixed martial arts when she battles “MMA Sister” Lin Heqin.
Phogat is returning after her first pro defeat — one that saw her lose a spot in the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix. Her ability to bounce back will be a huge measure of her character and ability to reach the top.
The Indian wrestling sensation is still relatively green in her ONE career, but the hype from her family’s fame elevated the anticipation from day one. If Phogat can return to winning ways over the more experienced Lin, she’ll be right back on track.
“MMA Sister” is a formidable adversary, though, and has her own lofty ambitions on the global stage. With a 14-2-1 record and a slew of knockout finishes to her credit, the Chinese sanda stylist could convert some of the attention on Phogat into eyeballs on her own career.
It’s always interesting when a wrestler and a striker meet, and that will be heightened in this matchup, which is pivotal for both of their careers in the atomweight division.
#5 Stars On The Rise
With her World Champion siblings “Unstoppable” Angela Lee and Christian “The Warrior” Lee as the benchmarks, Victoria has a long way to go. But the quiet 17-year-old wants her fighting to do the talking against China’s “Little Sprouts” Wang Luping.
Two wins in her first two outings would continue to build “The Prodigy’s” hype, though Wang is a veteran who will aim to steal the spotlight.
Debuting Team Lakay product Jeremy “The Juggernaut” Pacatiw might be significantly older than Lee, but whenever a newcomer from the Baguio City outfit makes their first appearance in The Home Of Martial Arts, fans can usually expect fireworks.
Pacatiw has a tough assignment in “The Ghost” Chen Rui, as the 25-year-old athletes will look to establish themselves in the bantamweight mixed martial arts division.