5 Reasons To Watch ONE: ONLY THE BRAVE

Sitthichai edges past Tayfun Ozcan at ONE: FIRST STRIKE.

ONE: ONLY THE BRAVE is ready to ignite the Singapore Indoor Stadium with a sensational blend of kickboxing and mixed martial arts fights.

With massive tournament matchups, a key World Title eliminator, and plenty of other crucial showdowns, every athlete will be fired up to put on a memorable performance this Friday, 28 January.

We’re excited about all 11 bouts, but we’ve picked out five of the biggest reasons to catch the action live from “The Lion City.”

#1 A Pair Of Kickboxing Grand Prix Semifinals

Sitthichai lands a left kick to Tayfun Ozcan's body at ONE: FIRST STRIKE.

The biggest tournament in kickboxing has reached the semifinal stage, and despite some recent changes, there are still four world-class strikers hoping to punch their ticket to the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Championship Final. 

Sitthichai “Killer Kid” Sitsongpeenong vs. Davit Kiria is now the evening’s main event, with the #3-ranked Thai legend looking to advance past the Georgian underdog.

But while Sitthichai’s incredible outfighting skills have carried him to many prestigious titles, Kiria has shown the ability to beat anyone – and he only needs one bomb to completely change the dynamic of this clash.

In the other semifinal, Grand Prix alternate Smokin’ Jo Nattawut has stepped in to fill the void left by leading contender Marat Grigorian. The powerful Thai veteran will now face #4-ranked Chingiz “Chinga” Allazov in the show’s co-main event.

Allazov’s recent destruction of 2019 Grand Prix finalist Samy “AK47” Sana proved that he’s one of the division’s biggest threats, but Nattawut owns the kind of firepower in his hands that can turn the tide in an instant. 

There’s nothing quite like a combat sports tournament, and all four semifinalists will give everything they have to reach the final.

#2 A Hard-Hitting World Title Eliminator

Kim Jae Woong knocks out Martin Nguyen at ONE: REVOLUTION

Tang Kai and “The Fighting God” Kim Jae Woong both believe they have the striking skills to win this battle of stand-up specialists, and whoever makes good on that promise will get an enormous reward.

The surging mixed martial artists want a shot at the ONE Featherweight World Title, which will be contested between reigning king Thanh Le and Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon later this year. 

Fourth-ranked Tang has won eight straight bouts, with six of those coming by knockout. On the other side, #1-ranked Kim has gone 3-1 in ONE with a trio of KOs.

After finishing former featherweight titleholder Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen in his last outing, “The Fighting God” positioned himself for the next World Title challenge. But given the wait, he accepted this matchup with Tang, which he referred to as a “warmup.”

Upon hearing that, the Chinese striker felt disrespected – and determined to ruin Kim’s plan.

With 20 finishes among their combined 25 victories – plus the extra antagonism from their war of words – these sluggers should stage an intense battle for as long as it lasts.

#3 Heat Comes To A Head In Crucial Strawweight Tilt

Jarred Brooks was constantly working from top position against Lito Adiwang at ONE: NEXTGEN III.

There’s even more heat between two of the strawweight division’s top contenders, who are vying for a shot at the gold with a big win on Friday.

Third-ranked Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks has acknowledged that #4-ranked Hiroba Minowa is one of the most underestimated athletes in the division. However, that respect hasn’t stopped the brash American from releasing a diss track that targets the reserved Japanese grappler. 

Minowa has bitten back, although he prefers to do most of his talking inside the Circle. The 23-year-old believes he has several routes to victory against “The Monkey God” – and he plans to silence him with an emphatic performance.

Both rising contenders know they are close to a challenge of strawweight king Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, so expect a fierce showdown in Singapore.

#4 China’s Most Dominant Lightweight Returns

Pictures from the lightweight showdown between Eduard Folayang and Zhang Lipeng at ONE: BATTLEGROUND II

“The Warrior” Zhang Lipeng picked up a massive debut win over former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang last year. Next, he is aiming for the division’s top dogs. 

Zhang has won 22 of his last 25 fights and feels ready to push toward the upper echelon. He’s already caught the attention of #3-ranked Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, and a victory on Friday could set up a top-contenders matchup.

Meanwhile, Ruslan “Snow Leopard” Emilbek Uulu wants to continue on the winning path after a bounce-back victory over Pieter “The Archangel” Buist

“Snow Leopard” looked refreshed at lightweight and could be a stronger force in the heavier weight class, although “The Warrior” will pose a tough test on that road.  

#5 Lithuanian Sensation Aims To Extend Flawless Record

ZhangChunyu DovydasRimkus 1920X1280 NEXTGENII 16

The changes to the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix mean that Dovydas “Rimkenzo” Rimkus will now face Ivan Kondratev in an alternate bout on Friday’s lead card.

Rimkus exploded onto the global stage late last year, displaying his combination of skill and charisma in a victory over “Bamboo Sword” Zhang Chunyu at ONE: NEXTGEN II.

Despite having just eight professional bouts to his credit, the undefeated Lithuanian proved that his arsenal can overcome any difference in experience. 

Along with entertaining the fans for three rounds in his debut, Rimkus is a constant source of entertainment online, which has made him one of the fastest-rising stars in the promotion.

Still, it won’t be easy against Kondratev, a big-punching Russian with a point to prove. He shocked the world by dropping Grigorian in his ONE debut, although he eventually lost to the Armenian superstar.

Seeing Nattawut get bumped up to the main Grand Prix bracket will give both men extra motivation – knowing that nothing is off the table if they can secure a victory in this alternate bout.

Read more: Davit Kiria: 4 Surprising Facts About The Grand Prix Underdog

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