5 Reasons To Watch The Blockbuster ONE Friday Fights 9 Card On March 17
On March 17, ONE Championship will return to the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, with the most stacked installment of ONE Friday Fights yet.
Headlined by a World Title rematch that has the Muay Thai world buzzing, ONE Friday Fights 9 is ready to deliver plenty of action, drama, and world-class martial arts.
Featuring 11 Muay Thai and MMA contests, the card will showcase a number of the planet’s top fighters duking it out in front of a raucous Thai crowd while airing live around the world in Asia primetime.
Here are five reasons why this blockbuster event is a must-see showcase.
#1 A World Title Main Event Rematch
Last October at ONE on Prime Video 3, longtime ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Champion Regian Eersel extended his years-long unbeaten streak when he earned a split decision over Sinsamut Klinmee, capturing the vacant ONE Lightweight Muay Thai World Title in the process.
The two strikers will now run it back in the main event of ONE Friday Fights 9, as the Thai knockout artist will have his shot at redemption in one of the most anticipated fights of 2023 so far.
In their first encounter, Sinsamut pushed the Dutch-Surinamese superstar to his absolute limit, showing he possesses the top-end technical acumen needed to hang with the two-sport king.
For Eersel, this showdown will be an opportunity to silence any doubters and further cement himself as one of the top pound-for-pound strikers in the world.
#2 The Legendary Sam-A Comes Out Of Retirement
Former two-sport and two-weight ONE World Champion Sam-A Gayanghadao will make his celebrated return at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium to battle accomplished Irish striker Ryan Sheehan.
The 39-year-old Thai superstar ruled ONE’s lower-weight striking divisions for years, capturing Muay Thai gold at strawweight and flyweight, as well as the strawweight kickboxing crown.
After two years away from competition, Sam-A hopes to pick up where he left off and make a triumphant comeback, reminding fans of his rare talent.
Sheehan, though, has different plans. The ISKA and WBC Muay Thai World Champion aims to play the spoiler in his promotional debut and has the proven abilities to do just that.
#3 A Pivotal Bantamweight Muay Thai Co-Main Event
The evening’s co-headliner will see a pair of Lumpinee Muay Thai World Champions go to war in a high-stakes showdown, as Kulabdam Sor Jor Piek Uthai squares off with Muangthai PK Saenchai.
Both athletes come into the bout following sensational performances at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in their most recent outings.
Known as “Left Meteorite,” Kulabdam earned a thrilling decision win over rival Sangmanee PK Saenchai in the main event of ONE Friday Fights 2, while a week prior, “Elbow Zombie” dispatched dangerous Uzbekistani standout Mavlud Tupiev.
In addition to bragging rights, a potential spot in the bantamweight Muay Thai rankings could be on the line, so fans can expect these surging Thai stars to fight with something to prove.
#4 A Pair Of MMA Barnburners
There will be more than just elite Muay Thai on the menu, as four top-tier mixed martial artists will look to put on a show.
First, well-rounded Japanese veteran Tatsumitsu Wada will welcome surging Filipino sensation Ernesto Montilla to ONE. The newcomer won four of his last five bouts via submission and aims to make waves in his promotional debut.
Next, South Korean submission stylist Yoon Chang Min will meet Ukrainian bruiser Kirill Gorobets in a catchweight affair that promises action from start to finish.
#5 Kickboxing Contender Continues Climb Toward Muay Thai Gold
Kicking off the card will be #5-ranked flyweight kickboxing contender Tagir Khalilov taking on local star Black Panther in a flyweight Muay Thai clash.
The Russian shined in his 2021 promotional debut when he nearly earned a kickboxing decision victory over international striking megastar Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
Since then, “Samingpri” has competed exclusively in Muay Thai, and he’ll hope to make a name for himself in a second sport by beating a Thai fan favorite in Bangkok.