5 Reasons To Watch The Stacked ONE Friday Fights 18
When ONE Championship returns to Lumpinee Boxing Stadium this week, it will bring another stacked slate of fights featuring all-action fan favorites, promising young talents, and everything in between.
From the Muay Thai main event that’s sure to be a barnburner all the way to the intriguing MMA contest that opens the show, ONE Friday Fights 18 has plenty of reasons to tune in on May 26.
As we look ahead to yet another weekly offering of world-class martial arts in Asia primetime, here are five reasons the showcase simply can’t be missed.
#1 Beloved Strikers Guarantee Action In Main Event
Nicknamed “John Wayne Noi” in honor of his legendary compatriot John Wayne Parr, Harrison has quickly established himself as an electrifying action fighter with a pair of thrilling wars at ONE Friday Fights. He comes into this bout following a stunning last-second finish of Rambo Rattanabandit in April.
Pongsiri, though, is one of the most aggressive competitors on the roster. His march-forward style, incredible durability, and experience in more than 200 professional bouts make him the perfect test for the surging 22-year-old.
#2 ONE’s Teenage World Champion Begins Quest For Second Belt
After more than a year away from competition, reigning ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Champion Smilla Sundell will return to face Serbian upstart Milana Bjelogrlic in the first kickboxing bout of her career.
At just 18 years old, “The Hurricane” is already one of the planet’s most feared and talented strikers. And after claiming Muay Thai gold last April, she hopes to make waves in her new sport and soon challenge for a second World Title.
First, she’ll first have to get past Bjelogrlic, who aims to make a powerful statement in this 128-pound catchweight bout by taking out the young Swedish prodigy in her ONE debut.
#3 Kickboxing Phenom Looks To Bounce Back
Sundell won’t be the only young superstar on the card, as 23-year-old Moroccan sensation Mohammed Boutasaa is set to showcase his high-flying striking against Iranian Mohammed Siasarani in a featherweight kickboxing matchup.
Boutasaa recently suffered the first defeat of his 16-bout career, dropping an entertaining decision to Thai legend Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong last October. Despite that loss, “Too Sharp’s” stock remains high thanks to his prodigious athletic gifts, infectious charisma, and fearless striking.
Siasarani would be happy to steal some of his opponent’s hype – and he could do just that with a strong showing in this pivotal matchup.
#4 ONE Friday Fights Stars Look To Stay Hot
Local heroes Samingdam Chor Ajalaboon and Teeyai PK Saenchai have impressed in their previous ONE Friday Fights appearances in Thailand, and they’ll both try to keep rolling in their respective bouts.
Samingdam announced his presence in a big way at ONE Friday Fights 7, demolishing Rittidet Sor Sommai with a brutal second-round knockout. This Friday, he’ll aim to score another crowd-pleasing stoppage when he squares off with Mahamongkol Move on Chiangmai in a 132-pound catchweight affair.
Before that, Teeyai will try to make it three straight wins at ONE Friday Fights when he meets Saklek Kiatsongrit at strawweight.
The PK Saenchai Muay Thai Gym representative has used his massive right hand and vicious clinch game to great success throughout his first two bouts, and fans can expect nothing less than fireworks in his next outing.
#5 MMA Upstarts Throw Down
Before those much-anticipated striking battles, fans can look forward to a pair of interesting mixed martial arts scraps featuring surging talents hoping to continue their climbs toward the upper echelon.
Undefeated Indian standout Manthan Rane is a ONE Warrior Series veteran who plans to take the flyweight MMA division by storm, but standing in his way is a fellow unbeaten professional in Tiger Muay Thai product Andrey Chelbaev.
Opening the show, dangerous finishers Ali Kabdulla and Richard Godoy – both 1-0 in ONE Friday Fights – will put their top-tier ground games to the test in a key matchup that could offer a peek into the future of the talent-laden lightweight MMA division.