When ONE Championship arrives in Tokyo, Japan for ONE: A NEW ERA, the world’s largest martial arts organization will bring the most stacked lineup in martial arts history.
A bout card packed to bursting point with some of the greatest martial artists on the planet is set to thrill the fans at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in the heart of the city.
Ahead of this unmissable show on Sunday, 31 March, take a look ahead at five reasons why the event goes beyond anything seen in The Home Of Martial Arts.
#1 Four World Titles On The Line
Before that, ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee looks to make history as ONE’s first female two-division World Champion when she challenges ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan.
Finally, the first five-round contest of the night will see Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon put his ONE Bantamweight World Title on the line against the man he defeated to win it – Brazil’s Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes – in a colossal trilogy bout.
#2 The ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Gets Underway
Six participants in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix are set for action in Tokyo in three quarter-final match-ups.
In the highest-billed non-World Title bout of the night, arguably the world’s greatest mixed martial artist will make his debut on the global stage for martial arts. Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson is the frontrunner to win the tournament, but he will have to get past the ultra-tough and talented Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu to make it to the next round.
The other two contests bolster a high-quality preliminary card, and could deliver some of the most exciting action of the night.
Former ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov believes he is capable of going all the way against exciting Australian contender Reece “Lightning“ McLaren, before Japanese late replacement Senzo Ikeda steps up to challenge Filipino favorite Danny “The King” Kingad.
#3 A Legend Returns To Japan To Seek World Grand Prix Glory
Now the attention turns to the highest-profile match-up of the opening round, as Russian knockout artist Timofey Nastyukhin welcomes multiple-time World Champion Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez to ONE.
Alvarez has captured the Lightweight World Title in every major organization he has competed in, and now that he has joined the world’s largest martial arts organization, he plans to complete the set. First, he must win the tournament to book a shot at the belt.
In Nastyukhin, the American faces a stern test of his credentials. The Russian is a bonafide finisher, and he will look to find a home for his power punches as he bids to halt Alvarez’s charge at the very first step in Tokyo.
It promises to be a spectacular clash.
#4 Legends Collide In Stellar Striking Rematch
“Souwer Power” takes on “The Hero” in a rematch of two of the most skilled, decorated, and spectacular strikers in the world of martial arts.
The contest will be held under kickboxing rules, with Thailand’s Yodsanklai looking to even the score after the defeat he suffered at the hands of Souwer back in 2008 in the Netherlands.
In the 11 years since that first meeting, both men have gained a wealth of experience and improved exponentially as martial artists as they built two of their sports’ most impressive résumés.
They have done it all, but their competitive fire still burns, and the two striking phenoms will go toe-to-toe once again for the Japanese fans as they look to showcase the very best in striking martial arts on the biggest stage.
#5 An Unprecedented 22 World Champions
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Posted by Chatri Sityodtong on Friday, March 22, 2019
The lineup for ONE: A NEW ERA eclipses anything we have seen in the history of the martial arts world, with a staggering 22 World Champions set for action on the card.
An unprecedented eight current or former ONE World Champions are due to compete, as well as the very best athletes from the worlds of mixed martial arts, grappling, Muay Thai, kickboxing, karate, and pankration.
With such an incredible list of elite athletes set to compete, ONE: A NEW ERA seems destined to bring some of the highest-caliber action ever seen at a martial arts event.