5 Reasons Why The Second Half Of 2019 Will Be Incredible
The first half of 2019 has seen some of the greatest bouts and events in ONE Championship history, but the best is yet to come.
This is what you can expect to see in the next six months – from even bigger shows, to even more historic match-ups that will capture the imagination of the martial arts world.
The ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix
It is the most talked-about tournament in martial arts, and there are still four more bouts to play out before one man is crowned as its winner.
The action resumes next Friday, 12 July when Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy and Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan face off again in the quarterfinals to determine who will face “Smokin” Jo Nattawut in the next round.
The other semifinal will see Samy “AK47” Sana aim to follow his amazing victory against Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex with a win against the relentless Russian, Dzhabar “Genghis Khan” Askerov.
Whoever emerges from that stacked field look set to put on a brilliant final, and they will earn a brand new belt, a US$1 million grand prize, and the honor of being called the world’s greatest kickboxer.
Two More Tournaments Come To A Climax
ONE Super Series will not hog all the World Grand Prix drama, as some of the world’s best mixed martial artists are set to battle in the closing stages of another pair of tournaments.
We already know the identity of one of the lightweight finalists after Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev’s KO of Amir Khan, and he is sure to have a fantastic match with either Timofey Nastyukhin or Honorio “The Rock” Banario.
In the flyweight division, there are three bouts remaining. First Danny “The King” Kingad will face Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov, and Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson will clash with Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada.
The headline-grabbing encounters will not end there, however, as the winners of each of those contests will earn a World Title shot in their weight classes.
The third quarter of 2019 would not be complete without a marquee event, and ONE: DAWN OF HEROES will bring the most stacked card of the next few months to Manila, Philippines.
Along with all three mixed martial arts World Grand Prix semifinals mentioned above, the Mall Of Asia Arena will host a battle of lightweight greats from the East and West as four-time Lightweight World Champion Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez meets former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang.
All that would be enough to provide main events for multiple shows across several months, but on 2 August, there are also two World Title bouts at the top of the bill.
In the co-headliner, Jonathan “The General” Haggerty will make the first defense of his ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title against Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon in a clash of two of the most exciting martial artists on Earth.
The Biggest Event In Martial Arts History
Fortunately, ONE: CENTURY is just around the corner on 13 October, and it promises to bring even more top-tier action than The Home Of Martial Arts has ever seen in one place.
At the top of the card, two World Champion vs. World Champion super bouts have the potential to steal the show as “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan drops a weight class to challenge “Unstoppable” Angela Lee for her ONE Atomweight World Title, and Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang defends his ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship against heavyweight number one, Brandon “The Truth” Vera.
Plus, Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes and Kevin “The Silencer” Bellingon will clash for the ONE Bantamweight World Championship for the fourth time, all three World Grands Prix Champions will be crowned, and four Shooto World Champions will battle four Pancrase World Champions with US$50,000 on the line.
Return Of The World Champions
There are 19 more events from the world’s largest martial arts organization left in the year, so there is plenty of time to see some of its top athletes who have only been seen once so far since the end of 2018.
Zebaztian”The Bandit” Kadestam is fresh off his first ONE Welterweight World Title defense, and he will be in the hunt for another knockout to maintain his 100-percent finishing record in ONE, as well as his belt.
There is no doubt that it will soon be time for strawweight gold to go on the line, too, as Joshua “The Passion” Pacio prepares for the first defense of his second reign.
In ONE Super Series, Regian “The Immortal” Eersel expects to be back in the ring at some point in the next few months, and if his phenomenal performance against Nieky Holzken is anything to go by, fans across Asia will be in for a treat if he comes to compete in their country.