ONE Championship is gearing up for its final live show of 2020.
The promotion will hold ONE: COLLISION COURSE at the Singapore Indoor Stadium this Friday, 18 December, and the stacked card is just about guaranteed to feature fireworks.
That card is headlined by a pair of monumental ONE Super Series World Title fights, which are joined by four explosive mixed martial arts matchups.
Here are five reasons why fans will be entertained from beginning to end on Friday.
#1 Kryklia Finally Defends Light Heavyweight Kickboxing Belt
It’s been a roller-coaster year for Roman Kryklia.
The Ukrainian goliath was scheduled to defend his ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Title against Andrei “Mister KO” Stoica in April, but the global COVID-19 pandemic forced ONE to postpone several events.
Following his layoff, Kryklia was rebooked to defend the gold against Murat “The Butcher” Aygun at ONE: BIG BANG earlier this month. But while the reigning king tested negative for COVID-19, he was in close contact with an individual who tested positive, which forced him to quarantine and withdraw from the contest.
Finally, the Ukrainian is in the clear and ready to make his first World Title defense against Stoica – the man he was originally supposed to fight.
These two heavy hitters have racked up 49 combined knockout victories, and given the way they throw punches, kicks, and knees, it’s a good bet that we’ll witness number 50 in “The Lion City.”
#2 Muay Thai’s Best Bantamweight Will Emerge
The main event performers aren’t the only athletes who’ve been on a collision course.
For the past four months, fans have been anxiously waiting for the showdown between ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao and ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Tournament winner “The Steel Locomotive” Rodlek PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym.
Finally, that matchup will go down in Singapore on Friday night.
Nong-O has steamrolled the competition since coming out of retirement to join ONE Super Series in April 2018. He’s unbeaten in six fights with the promotion, claimed the inaugural bantamweight Muay Thai crown last year, and ripped apart #1 contender Saemapetch Fairtex in his most recent match.
The Thai legend possesses slick technique, dangerous skills, and immense hunger. And after getting plenty of rest, his “spidey senses” could be heightened even further.
But Rodlek should never be counted out. “The Steel Locomotive” constantly moves forward and always has his eye on the knockout blow – a mindset that was evident throughout his bout with #3 contender “Left Meteorite” Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai, whom he pulverized over three rounds to earn his shot at the gold.
This will be a thrilling contest between two of the most talented and powerful Muay Thai bantamweight veterans on the planet. There couldn’t be a more exciting match to finish the 2020 ONE Super Series season.
- Nong-O Excited To Defend Belt Against Fresh Challenger Rodlek
- Roman Kryklia’s Journey From A Small Town To The Global Stage
- 5 Fun Facts About Romanian Kickboxer Andrei Stoica
#3 Tynanes Makes Long-Awaited Return
For years, Lowen Tynanes has been considered one of the top up-and-coming fighters in the lightweight division.
The well-rounded Hawaiian sensation owns a spotless 10-0 professional record, having beaten the likes of former ONE World Title challenger Koji “The Commander” Ando and ex-lightweight king Eduard “Landslide” Folayang.
While Tynanes has been trending toward a World Title shot, he was forced to the sidelines for an extended period of time due to spondyloarthritis, which affects the spine and causes immense pain.
The condition even ruined his brilliant return to action last year, as the American was forced to withdraw from the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix following his quarterfinal demolition of former featherweight king Honorio “The Rock” Banario in January 2019.
Tynanes has finally gotten his condition under control, and he is ready to rise from his #5 position in the lightweight rankings and build toward a matchup with reigning titleholder Christian “The Warrior” Lee.
But the first step will be a difficult fight against former ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat “Cobra” Gafurov, whose submission grappling expertise has overwhelmed many opponents.
And with the Russian focused on becoming a two-division World Champion, he’ll be extra motivated to hand Tynanes his first career defeat.
#4 Big Implications For The Bantamweight MMA Rankings
Tynanes versus Gafurov isn’t the only United States-versus-Russia matchup on this card.
In a matchup that depicts the same national pride and grappling styles, Dagestani BJJ black belt and #4-ranked bantamweight contender Yusup “Maestro” Saadulaev will square off against undefeated American wrestler Troy “Pretty Boy” Worthen.
Saadulaev has been flirting with ONE Bantamweight World Title contention for years. He’s won seven of his last eight bouts, as well as his last five bantamweight fights in The Home Of Martial Arts.
But Worthen has a very real chance to end Saadulaev’s streak – and dash his World Title hopes in the process.
The American has flawlessly applied his wrestling skills to mixed martial arts while developing a dangerous stand-up arsenal from the World Champion instructor team at Evolve MMA. And that striking game has only leveled up now that Worthen is training under Henri Hooft at Sanford MMA.
A top spot in the rankings – and perhaps a crack at ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes – will be up for grabs on Friday, so don’t expect either man to hold anything back.
#5 Explosive Flyweight Battles
The flyweight mixed martial arts division is considered one of the most exciting weight classes in the sport, and four men will have the chance to make good on that reputation this Friday.
In a classic striker-versus-grappler matchup, Japanese veteran Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada will face Muay Thai Champion Yodkaikaew “Y2K” Fairtex, who looked phenomenal with a pair of highlight-reel victories in August.
And opening the show will be Cambodian superstar Chan Rothana and Chinese standout “The Hunter” Xie Wei. Both men love to strike, so fans should expect a high-octane performance from the opening bell.
Read more: The Top Highlights From ONE: BIG BANG II