ONE Championship is set to finish off its NO SURRENDER series of events.
This coming Friday, 21 August, the promotion will return with ONE: NO SURRENDER III in Bangkok, Thailand, and the six-bout card will end the trilogy in style.
The card will feature a pair of mixed martial arts contests and a quartet of Muay Thai thrillers, including a main event with World Title implications. What’s more, there are seven World Champions from various martial arts backgrounds competing on the bill.
With that in mind, here are five reasons why you can’t miss ONE: NO SURRENDER III this Friday.
#1 The Other Tournament Semifinal
In the headline attraction, a pair of striking megastars will continue their quests for ONE World Title glory.
This ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Tournament semifinal contest will pit #1-ranked bantamweight Muay Thai contender “The Million Dollar Baby” Sangmanee Klong SuanPluResort against #3-ranked bantamweight Muay Thai contender “Left Meteorite” Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai.
Since making his promotional debut in September, Sangmanee has indeed looked like a million bucks inside the ring. The Thai outworked French-Moroccan striker Azize Hlali in November and then decimated Japanese star Kenta Yamada with his left kicks, punches, and masterful evasion skills.
Now, he faces his toughest challenge yet in Kulabdam, who was phenomenal in his own debut last September. The 4-ounce mixed martial arts gloves were a perfect fit for the Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai representative, who used his low kicks and fierce left punches to beat the division’s #2-ranked contender, Bobo “The Panther” Sacko.
Both Sangmanee and Kulabdam are top-ranked southpaws who possess incredible athleticism, polished technique, and enormous knockout power in both their hands and feet. This match could go all three rounds, but it would not be surprising to see a KO.
#2 A Hard-Hitting Co-Main Event
The co-main event will feature two Muay Thai warriors who are looking to make a name for themselves in the ultra-stacked flyweight division.
Mongkolpetch throws every strike with absolute power. When he isn’t getting busy in the clinch, the Thai star loves to fire off roundhouse kicks, push kicks, and elbows, which he brilliantly did in his victory over Joseph Lasiri last September.
That style sets up an intriguing matchup with Sok Thy, who loves to throw low kicks and right crosses. And as the Cambodian showcased in his initial battle with Lerdsila Phuket Top Team in June 2018, he fearlessly engages in the clinch and finds ways to dump adversaries to the canvas.
This has all the makings of a potential Fight of the Night, and a convincing win might just help the victor break into ONE’s Athlete Rankings.
- Kulabdam Aiming To KO Sangmanee: ‘If I Hit Him, It Will Be Enough’
- Sangmanee Hoping To Beat Kulabdam, Get Closer To ‘Beautiful’ Belt
- Fabio Pinca Set For Mixed Martial Arts Debut Against Wiratchai
#3 Fabio Pinca’s Mixed Martial Arts Debut
Fabio Pinca will finally make his long-awaited mixed martial arts debut on Friday night.
The Frenchman, who is a two-time WBC World Muay Thai Champion and a Rajadamnern Stadium World Champion, has faced some of the greatest athletes in Muay Thai and kickboxing.
Those athletes include recent ONE debutant Sitthichai “Killer Kid” Sitsongpeenong, Turkish star Tayfun “Turbine” Ozcan, and ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Champion Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan. He even faced Nong-O in his ONE Super Series debut in April 2018.
Pinca brings arguably the greatest striking repertoire to the featherweight mixed martial arts division and can end any competitor’s night with a single punch.
However, lots of questions about his transition to the all-encompassing combat sport will be asked by counterstriker extraordinaire Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai, who also possesses one-punch knockout power and the judo expertise to test the Frenchman’s unknown ground game.
Additionally, the Thai has mixed it up with a couple of top-ranked lightweight contenders and will bring his veteran experience from mixed martial arts to the battle.
It will be interesting to see how Pinca adjusts to this new sport and applies his skill set, and it will be equally intriguing to see how Wiratchai conducts himself against another man who loves to strike.
#4 The Women’s Muay Thai Divisions Heat Up
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There are some new female faces in ONE Super Series, and fans should be thrilled to see four promotional newcomers step into the organization’s all-striking branch on Friday.
First, six-time Muay Thai World Champion Little Tiger will make her much-anticipated premiere on the global stage.
Currently, the division is without a titleholder, so whoever wins this bout could be considered a front-runner for the inaugural belt.
#5 A Mixed Martial Arts Battle Between Thai Gyms
Two of the most respected gyms from the Thai island of Phuket will bring their most talented foreign prospects to the nation’s capital.
This will be an interesting matchup between grapplers, pitting Royle’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu stylings against Thomas’ wrestling pedigree.
Royle, a BJJ purple belt who holds a 4-1 record, has brilliantly utilized his submission skills, forcing three of his previous opponents to tap out.
Thomas, on the other hand, is a Mixed Martial Arts World Champion who goes for takedowns and uses his top game to great effect. He did that in his professional debut, where he overpowered his rival and defeated him via ground and pound.
Between their grappling backgrounds and continuously developing Muay Thai skills, it will be fascinating to see how this contest plays out.
Read more: How To Watch ONE: NO SURRENDER III