ONE Championship kicks off its summer schedule of events this coming Saturday, 15 June.
The world’s largest martial arts organization brings ONE: LEGENDARY QUEST to the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China, and the show is stacked with 14 explosive bouts.
As we build up to Saturday night’s card, here are the six biggest reasons why you simply can’t miss the action in Shanghai.
#1 Young Phenoms Star In The Main Event
Two-sport ONE World Champion Stamp Fairtex returns in the night’s headline attraction.
She puts her ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title on the line against young Australian striker Alma Juniku in the main event of the evening.
The Pattaya native has already displayed her dominance in a pair of combat sports, having captured both the Muay Thai and kickboxing World Titles in the atomweight division.
Now that Juniku has arrived in The Home Of Martial Arts, she is looking to make an impact of her own and become a World Champion in her debut appearance.
#2 “Sexy Yama” Makes His ONE Debut
Asian mixed martial arts legend Yoshihiro “Sexy Yama” Akiyama will make his long-awaited comeback after a three and a half year hiatus from the sport.
He will square off against Malaysia’s Agilan “Alligator” Thani in a three-round welterweight showdown in the co-main event.
Akiyama has faced a who’s who of elite-level mixed martial artists across a range of weight classes during his career, and he has a well-earned reputation for always producing thrilling bouts.
Now, at the age of 43, the Japanese-Korean icon is bringing his skills to ONE, where he will look to gate-crash the ONE Welterweight World Title picture with a victory over “Alligator.”
#3 Chinese Stars Look To Impress In ONE Super Series
A pair of Chinese bantamweight strikers will try to produce the goods on home soil when they return to ONE Super Series action in Shanghai.
Former ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title challenger Han Zi Hao went the distance with the great Nong-O Gaiyanghadao in March, and now, he will look to work his way back to a rematch when he faces Scotland’s Andrew Miller.
Also, Top King Muay Thai World Champion — and Han’s “little brother” — “Muay Thai Boy” Zhang Chenglong will attempt to continue his meteoric rise up the ranks. He collides with Australia’s Tyler Hardcastle under the kickboxing rule set.
Both men have proven they can deliver spectacular performances. On Saturday, they get the chance to do it in front of their home fans.
#4 Another World Champion Makes His Debut
ONE’s talent-stacked roster of World Champions increases by one as Muay Thai World Champion Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym makes his grand premiere.
However, there are no tune-up matches in ONE Super Series, and he will have to defeat an eight-time Muay Thai World Champion in the form of the United Kingdom’s Liam “Hitman” Harrison.
Both men have excelled in “the art of eight limbs,” and now the rival World Champions will face off in a bid to move one step closer to a date with Nong-O for his crown.
#5 Proven Finishers Return To Action
A host of proven finishers are set to grace the arena and hope to replicate their spectacular exploits from their previous outings.
Chinese featherweight newcomer Niu Kang Kang announced himself as a legitimate threat with a stunning 31-second head kick knockout of Sunoto in January. He returns to action against Filipino star Eric “The Natural” Kelly.
Also set for action is Dutch-Indonesian luminary Anthony “The Archangel” Engelen, who takes on China’s “Rock Man” Chen Lei, while featherweight contenders Koyomi “Moushigo” Matsushima and “Pretty Boy” Kwon Won Il face off in a Japan vs. South Korea match-up.
Any of those names could produce the ‘knockout of the night’ on an evening packed with legitimate finishers.
#6 Heavy Artillery Could Steal The Show
Both men have competed at heavyweight, but they may be at their leanest, fastest, and sharpest in the light heavyweight category — and that’s the division where the two kickboxing greats will compete on Saturday night.
Each athlete has legitimate bout-ending punching power and knockouts on their records. When the action starts between these two destructive strikers, don’t blink.