ONE Championship always brings a stacked card to Manila, Philippines, and the long list of World Champions set to compete at ONE: FIRE & FURY shows The Home Of Martial Arts’ first trip to the Mall Of Asia Arena of 2020 is no different.
Before the fireworks begin this Friday, 31 January, check out all the top honors these athletes have collected across a wide range of disciplines.
Main Event Warriors
It would be almost impossible to make a main event match-up between two more decorated strawweight mixed martial artists.
The defending ONE Strawweight World Champion, Joshua “The Passion” Pacio is enjoying his second reign with the belt and holds the joint-record for the most wins in World Title matches in the division, with three.
The Filipino hero first won the gold when he defeated Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito in 2018, and though he lost it last January, he quickly reclaimed it when he hit 2019’s knockout of the year in his rematch against Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta. He strengthened his grip on his prize with a submission of Rene “The Challenger” Catalan in November, and now he can become the first man in history to make two defenses.
The Brazilian is also one of those rare athletes to have reached the top of two sports thanks to his capture of the Copa do Mundo BJJ World Championship in 2008.
Former Champs On The Comeback Trail
The main card will also feature two former ONE kings who will continue their quests to regain the top spot on the global stage.
Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang – who is set to face Pieter “The Archangel” Buist – shocked the world when he defeated mixed martial arts legend Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki to win the ONE Lightweight World Title in November 2016. The Pinoy icon went on to make one defense of his crown in front of his home crowd a few months later.
He also enjoyed his second reign after a brilliant performance to topple Amir Khan at the end of 2018 at the Mall Of Asia Arena.
Despite competing in just one kickboxing bout in his entire career, “The Baby Shark” Petchdam Petchyindee Academy won the ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Championship last May.
Before he arrived in ONE super Series, the man from Bangkok was also a WBC and Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Champion, and he will return to “the art of eight limbs” when he faces Kohei “Momotaro” Kodera this Friday.
6 More Of The Martial Arts Elite
Top-class athletes will be on display in Manila from the start of the night until the very end.
They include Shoko Sato, the Japanese veteran who finally won the Shooto Bantamweight World Title after 10 years of competing, and then defended the belt twice before his arrival on the global stage. He will look to book a shot at ONE gold with a win against “Pretty Boy” Kwon Won Il in Manila.
Finally, there are two bouts that match some of the best strikers on the planet.
First, 19-year-old Alma Juniku, who won the WBC and IPCC Muay Thai World Titles just after her 18th birthday, will face two-time ISKA Muay Thai World Champion Anne “Ninja” Line Hogstad in an atomweight contest.
Before that, IMF Muay Thai World Champion Chris Shaw will go to battle in the bantamweight division against Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym, who has picked up Channel 7, WPMF, and WMC Muay Thai World Titles so far in his remarkable career.