Breaking Down The ONE: HEAVY HITTERS Lead Card
ONE Championship will start 2022 with the pedal to the metal on Friday, 14 January.
That evening, ONE: HEAVY HITTERS will feature two colossal World Title fights atop a stacked six-bout main card.
But first, the lead card will set the stage with six more exciting matchups involving some of the promotion’s brightest stars.
Here’s why fans should not miss a second of the early action from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Elias Mahmoudi Vs. Walter Goncalves
In the lead card’s headline attraction, two ONE Super Series World Title contenders will square off in a Muay Thai battle that could put them back in contention.
Elias “The Sniper” Mahmoudi came close to winning the ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title in a tight bout with Petchdam “The Baby Shark” Petchyindee Academy, while Walter Goncalves pushed megastar Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon to his limits for the flyweight Muay Thai gold.
Both strikers have plenty of high-level weapons in their arsenals, although their differing styles will make for an intriguing clash.
The rangy Mahmoudi employs a diverse offensive skill set, using every available weapon in “the art of eight limbs,” while Goncalves primarily utilizes heavy punches and kicks that carry concussive power.
Expect a fast-paced thriller between two stars with high hopes in the Muay Thai ranks.
Beybulat Isaev Vs. Giannis Stoforidis
Greek slugger Stoforidis also packs dynamite in his gloves, and he’ll aim to begin his ONE career on a perfect note with a victory over an established name.
Isaev can prime himself for a World Title opportunity with a third straight victory, but “Hercules” could hijack his rival’s momentum with a strong first showing.
Yushin Okami Vs. Leandro Ataides
Even at 40 years old, the Japanese veteran says he’s in top shape and feels more powerful after moving up from welterweight.
Hulking Brazilian Ataides will test that assertion with his athleticism and strength, but he’s also a match for “Thunder” in the skills department. Both men are known for their abilities throughout the ranges, with dangerous striking complementing strong grappling.
Okami has the edge in experience, while “Wolf” is likely the more explosive, but both are just as hungry to win, knowing that a victory would put them right in the mix for the ONE Middleweight World Title.
- Ataides Aims To Return To Winning Ways Against Legend Okami
- Okami On Middleweight Return Against Ataides: I’ll Be At My Best
- Tiffany Teo Vows To Keep World Title Dream Alive Against Meng Bo
Shuya Kamikubo Vs. Troy Worthen
Kamikubo has won five straight bouts in ONE, dictating all of them with his smothering top pressure, but Worthen will be the strongest wrestler he’s met to date.
With that in mind, the American could try to force “Stealth” into a stand-up contest, where the latter has never really been tested. “Pretty Boy” evolved massively when he trained with legends of Muay Thai at Evolve, and this could be his route to victory.
The real battle will be between Kamikubo’s offensive wrestling and Worthen’s ability to negate it and swing the odds in his favor.
Tiffany Teo Vs. Meng Bo
Two-time ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title challenger and current #1 contender Tiffany “No Chill” Teo will welcome Meng Bo to the strawweight division following the Chinese striker’s disappointing run in the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix.
Meng – an early favorite in the tournament – started well against Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat, but was ultimately dominated by the Indian’s wrestling.
In Teo, she’ll face an opponent who’s far more willing to stand and trade.
The Singaporean showed her evolution in her last bout against “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan – who will defend her belt against Ayaka “Zombie” Miura in the HEAVY HITTERS main event – and her durability has never been in doubt.
Can Meng carry her infamous power into a higher weight class, or will “No Chill’s” chin and skills make it a sour welcome to the party?
Robin Catalan Vs. Elipitua Siregar
This is primarily a battle between Siregar’s wrestling and Catalan’s striking, though both men possess skills that they can use in all areas.
“The Magician” has added a potent submission game that blends in with his ability to bring opponents to the mat, but Catalan could threaten with leg locks on the ground.
However, the Filipino will surely look to unleash his fierce striking before his foe gets on track. Whether he’ll get that chance is another story.