Breaking Down The ONE: WINTER WARRIORS II Lead Card
ONE Championship’s final show of 2021 received a major boost this week when three lead card contests were added to the stacked event that airs on Friday, 17 December.
Before the main card of ONE: WINTER WARRIORS II begins, fans will be treated to action across mixed martial arts, Muay Thai, and kickboxing, with some intriguing athletes ready to kick things off in style.
Here’s why it’s worth tuning in early for the trio of exciting opening fights at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
#1 Former World Title Challenger Welcomes Rising Star
Mustapha “Dynamite” Haida is eager to return to winning ways after falling short in a ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Title challenge of dominant divisional king Regian “The Immortal” Eersel.
The powerful Italian had his mettle tested by Eersel and certainly proved his toughness, but he must string together some impressive victories if he wants to get back to the top.
He won’t have it easy against German rising star Arian “Game Over” Sadikovic, who will be making his ONE Super Series debut amid sky-high expectations.
The 27-year-old is an aggressive, powerful fighter who is happy to meet anybody in the middle with his punishing boxing.
However, Haida will be his toughest test to date, and the Italian’s veteran savvy, head movement, and concussive counters will make for an interesting stylistic tussle.
Can Haida prove that he’s still a top contender, or will Sadikovic blast his way into the upper echelon of the lightweight kickboxing ranks in his first appearance on the global stage?
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#2 Power Punchers Square Off In MMA
Sandwiched between striking contests, this bantamweight mixed martial arts bout between Fabricio “Wonder Boy” Andrade and “The Underdog” Li Kai Wen could very well play out on the feet, too.
With a combined 40-3 record in Muay Thai and kickboxing, Andrade made the switch to MMA with plenty of experience in the stand-up game. He then showcased that skill set in big wins over Mark “Tyson” Abelardo and Shoko Sato, while also offering up glimpses of his slick grappling.
But while Andrade’s back-to-back victories made him a potential breakout star in the all-encompassing sport, Li wants to halt that momentum in his return to the Circle.
The heavy-hitting Chinese slugger comes out swinging and looking to take off jaws, and he isn’t afraid to absorb punishment in order to dish out his own.
Andrade will likely oblige in a striking battle, but with the intention of using his footwork and range to score more on his brawling foe.
While both men do have submission skills, it’s most likely that their punches, kicks, knees, and elbows will do most of the negotiating in this one.
#3 A Crucial Strawweight Muay Thai Clash
Two WBC Super Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champions will collide in the night’s opening battle – both with ONE Super Series strawweight gold on their minds.
Third-ranked contender Joseph “The Hurricane” Lasiri is known for his relentless pace and aggression, even in the face of an onslaught, and he never takes his foot off the gas.
ONE Super Series debutant Asahi Shinagawa might want to try and ease himself into his debut in the world’s largest martial arts organization, but “The Hurricane” has other plans.
The Italian intends to swarm Shinagawa early, so the action will be fast and furious — whether his Japanese rival likes it or not.
However, Shinagawa is a very composed, cerebral striker who is content to let opponents come toward him while he looks for openings. When he finds them, his power often makes them pay.
Lasiri’s pressure could either faze the newcomer or play right into Shinagawa’s trap. We’ll find out on fight night.
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