There have been changes aplenty in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix, but they have led to arguably the most exciting finale possible at ONE: CENTURY PART I.
ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee has stepped in to face Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev in the tournament’s conclusion, which makes for a bout between two men with 100-percent stoppage rates.
With so many ways for each athlete to win – or lose – one man will have to be at the top of their game this Sunday, 13 October to have their hand raised, and here is how they could each achieve that at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.
#1 Arslanaliev’s Short-Range Punching
The Turkish phenom’s biggest threat is the concussive punching power he used to score back-to-back, first-round KO wins in his remarkable run to the final.
Though he is naturally a grappler, “Dagi” took out two seasoned strikers in Amir Khan and Ev “E.T.” Ting. Before that, he finished Russian striker Timofey Nastyukhin in the opening stanza to earn his place in the tournament.
“Dagi’s” stand-up repertoire is not as diverse as some of his rivals, but the sheer force in his fists makes up for that, and his stand-up offense is not without nuance or skill.
He uses feints to step inside the range where he can land his left hook and right uppercut, and no amount of technical prowess can save an opponent from hitting the canvas if they absorb a direct hit.
#2 Lee’s Long Right
If “The Warrior” is to win a stand-up battle, his long limbs will be key – particularly his darting straight right.
It might not have the same immediate stopping power as Arslanaliev’s hooks, but he has sent many opponents to the canvas with it en route to his record-breaking collection of finishes in The Home Of Martial Arts.
The distance the 21-year-old can cover with the technique means it may also be a good tool to safely close in on the Dagestan-born athlete.
It also may be his key to a takedown against a man with such good grappling defense. A hard shot could give him a split-second – and put him in range – to change levels and shoot for a double-leg takedown without as much resistance as a naked shot from distance.
#3 “Dagi’s” Big Takedowns
If Arslanaliev does not connect with his punches on the way in, his opponents are still in danger from his explosive power because he can scoop them up with ease for impressive, high-amplitude takedowns.
This leaves them stuck between a rock and a hard place. If they are successful in blocking his strikes, the 24-year-old is free to take hold, and then take them for a ride.
His trips, throws, and dumps are no ordinary takedowns, either. “Dagi” puts his rivals on the mat with such force and velocity, they can be easily disorientated or hurt, which leaves them open to ground and pound, or a submission.
#4 Lee’s Relentless Ground And Pound
If this encounter goes onto the canvas, Lee’s biggest asset against a fellow Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt will be his hard, accurate, and relentless ground and pound.
He uses his grappling acumen move gracefully through positions as his opponents try to escape, and he only needs the smallest of windows to drop punches or elbows – particularly if he can gain mount or back mount.
- Watch PART I in USA on 12 October at 8pm EST and PART II on 13 October at 4am EST
- Watch PART I in India on 13 October at 5:30am IST and PART II at 1:30pm IST
- Watch PART I in Indonesia on 13 October at 7am WIB and PART II at 3pm WIB
- Watch PART I in Singapore on 13 October at 8am SGT and PART II at 4pm SGT
- Watch PART I in the Philippines on 13 October at 8am PHT and PART II at 4pm PHT
- Watch PART I in Japan on 13 October at 9am JST and PART II at 5pm JST
ONE: CENTURY is the biggest World Championship martial arts event in history with 28 World Champions featured across various martial arts. No organization has ever promoted two full-scale World Championship events on the same day.
The Home Of Martial Arts will break new ground as it brings multiple World Title bouts, a trio of World Grand Prix Championship Finals, and several World Champion versus World Champion matches to the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on 13 October.