ONE Championship is scheduled to return to the bustling Indonesian capital of Jakarta this weekend for a night of exciting martial arts action.
This Saturday, 12 May, ONE: GRIT & GLORY will be staged at the Jakarta Convention Center, and the stakes for the competitors involved could not be any higher.
The main event features a rematch for the ONE Strawweight World Championship, and is supported by an undercard of bouts that could have serious title implications for several of the organization’s most stacked divisions.
Here is what’s on the line for some of the world’s best martial artists competing at ONE: GRIT & GLORY.
To Become The Best Strawweight In The World
Last December, Alex “Little Rock” Silva (7-1) met then-unbeaten titleholder Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito (12-1) in Bangkok, Thailand, and utilized his underrated striking to outclass the Japanese grappler. That led him to a unanimous decision victory, and he captured the ONE Strawweight World Championship in the process.
Now, the two are booked for a rematch in the main event of ONE: GRIT & GLORY, and each man has something to prove.
For Silva, it is an opportunity to finally prove that he is hands down the very best strawweight in the world. If the Brazilian can turn in another breathtaking performance, he could stamp his claim as the true kingpin of the strawweight division, and quite possibly usher in a new era of dominance.
As for Naito, this is his chance for redemption. The Japanese competitor was a step behind in their first encounter, but now, after five months to make some key adjustments, he has the opportunity to avenge his lone blemish and reclaim the belt.
A Potential World Title Shot
Although their match is not an official title eliminator, both former titleholder Vitaly Bigdash (9-1) and five-time BJJ world champion Leandro Ataides (10-3) are looking to book a date with reigning ONE Middleweight World Champion Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang.
Both men have defeated some of the biggest names in the division, so this match-up has significant title implications.
If Bigdash can turn in an awe-inspiring performance against the Brazilian, he could very well be staring down the road to a trilogy bout with Aung La N Sang, one that he has sought ever since losing the middleweight world title to the Myanmar hero back in June 2017. Each athlete has a win over the other, so a third clash is needed to settle the score.
Ataides, however, will be looking to spoil the party, and claim his spot as the next middleweight world title challenger. “Leo” has long been considered one of the premier talents in the weight class. He is on a two-bout win streak, and a claiming his third victory in a row from this encounter with the mighty Russian would undoubtedly make his claim even stronger.
A Clash Between Kickboxing Champions
The pair are familiar foes, as Maslobojev defeated Plazibat in a previous match two years ago. Needless to say, the Croatian — who has since won the 2017 K-1 Heavyweight World Grand Prix Championship — seeks redemption of the highest order, and will want to prove to his rival that he is a much different kickboxer than when they first met.
Maslobojev, on the other hand, is a former KOK World Champion who has made waves in both kickboxing and Muay Thai throughout his striking career. A second victory over his rival would elevate his profile even more.
Expect to see an unbelievable showcase of power and skill. As this match will be contested at a 95kg catchweight, the winner could become a frontrunner for an eventual ONE Super Series Kickboxing World Title in either the middleweight or light heavyweight division.
A Pair Of Indonesian Heroes Defend Their Perfect Records
The great nation of Indonesia has emerged as a hotbed for rising martial arts talent over the past couple of years, and some of the country’s most talented athletes have become well-revered for their showcase of skill and bravery.
Rahardian is set to take on Indian national wushu champion Himanshu Kaushik. Honing his skills at Bali MMA with top talents such as Andrew Leone, Gianni Subba, and Muhammad Aiman, the jiu-jitsu savvy Rahardian is looking to make an impact in his strawweight debut.
As for Senduk, he is a combat sports veteran who made a triumphant return to the ONE cage last January. He defeated fellow compatriot Yohan Mulia Legowo via second-round TKO after spending nearly six years away from the promotion. He takes on Cambodia’s Sor Sey in what should be an intense striking featherweight tilt.
Both Rahardian and Senduk are looking to keep their unblemished records intact, and should get a step up in competition if they come out victorious at ONE: GRIT & GLORY.