ONE Super Series is a smash hit.
Ever since making its grand premiere at ONE: HEROES OF HONOR in April, the global super league has continually entertained the masses with its all-striking contests. In fact, on many nights, those matches stole the show.
With a phenomenal debut year in the history books, we take a look at five stand-up martial artists who helped to ignite the beloved ONE Super Series. However, only one superstar can be named “The 2018 ONE Super Series Athlete Of The Year.”
WINNER: Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan
Who could be next for Giorgio Petrosyan? ????Download the ONE Super App now ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan was one of the first superstars to arrive in ONE Super Series, and he made his presence felt from the very beginning.
The legendary Italian kickboxer, who is a two-time K-1 World Max Champion, made his promotional debut in the co-main event of ONE: HEROES OF HONOR in Manila, Philippines against two-division Lion Fight Muay Thai World Champion “Smokin’” Jo Nattawut.
Petrosyan is known as an elite counter striker, but he flipped the script in his ONE Super Series premiere. He aggressively walked Nattawut down, dissected the Thai with his razor-sharp boxing, and brilliantly out-struck him for three rounds to pick up a unanimous decision victory.
He repeated the trick in his sophomore outing at ONE: HEART OF THE LION in Singapore. Once again, the 33-year-old Milan, Italy native closed the distance, limited Sorgraw Petchyindee Academy’s range to shut down his kicking game, and unloaded pinpoint boxing combinations, his hooks, and trademark left cross to take a clear-cut unanimous decision.
It was a marvelous year for “The Doctor,” who was in total control of every round he competed in. He heads into 2019, and the ONE Super Series Featherweight World Grand Prix, with tremendous momentum.
Runner-Up: Stamp Fairtex
Stamp Fairtex was OOZING confidence in her World Title victory!Download the ONE Super App now ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Stamp Fairtex may have started the year as a mixed martial arts prospect on Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series (OWS), but she wrapped up 2018 as the second ONE Kickboxing Atomweight World Champion.
The 21-year-old Pattaya, Thailand native was a North Eastern Muay Thai Champion who intended to make the switch to mixed martial arts. She made her debut at the second OWS live event in July, where she knocked out Rashi Shinde with a head kick in 19 seconds.
Despite showing immense potential, her tenure in the sport was short-lived. The Fairtex representative was offered a chance to challenge the inaugural ONE Kickboxing Atomweight World Champion, “Killer Bee” Kai Ting Chuang, for the belt in the co-main event of ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES in October.
Stamp made the most of this dream opportunity. She kept Chuang at bay with teeps and roundhouse kicks to the midsection, and when the Chinese titleholder jumped forward with her punches, the Fairtex product initiated the clinch in an effort to throw knees and dump her to the canvas.
The Thai claimed the ONE Kickboxing Atomweight World Title in front of a home crowd in Bangkok, and she expects to thrill the masses even more in 2019.
Runner-Up: Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex
Yodsanklai's jaw-dropping KO capped off 2018 in style!Download the ONE Super App now ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Monday, December 10, 2018
Two-time Lion Fight Muay Thai World Champion Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex is one of those rare legends who continues to get better and better.
In June 2017, “The Boxing Computer” unexpectedly announced his retirement due to a catastrophic knee injury. However, after letting his body heal, he returned to action eight months later and has gotten stronger with each outing.
The Fairtex icon shook off the initial rust against Chris Ngimbi at ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS in May. He battered “The African Warrior” with his signature left roundhouse kick and various boxing combinations to defeat his valiant adversary via unanimous decision.
However, the true highlight occurred earlier this month.
At ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS, Yodsanklai made history by competing in the first ONE Super Series bout to headline one of the promotion’s shows. He ended the organization’s 2018 calendar of events in style by knocking out Australia’s Luis Regis with a trio of rapid-fire uppercuts.
Runner-Up: Nong-O Gaiyanghadao
Nong-O sent Bangkok into a meltdown with this Muay Thai clinic ⤵️Download the ONE Super App now ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, October 7, 2018
Four-time Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao may have retired from the sport in 2015, but the 32-year-old knew he was still one of the best Muay Thai practitioners on the planet and wanted to prove that in ONE Super Series.
The Thai bantamweight broke his three-year retirement to debut in the global super league at ONE: HEROES OF HONOR. He flashed his phenomenal footwork, frequently connected with his roundhouse kicks, and dumped his opponent, Fabio Pinca, to the ground. Nong-O was always one step ahead, which evidently led him to a unanimous decision victory.
He followed up that thrilling showcase with a masterclass at ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES. The Evolve representative repeatedly landed kicks to the head and body of Mehdi “Diamond Heart” Zatout, and he even dropped the Frenchman with a massive elbow. Zatout proved his toughness and battled to the end, but the Thai sealed the unanimous decision win.
With top-notch efforts like that, Nong-O could receive a title shot in the very, very near future.
Runner-Up: Han Zi Hao
Han Zi Hao floors Azwan Che Wil with crushing combinations, scoring a TKO win at 2:52 of Round 1! ????Watch the full event LIVE & FREE on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, November 23, 2018
Han Zi Hao was not the biggest name to join ONE Super Series, but he has become one of the most exciting additions to the roster.
The Chinese pioneer, who is a Top King Muay Thai World Champion, was extremely active in the second half of 2018.
He dispatched Stergos “Greek Dynamite” Mikkios via unanimous decision at ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON in September, knocked out Ryan “The Filipino Assassin” Jakiri at ONE: PURSUIT OF GREATNESS in October, and then stopped Azwan “N41 Manik Urai” Che at ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS a month later.
The 23-year-old became the first person in ONE Super Series history to capture three wins, and that could lead him to a golden opportunity at some point in 2019.