ONE Championship’s finest warriors are looking to become kings of the martial arts world, and many of them have a chance to take a huge step toward that objective in Manila, Philippines.
This Friday, 27 July, the promotion returns to the Mall Of Asia Arena for its latest blockbuster event, ONE: REIGN OF KINGS, which has the potential to be the show of the year.
Not only will a brand new World Champion be decided in the main event, the stacked undercard features two of the sport’s most beloved legends, several athletes vying for title shots, and a trio of explosive ONE Super Series bouts.
The stakes are incredibly high for every martial artist set to compete in front of the sold-out crowd in the Filipino capital. This is what victory would mean for some of our warriors.
The ONE Interim Bantamweight World Title
A new champion is guaranteed to be crowned in Manila.
The evening’s headline attraction features Filipino knockout artist Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon facing two-division ONE World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen for the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Title.
This is Belingon’s second chance to become the bantamweight titleholder. That is something he has in common with Nguyen, who has his second opportunity this year to become an unprecedented three-weight ONE World Champion. He also knows it could be his last.
He already holds the ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Titles, and adding a third belt would see him make history yet again.
In addition to claiming the gold, the winner would secure a rematch with the division’s king Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes. That World Champion VS World Champion unification bout would be expected to happen later this year when the Brazilian recovers from his injury.
Legends Compete For Supremacy
Two of the sport’s pioneers are set to square off in a legend versus legend bout.
Renzo Gracie, who is still going strong at the age of 51, will finally enter the ONE cage.
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu hero, whose family introduced “the gentle art” to the world as an essential component of mixed martial arts competition, will clash with fellow promotional debutant and three-division King Of Pancrase Yuki Kondo,
Kondo, now 43, has elevated the Japanese scene with his heroic showings since 1996, and he plans to continue building the sport in Asia.
These two icons are competing for something just as important as a World Title – their legacies. Now, it is all about iconic supremacy.
Four Lightweight Contenders Chase World Title Shots
A pair of former ONE Lightweight World Champions will take on two roaring lions – and all four athletes could become the next person to challenge Nguyen for the lightweight belt.
In a classic grappler versus striker battle, Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki will try to add to the success he has achieved in a stellar 2018 so far, and get his third consecutive submission win of the year.
The Japanese icon clashes with Thai mixed martial arts superstar Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai, who has scored his last four victories by way of knockout.
Fans will get a second dose of lightweight mayhem when Eduard “Landslide” Folayang makes his return to the Mall Of Asia Arena.
Two months on from his dominant decision victory over unbeaten Russian debutant Kharun “The Predator” Atlangeriev, he faces another undefeated Russian newcomer in Aziz Pahrudinov – an even more dangerous foe who has more wins on his résumé than Folayang.
The winners of these two tussles will undoubtedly enter World Title contention.
The Strawweight World Title Picture Will Clear Up
There is currently no clear-cut number one contender in the strawweight division, but that could all change after the curtain has fallen on ONE: REIGN OF KINGS.
A quartet of exciting strawweights will collide on the preliminary card, and each of them will attempt to impress with the aim of becoming the next opponent to challenge two-time ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito.
Former World Title challenger Joshua “The Passion” Pacio is scheduled to meet undefeated Thai hero Pongsiri “The Smiling Assassin” Mitsatit. It will be a mixed martial arts bout that sees Pacio’s wushu stylings meet Mitsatit’s top-class Muay Thai prowess.
Also, Wushu World Champion Rene “The Challenger” Catalan could find himself on a five-bout win streak if he defeats unbeaten grappler Stefer “The Lion” Rahardian, who decimated the flyweight division before dropping down a weight class in May.
These four athletes have all been surging towards contendership, and an impressive win – especially by spectacular finish – could lead them to the promised land.