ONE Championship is closing out the first quarter of 2018 with its most ambitious card yet.
This coming Saturday, 24 March, the promotion will hold another groundbreaking spectacle, ONE: IRON WILL, at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
The event is headlined by a historic main event, and is rounded out with an card full of compelling bouts. It is slated to be the organization’s biggest show yet, and the high stakes certainly reflect it.
Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen is the holder of both the ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Championships, but the 29-year-old Vietnamese-Australian superstar is looking to add a third belt to his collection.
Taking on reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes two weight classes down from where he last competed, Nguyen not only aims for absolute supremacy, but he also aims to shock the world yet again with another stunning performance.
Behind a thunderous overhand right, “The Situ-Asian” has finished five of his last six opponents by knockout, and the other, he finished by submission.
All ten of Nguyen’s wins have come within the distance, and if he can do the same to Fernandes this weekend, he will become the first and only three-division world champion in the history of the cage, let alone simultaneously.
The most dominant world champion in ONE history, Fernandes is set to defend his ONE Bantamweight World Championship against the promotion’s fastest rising star, Nguyen.
Despite Nguyen’s incredible rise through the ranks, ascending as king of both the featherweight and lightweight divisions, the 37-year-old Brazilian emerges as the toughest opponent of his career.
Fernandes is widely considered in many circles to be the greatest bantamweight of all time as a premier Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with legitimate knockout power. “The Flash,” who has not tasted defeat since 2010, will look to retain his world title with another masterful performance.
If Fernandes defeats Nguyen at ONE: IRON WILL, he will set the record for most victories in ONE’s history (10), as well as extend his records for longest active winning streak (14) and most title bout wins (9).
Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai is considered one of the top lightweights in the promotion. Though the 29-year-old faltered in his last appearance inside the ONE cage, he is far more capable than what he showed in his last bout in December, as he was plagued by an untimely injury, and a bout of self-doubt.
Looking to regain his footing in the division, Wiratchai takes on promotional newcomer Rahul “The Kerala Krusher” Raju, an Indian martial artist based in Singapore.
A victory is crucial for “OneShin.” The Thai hero wants to get back into the title picture, which is becoming increasingly stacked with top tier competitors such as former titleholder Eduard Folayang, Ev Ting, and Timofey Nastyukhin.
Simply put, the lightweight division is a shark tank, and Wiratchai needs a terrific performance at home in Bangkok to remind everyone why he is still one of the world’s best.
Another young face emerging in the lightweight division is grappling superstar Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon.
Just ten months after submitting Japanese legend Shinya Aoki in ONE’s first-ever Grappling Super-Match, the 26-year-old American will make his full debut under ONE’s Global Rule Set.
Tonon is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt under legendary grapplers Tom DeBlass and Ricardo Almeida, and is a no-gi specialist who has won multiple championship titles at the IBJJF World Championships, Pan-American Championships, and Eddie Bravo Invitational.
“The Lion Killer” be taking on the Philippines’ Richard “Notorious” Corminal at ONE: IRON WILL, and plans to make waves in his cage debut. Tonon has worked extensively on his striking, and will look to unveil his development this Saturday night.
Alain “The Panther” Ngalani is making a big change.
Having spent his entire career in the heavyweight division, the 42-year-old hulk from Hong Kong is dropping down to light heavyweight. He is scheduled to make his divisional debut this weekend against promotional newcomer Ariunbold Tur-Ochir, a Mongolian champion and boxing stylist.
Ngalani is looking to make a colossal statement in this contest. He is determined to make a loud and instant impact in his new weight class, and to secure a rematch with ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion Aung La N Sang for the light heavyweight belt.
There is plenty at stake for the heroes competing at ONE: IRON WILL, and as they try their best to capitalize on their respective opportunities, they will be bound to put on a spectacular show.