This coming Saturday, 8 September, ONE Championship returns to Shanghai, China, with a blockbuster event full of mouthwatering encounters that have both immediate, and future, World Title implications.
The promotion will take over the Baoshan Arena with ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON, which is set to feature several of the world’s most exciting martial artists eager to put on the best performance of their careers.
A dominant World Champion will look to maintain a stranglehold on her division, rivals from opposing gyms will battle for individual and team glory, and aspiring martial artists will attempt to escalate up the ranks.
The stakes are massive, to say the least. Here is what a victory would mean for our warriors competing in the Chinese metropolis.
The ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title
“The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan (15-1) has reigned supreme in 2018.
She captured the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title in January with a fourth-round stoppage victory over Tiffany Teo, and then dominated Argentinian challenger Laura Balin in her first World Title defense in June.
Now, there is another South American challenger taking aim at her belt.
Samara “Marituba” Santos (12-5-1) travels to China from Brazil in the hopes of causing an upset in front of the titleholder’s home crowd. Xiong has looked unstoppable in ONE Championship thus far, but the challenger is fired up, and hungry for success.
Both athletes have their own motivations, but hunger will not be enough to claim the title. The victor will be the one who can successfully harness their inner drive, and execute their game plan.
However, the gold is not the only thing up for grabs. The winner of this contest will go on to defend the belt against ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee in a super-bout at the promotion’s mega-show in Singapore later this year.
In a battle between lightweight contenders, Evolve’s Amir Khan (10-3) squares off against Team Lakay’s Honorio “The Rock” Banario (13-6). Similarly, in a featherweight showdown, Christian “The Warrior” Lee (9-2) takes on Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly (10-5).
There is a lot of respect between both camps, but there is also team pride on the line, as well as the personal aspirations of each competitor.
Khan wants to show he can overcome the division’s hardened veterans, extend his knockout record, and move closer to a World Title shot. Meanwhile, Banario is on a stunning five-bout win streak, and the former ONE Featherweight World Champion wants to parlay that incredible run into a lightweight World Title too.
As for the featherweights, a victory will keep them relevant in the championship picture. Lee’s well-rounded game makes for a difficult puzzle to solve, while Kelly’s knockout power is a worry for anybody standing across the cage from him.
Preparation will be the key to success. Both Evolve and Team Lakay will undoubtedly be strategizing carefully behind closed doors so their representatives can claim victory this Saturday.
The bantamweight division is one of the deepest weight classes in The Home Of Martial Arts, with World Champion Bibiano Fernandes and Interim World Champion Kevin Belingon currently sitting at the top of the mountain.
In order to stay in the running for a potential title shot when so many contenders are emerging, the chasing pack must see every bout as an opportunity to impress with a breakout performance.
At ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON, one such contest could help sort out the top tier of the division, when undefeated Chinese hero “Rock Man” Chen Lei (8-0) meets rising Malaysian star “Jungle Cat” Muhammad Aiman (4-2) in Shanghai.
A win for either man would be a massive step in the right direction, and a finish would help them make a substantial leap forward.
Dreams Of ONE Super Series Gold
As the ONE Super Series bantamweight division begins to take shape with more and more of the world’s greatest strikers signing up, there will be increasing competition in the World Title picture.
Both Tukkatatong and Topic have a head start on the competition with a win each under their belts, so this match could propel one of them into pole position for the inaugural ONE Super Series Muay Thai Bantamweight World Championship.
Topic is a Lion Fight World Champion, and his Thai adversary is a two-time Channel 7 Muay Thai World Champion, so they have the credentials to back up their claim. The only thing left is a stellar performance in China, which would make or break their quest for gold.
Shanghai | 8 September | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast