A packed year of ONE Championship events will kick off with a bang, as ONE: KINGS OF COURAGE delivers a stacked card of action this coming Friday, 20 January, at the Jakarta Convention Center in Indonesia.
The card will feature many unforgettable moments, such as the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title Match, the promotion’s second-ever Grappling Super-Match, and the return of two former ONE world champions.
Just a mere glimpse at our heroes’ stats reveals one thing of notable interest: skilled finishers are setting the pace for an action-filled night. Let’s take a closer look.
Proven Finishers Lead The Way
In the night’s main event, a new world champion will be crowned, as the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title is contested for the very first time.
Singapore’s Tiffany “No Chill” Teo heads into that bout with her perfect record on the line. The 28-year-old has no losses on her unblemished 7-0 record, including five stoppage victories, four of which came in the first round. Also, she is tied for the most wins in ONE women’s strawweight history with three, and owns the second-longest active win streak among female competitors at seven.
Having won multiple BJJ championships around Asia, as well as Singapore national boxing championship, Teo is dangerous in all areas. And with a 72 percent finishing rate, do not take your eyes off the action.
Known to her legion of fans as “The Panda,” Xiong Jing Nan (13-1) has more wins — and finishes — than Teo has bouts. She is currently riding an eight-bout win streak, which is tied with ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee for the longest active win streak in the ONE women’s division.
Like her opponent, Xiong has proved her mettle on the mats and in the ring, having won a China Open BJJ Championship and represented her country as part of the Chinese national boxing team. And, just like Teo, she has a penchant for fast finishes with an 80 percent finishing rate and six first-round stoppages.
That includes the third-fastest KO in ONE women’s history, earned in her ONE debut against April Osenio at ONE: WARRIORS OF THE WORLD.
Flyweight Submission Artists Clash For A Shot At Gold
Rahardian, having won the 2016 ONE Indonesia Flyweight Tournament Championship, is undefeated at 7-0 and rising up the ranks. The undefeated run also means he is tied for the longest active win streak in the ONE flyweight division.
The multiple-time Indonesian BJJ champion already has four submission wins on his record, and will be looking for a fifth this weekend. In fact, his three ONE submissions give him the second-most in ONE flyweight history, as well as both the second and third-fastest submissions at 46 and 67 seconds respectively.
He will be facing Imran (5-1), a three-time Pakistani Submission Grappling Champion, who made an impressive start to life in the cage with five straight wins between 2011 and 2014. The 26-year-old from Gujar Khan is a former PFC Strawweight Champion and boasts an 80 percent finishing rate, with four of his five wins coming by way of submission.
Former World Champions Return
The stacked bout lineup in Jakarta also features a showdown between former ONE World Champions. In fact, both are BJJ black belts who were two of the most dominant titleholders in ONE history, with the most title bout wins in their respective divisions.
Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat Gafurov (15-1) is desperate to face the man who dethroned him last year, Martin Nguyen. But before he can take on “The Situ-Asian” in a trilogy bout, “Cobra” will face a different challenge, as he faces off against former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki.
A Dagestan BJJ Champion, FILA Grappling and Pankration World Champion, as well as a two-time Russia ADCC Grappling Champion, Gafurov’s credentials on the ground are beyond doubt. Plus, he has masterfully transitioned his submission skills to the cage, with 11 career victories by tap out.
Six of those came in succession via rear-naked choke in the ONE cage, and set a number of impressive records in the process. Gafurov now owns a probable world record for most successive rear-naked chokes, the most submissions in ONE featherweight history, and the second-most total wins in the division. In addition, his 41-second submission of Martin Nguyen in their first matchup was also the second-fastest in divisional history.
Aoki (39-8, 1 NC) is known as “Tobikan Judan,” or “The Grand Master of Flying Submissions,” for good reason — he has a staggering 24 submission victories in professional competition, and a decorated career in both the cage and submission grappling.
He is a two-time All-Japan Jiu Jitsu and ADCC Japan Trial Champion on the mats, and has held a host of martial arts titles, including the Shooto, DREAM, and WAMMA championships.
Upon arriving in ONE Championship, the judo and BJJ black belt quickly made his way to the ONE Lightweight World Title, registering the most submissions in divisional history along the way at three.
The Rest Of The Card
At the top of the list is five-time BJJ world champion Leandro Ataides, who holds a host of middleweight records in ONE, including the most bouts (6), most finishes (3) and most knockouts (3), including the 2016 Knockout of the Year.
Saadulaev has an 82 percent finish rate, with 11 submission finishes to his name. Coming into the contest, he is riding a four-bout win streak, with the third-most finishes in ONE Bantamweight history at three.
The Russian faces a stern test of his grappling credentials against former two-division DEEP champion Imanari, whose last four submissions have all come via his signature heel hook. The Japanese athlete is quite the finisher, too, with a stoppage rate of 72 percent and 25 submission wins to his credit.
Indonesian National Sambo Team member Sunoto (6-3) returns to action looking to preserve his undefeated record on home soil. The former WKF Indonesian Kickboxing Champion and jiu-jitsu brown belt has a 66 percent finishing rate and has won all five of his contests in Indonesia.
Sunoto looks to extend that run when he faces kun khmer stylist Rin Saroth, whose start to life in martial arts has been impressive, having scored both a KO and submission in his two victories to date. The Cambodian may be new to the cage, but he arrives with a wealth of competitive experience, as his kun khmer record reads 110-22.
Main card action will be opened by Indonesia national kickboxing and submission grappling champion Yohan Mulia Legowo, who has eight first-round victories in eight wins.
It will be up to his opponent, promotional debutant Victorio Senduk, to weather the storm. The SEA Games wushu silver medalist is a former IBC Featherweight Champion who is undefeated at a perfect 5-0. His record instantly gives him the second longest active win streak in ONE’s featherweight division.