The World Champions Of ONE: A NEW ERA's Superstar-Filled Main Card
It is only fitting that the biggest event in martial arts history features more World Champions than any other bout card that has come before.
ONE: A NEW ERA has an incredible group of 22 athletes that have reached the pinnacle of their sports, including 12 who will be in action on the main card this Sunday, 31 March in Tokyo, Japan.
Here is the rundown of every World Champion on the night’s main card inside the Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Team Lakay’s Eduard “Landslide” Folayang is a three-time ONE Lightweight World Champion, who is now in his second reign at the top of the division following his defeat of Amir Khan in November.
He will face Shinya Aoki in a rematch of the 2016 World Title battle at ONE: DEFENDING HONOR. “Landslide” won via third-round TKO in their original meeting and claimed the gold for the first time.
Like his upcoming rival, Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki is a three-time ONE Lightweight World Champion, who successfully defended his crown twice after winning it in 2013.
The Japanese athlete also held the DREAM, Shooto and WAMMA World Titles before he joined the world’s largest martial arts organization.
He hopes to cement his status as ONE’s most successful lightweight by reclaiming his belt against Folayang.
“Unstoppable” Angela Lee is the reigning ONE Atomweight World Champion, with three successful defenses to her credit. She was also a Pankration World Champion before she began her mixed martial arts career.
The Singaporean is also the only undefeated mixed martial arts World Champion in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
She hopes to make history by becoming the first ever female two-division World Champion in ONE history when she challenges Xiong Jing Nan for her strawweight belt in Tokyo.
Xiong Jing Nan
“The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan is the ONE Strawweight World Champion. In just 12 months, she made a successful debut in The Home Of Martial Arts, won the World Title, and then defended it twice.
The biggest threat to her reign to date comes from Lee on Sunday, but if she can ruin “Unstoppable’s” perfect record, she will equal her benchmark for the most defenses by a woman on the global stage for martial arts.
Aung La N Sang
Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang is the ONE Light Heavyweight and Middleweight World Champion — one of an elite group of athletes to hold two belts at the same time on the global stage for martial arts.
He has defended his middleweight strap twice, and he will look to make it three when he faces Ken Hasegawa in a rematch at the Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Ken Hasegawa has been Aung La N Sang’s toughest challenger as World Champion, and that is no surprise when you look at his history as a martial artist.
Before he came to ONE, he was as a Deep Openweight World Champion, which means he took on far larger men to achieve glory.
His goal is now to claim the ultimate prize in martial arts when he takes on “The Burmese Python” in Tokyo.
Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon became the undisputed ONE Bantamweight World Champion after dethroning the promotion’s most dominant athlete of all time, Bibiano Fernandes, at ONE: HEART OF THE LION last year.
The Team Lakay superstar first claimed gold when he beat Martin Nguyen for the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Title last July before he unified the belts in November.
He will meet Fernandes again in a rubber match with the World Title on the line on 31 March.
Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes is a nine-time ONE Bantamweight World Champion, and the most dominant athlete in ONE history.
His incredible winning run finally came to an end via the finest of margins against Belingon, but he is confident he can put himself back on top of the pile in Japan.
He may be a newcomer to the world’s largest martial arts organization, but Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson needs no introduction to mixed martial arts fans.
The American’s victories in 12 consecutive World Title bouts in North America makes him the most dominant World Champion in his sport’s history.
He will clash with on Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu in a ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix quarter-final match at ONE: A NEW ERA, as he begins his mission to add ONE gold to his list of accolades.
Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez is the only man to win World Titles in North America’s two biggest organizations – the UFC and Bellator.
His only remaining goal is to conquer Asia by winning the ONE Lightweight World Title. He gets his quest for that honor underway this Sunday when he faces Timofey Nastyukhin in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix.
Claiming the tournament crown will punch his ticket to a shot at ONE’s top honor.
Andy “Souwer Power” Souwer’s list of achievements is enormous, and his success in the ring has made him worldwide martial arts superstar.
His 179 career wins have helped him to win two K-1 World Max Titles and four Shootboxing S-Cup World Championships.
His record is littered with matches against other icons, including a win against Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex, who he will face again at the Ryogoku Kokugikan.
Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex
“The Hero” Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex is another legend of stand-up martial arts with a barely-believable list of accomplishments, including 201 wins as a professional.
As well as being a two-division Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Champion, he also boasts Lion Fight, WMC, and WPMF World Titles.
His focus now is on adding the ONE Super Series gold to his bulging cabinet, but first, he will face Andy Souwer in a kickboxing battle of icons.