Ever since ONE Super Series premiered in April, the promotion’s all-striking battles have consistently delivered fast-paced, high-octane action between the world’s finest strikers.
Both competitors have amassed a wealth of experience in their careers. Their successes have primed them for glory in the world’s largest martial arts organization, and each man is targeting a World Title in ONE Super Series’ bantamweight division.
With that in mind, here are three reasons why this Muay Thai clash could steal the show at the Baoshan Arena.
#1 Both Are Established World Champions
Although their routes into Muay Thai were vastly different, both Tukkatatong and Topic have achieved tremendous success in the sport.
The Singapore-based Thai was encouraged – and even briefly trained – by his father when he took up ‘the art of eight limbs’ as a child. He eventually used the sport to help his family through difficult financial times.
Meanwhile, Topic – a New Jersey, USA-based Serbian – was 18 before he started his Muay Thai journey, although he had earned a black belt in taekwondo before that.
He has garnered plenty of accolades in the years since, having captured the Lion Fight and IKF Lightweight World Titles, while Tukkatatong has two Channel 7 Stadium Muay Thai World Championships in his trophy case.
The credentials speak for themselves, which makes Saturday’s clash even more compelling.
#2 They’ve Had Impressive ONE Super Series Debuts
Both of these athletes raised eyebrows with impressive ONE Super Series debuts.
When Tukkatatong entered the cage for the first time at ONE: SPIRIT OF A WARRIOR in June, he faced a late replacement in Mehdi “Diamond Heart” Zatout, and was forced to alter his strategy on short notice.
You would never have known that based on his performance, as the Evolve representative adapted to a new challenge and put on a clinic in Yangon, Myanmar.
The Thai peppered his opponent with heavy kicks, before a ripping left hand sent Zatout to the canvas. The Frenchman got back up to his feet and battled until the final bell, but Tukkatatong pushed ahead with his solid combinations, and ultimately, was awarded a unanimous decision for his efforts.
Topic was equally impressive in his first promotional appearance.
The Serbian was accurate with his jab and kicks, and he built up the pressure throughout the rounds. In the process, he fended off his aggressive rival with a beautiful display of composure and power.
When Topic and Tukkatatong meet in Shanghai, fans will already be aware of the level of skill they can expect to see, but the clash of styles should also produce some surprises.
“Our styles are going to be very entertaining for the fans as we both are well-rounded fighters, so I expect all the weapons of Muay Thai to be on show,” Tukkatatong said.
#3 There’s Gold In Their Sights
Currently, there is no champion in the ONE Super Series bantamweight division, so either of these world-class athletes would be at the top of the pecking order for the inaugural belt with a victory in China.
This extra motivation will add more heat to the encounter, and give them the desire to keep pressing forward, even when the momentum shifts against them.
To be crowned ONE Super Series Bantamweight World Champion would be a career-defining accomplishment, and worth every sacrifice they have made throughout their training camps.
“Hopefully, by early next year, I will be able to get a shot at the title,” offered Topic, knowing that only a win will keep his plan on track.
“This will be my second bout this year in ONE Super Series, and I’m confident that I will come out 2-0,” said Tukkatatong. “If they present me with a World Title fight, it would be a great honor.”
Shanghai | 8 September | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast