ONE Championship will welcome some new faces to the Circle next Friday, 6 December, but the majority of the card in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia will be made up of fan favorites who have a history of doing the business under the lights.
Check out a quintet of their best performances on the global stage to get a taste of the kind of action you can expect when they arrive at the Axiata Arena for ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS.
#1 Ramazanov Stuns Bangkok
Even though it was his ONE Super Series debut and he was competing in his rival’s hometown of Bangkok, Russia’s Alaverdi “Babyface Killer” Ramazanov was not overawed when he met Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy last October.
The Venum Training Camp Thailand representative did not seem to care about his rival’s knockout threat as he marched forward and stayed in his face for three rounds.
At first, he disrupted the Thai’s rhythm with low kicks and thrusting rear-leg teeps, but he made the biggest impression by wading inside to unleash punching combinations. He also did not shy away from engaging in the clinch to land multiple elbows, despite Petchmorakot’s aptitude for close-quarters combat.
In the second round, the man from Petchyindee Academy landed an elbow of his own that looked like it could win him the match, but Ramazanov recovered and made the third round his best to seize all three of the judges’ scorecards.
The Dagestan native went on to do even greater things in The Home Of Martial Arts, and his reward is the chance to compete for the inaugural ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Championship against “Muay Thai Boy” Zhang Chenglong at ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS.
#2 Jihin Proves Her Superstar Quality
Though she was less experienced than her Indonesian rival, who was riding a three-bout winning streak, she had no fear about standing and trading as she put her Wushu World Championship-winning skills to work in the early exchanges.
However, it was the Malaysian’s grappling skills that really shone as she took control whenever the contest went onto the canvas. At first, “Thathie” initiated these exchanges with impressive takedowns, but she soon had to rethink her strategy when Radzuan seemed to come out on top in every scramble.
She controlled Lumban Gaol and threatened with submission attempts for long periods, and that played a huge part in her unanimous decision after 15 minutes.
Now 5-1 and with her eyes on the top of the women’s atomweight division, the Ultimate MMA Academy representative will meet Denice “The Menace Fairtex” Zamboanga when she returns to compete in her country’s capital.
#3 Thani’s Redemption
Agilan “Alligator” Thani’s back was against the wall after some disappointing results when he faced Yoshihiro “Sexy Yama” Akiyama in July, but he produced one of the best and most gutsy performances of his career to get back in the winning column.
The Malaysian hero knew he would have to go into deep waters to get his hand raised, and he showed the slickest boxing skills of his career as he came forward and threw hands with his rival after he survived some spectacular judo-based offense.
It was far from a one-sided affair on the feet as “Sexy Yama” scored with some significant strikes, but Thani showed diversity in his offense as he sprung for takedowns to swing the momentum back in his favor.
He had to be on his guard as Akiyama threw everything in his locker to try and swing the contest in his favor, but “Alligator” increased the intensity of his attack as the final bell drew near to put a stamp on his performance to take the unanimous decision.
Thani will return to action against another dangerous competitor on 6 December when he welcomes Mohammad “O Lutador” Karaki to the welterweight division.
#4 Tial Thang Emerges As Myanmar’s Next Big Thing
The unbelievable atmosphere of the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar could throw off an experienced competitor, but “The Dragon Leg” Tial Thang used the noise of his home crowd to power him to victory in his mixed martial arts debut.
As a four-time Chin State wrestling champion, many fans might have expected him to grapple with Kun Khmer specialist, Rin Saroth, but the Hakha native was not afraid to strike.
After he dealt some serious damage in the first round, he changed tack, turned to his bread and butter, and dominated on the mat. Takedowns came easily to the protegé of Aung La N Sang, and he took an unassailable lead with heavy punches, elbows, and knees to sweep the scorecards.
Nine months on from that fantastic entry into The Home Of Martial Arts, Tial Thang will go for win number two when he battles ONE Warrior Series contract winner “The Kid” Kim Woon Kyoum.
#5 “The Sniper’s” Sharp-Shooting ONE Debut
Elias “The Sniper” Mahmoudi showcased his full Muay Thai arsenal in January when he overwhelmed Yukinori Ogasawara to explode into ONE Super Series.
The French-Algerian flyweight mixed up traditional Muay Thai striking with some sensational spinning techniques, including a series of perfectly-executed spinning back-elbows that had his Japanese rival hanging on by the end of the contest.
It was almost impossible to predict what Mahomoudi would throw next, and the variety of his striking was matched by his strength. He was able to throw Ogasawara around in the clinch, and knocked him down with some hard punches at the beginning of round two.
Injury has prevented the 21-year-old three-time Muay Thai World Champion adding to his win by unanimous decision, but he will finally get his chance in Malaysia in a mouth-watering clash against the iconic Lerdsila Phuket Top Team.