ONE Championship hosted its final Indonesian event of the year at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta on Friday, 25 October, and the ONE: DAWN OF VALOR card delivered world-class action from some of the planet’s finest martial artists.
Match-ups with huge implications played out in the Indonesian capital, and every athlete on the bill gave their all in pursuit of victory. However, only 14 martial artists could leave as winners and move up the rankings.
With that in mind, we take a look into the crystal ball and preview the potential contests the night’s triumphant warriors could possibly look forward to in the future.
The next challenger in line could very well be James Nakashima — the unbeaten American who has a perfect 3-0 slate in The Home Of Martial Arts.
Nakashima has worked his way to the top with an impressive run of victories, including a stoppage over Luis “Sapo” Santos, who was the last man to defeat Abbasov.
“Brazen” may have the edge in the stand-up department, but the 30-year-old American has been working to improve that area of his game with Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan.
The key element will be the close-range battle between two experienced wrestlers. Kadestam had no answer for Abbasov’s takedowns, but Nakashima will be able to hold his own in that area, and that could pose a different set of questions for the new World Champion.
Muin “Tajik” Gafurov’s toughness meant there was no finish for John “Hands Of Stone” Lineker in his ONE debut, but it was still a good performance from the Brazilian.
By taking out Gafurov, Lineker immediately pushed himself into the upper echelon of the bantamweight division. However, he may need to defeat another top contender to earn a World Title shot.
Shoko Sato fits the bill perfectly, both in terms of style and divisional standing. The Japanese athlete has won his last five bouts via knockout, including back-to-back wins in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
The Shooto Bantamweight World Champion’s slick striking could be a match for Lineker’s brutish boxing, and an emphatic finish for either man would put him in pole position for a shot at ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes.
Kazuki Tokudome and Pieter Buist
Both men have back-to-back victories inside the Circle, and this puts them on a collision course to separate themselves from the chasing pack.
The Dutch phenom’s dynamic striking could test the black belt judoka, while the Japanese athlete’s clinch and ground acumen could be a real litmus test for Buist’s ability to succeed at the top.
Both athletes are keen to piece together a winning streak that would allow them to stand across from the division’s leading names, and this would be a worthwhile stepping stone.
Aiman does not shy away from striking with any opponent, but “Tyson” would test that theory with his diverse, powerful repertoire of punches, kicks, knees, and elbows.
Elipitua “The Magician” Siregar picked up his fourth ONE victory on Friday — this time, it was against Egi Rozten in front of his Indonesian compatriots. It also happened to be his third rear-naked choke submission.
The Bali MMA product is a threat to any flyweight on the ground, but it would be interesting to see if he could fare better than fellow Indonesian wrestling champion Eko Roni Saputra against Singapore’s Niko Soe.
Soe returned after a long layoff to finish Saputra in April, extending his ONE record to 2-0 in the process. It would be a good indicator as to who has what it takes to make a bigger impact on the weight class in the coming 12 months.
Read more: Top 5 Highlights From ONE: DAWN OF VALOR