The fans inside the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand witnessed an extraordinary night of martial arts action from ONE Championship on Friday, 16 August.
ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD delivered explosive knockouts, exciting submissions, and engaging back-and-forth contests all throughout the evening.
All the victors on the 14-bout spectacle claimed significant wins in their respective martial arts careers, but what could be next for the night’s biggest winners?
Let’s take a look into the crystal ball and see who they could potentially meet in the Circle in the not-so-distant future.
Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan already knows his future.
By knocking out “Smokin” Jo Nattawut in the co-main event of the night, the Italian secured his spot in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Championship Final opposite Samy “AK47” Sana at ONE: CENTURY in Tokyo, Japan on Sunday, 13 October.
Although Sana did not achieve the same highlight-reel moment in his semifinal bout with Russian powerhouse “Genghis Khan” Dzhabar Askerov, he proved he was deserving of his own spot.
The Frenchman used his height and reach advantage to dominate the proceedings from range, but perhaps what was even more impressive was his control of the close-quarters exchanges.
In the Japanese capital, Petrosyan will put his technical expertise against Sana’s sharp and rangy strikes. Whoever’s style blossoms that night will leave the Ryogoku Kokugikan a million dollars richer.
Now with two highlight-reel knockouts in his back pocket, the 33-year-old Vietnamese-American could find himself standing across from ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen the next time he enters the Circle.
Just like Nguyen, Le possesses thunderous striking power, as well as underrated takedown defense and grappling skills.
His style could mesh perfectly with the Vietnamese-Australian in a must-see World Title contest where both athletes have the ability to claim the victory with a single punch.
It would also pit two athletes of Vietnamese heritage in a breathtaking clash that could prove to be an ideal showcase at a future event in Vietnam, which plays host to its first-ever promotional event ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH on Friday, 6 September in Ho Chi Minh City.
Chan Rothana is quickly rising up the flyweight ranks as a standard-bearer for Cambodian mixed martial arts.
Following his hard-earned unanimous decision victory over Cuban grappler Gustavo “El Gladiador” Balart in the Thai capital, the 33-year-old finds himself on a three-bout win streak and deserves another step up in competition.
The Cambodian’s next challenge could be in the form of yet another participant from the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix — Japan’s Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu.
Wakamatsu was eliminated from the tournament by the legendary Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson in March, but his recent knockout of former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES locked him in as an alternate in case one of the finalists were forced to withdraw from the World Grand Prix Championship Final.
A match-up between the Japanese standout and the Cambodian luminary would be an exhilarating clash between two strike-heavy mixed martial arts stars, and it would surely be a crowd-pleasing affair.
Muangthai PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym made a glorious return to The Home Of Martial Arts on Friday when he obliterated Japanese striker Kenta Yamada in their three-round ONE Super Series Muay Thai bantamweight match-up.
The Thai striker known as “Elbow Zombie” looked sharp, as he landed kicks, step knees, and perfectly-placed elbows throughout the contest.
He has been absolutely lethal since entering the world’s largest martial arts organization in November, and so has possible future opponent Alaverdi “Babyface Killer” Ramazanov.
Like Muangthai, Ramazanov has been fearless in ONE Super Series. He displayed that earlier in the night when he knocked down Ognjen Topic three times in the first round to earn a TKO victory.
If these two were to collide, there would be plenty of fireworks.
Following his 69-second victory, the rising Japanese star politely requested to face a top athlete. The 23-year-old could find his ideal next opponent in another Indonesian strawweight — that being Adrian “Papua Badboy” Mattheis.
Mattheis is riding a four-bout win streak, and he holds the records for the most bouts (13), most wins (9), most submissions (4), and fastest finish (22 seconds) in ONE strawweight history. With a resumé like that, the surging “Papua Badboy” would provide an interesting challenge.
It would certainly be a styles clash between stars, as it pits the Indonesian’s striking against the Singapore-based Japanese warrior’s grappling.
However, a victory would push the winner closer to a bout with ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio.