What Could Be Next For The Big Winners Of ONE: FIRE & FURY?

Feb 1, 2020

ONE Championship returned to the Philippine capital for the first time in 2020 with an exciting card featuring the biggest international superstars and the host nation’s most beloved athletes on Friday, 31 January.

The promotion’s most recent spectacle ONE: FIRE & FURY offered up plenty for the fans inside the Mall Of Asia Arena to get excited about, but there were also some changing-of-the-guard moments, as new contenders emerged at the expense of veteran favorites.

Every win and loss only tells part of a story, but it is the victors who get to move closer to the gold in their respective divisions. With that in mind, here are five potential opponents for the night’s biggest winners from our show in Manila, Philippines.

Pieter Buist

Surging Dutchman Pieter "The Archangel" Buist is ready for his battle with Eduard Folayang

Pieter “The Archangel” Buist picked up the biggest win of his career when he earned a split decision victory over former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang.

The surging Dutchman, who now finds himself on an eight-bout win streak, is breaking into the World Title picture. However, he likely needs to take out one more top contender before getting a shot at the gold.

Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev could be the perfect next match-up, as the Turk’s only defeat since 2017 has been at the hands of the division’s king, Christian “The Warrior” Lee.

Arslanaliev blasted his way to the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix Championship Final with his knockout power, and he would pose a serious challenge to Buist’s rangy kickboxing repertoire.

The battle of reach against power would be an intriguing one, and the winner could move to the front of the queue for a crack at Lee’s crown.

Danny Kingad

Filipino hero Danny “The King” Kingad picked up an exciting victory over “The Hunter” Xie Wei, and he has now won seven of his last eight outings on the global stage.

Perhaps now, he can finally go head-to-head with the man he was originally supposed to meet in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semifinals – former ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov.

“The Kazakh” has back-to-back wins to his credit and, although injury has kept him on the sidelines, he will continue to compete in the upper echelon of the division when he returns.

Kingad has already defeated most of the other elite flyweights, and he would strengthen his case for a shot at the winner of the upcoming Adriano Moraes-Demetrious Johnson tilt if he could hand Akhmetov his third career loss.

Shoko Sato

Japanese bantamweight Shoko Sato with the winner's medal

In another sublime performance, Shoko Sato submitted hard-hitting South Korean “Pretty Boy” Kwon Won Il via rear-naked choke in the first round. As a result, he moved to 3-0 in the world’s largest martial arts organization.

The Japanese ace has finished his last six opponents in mixed martial arts competition, and he would ask some serious questions of the reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion, Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes.

Sato, the Shooto Bantamweight World Champion, has the striking and grappling skills to hang with the Brazilian, and his finishing ability shows that he could be the man to knock the dominant king off his throne.

Tatsumitsu Wada

DEEP Flyweight World Champion Tatsumitsu "The Sweeper" Wada heads to the Circle in January 2020

Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada dominated the previously-undefeated Ivanildo “Monstrinho” Delfino to pick up his third ONE victory in the Philippine capital, and the Japanese athlete wants to prove he belongs with the division’s elite.

Former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio would be the perfect foil. Both men have faced tough opposition, but each warrior needs to string together some consistent victories to move upwards.

Wada’s tricky movement and aggressive ground game are not easy to decipher, but the Team Lakay product is a seasoned veteran who may have the experience to disrupt his rhythm.

Lito Adiwang

Team Lakay's Lito Adiwang celebrates his victory over Pongsiri Mitsatit

Strawweight wrecking ball Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang demolished Pongsiri “The Smiling Assassin” Mitsatit and extended his ONE slate to 2-0, with two first-round finishes to his credit.

Former ONE Strawweight World Champion Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta is a similarly imposing unit, who has the power to match Adiwang on the feet and the wrestling to take things to the canvas when he feels necessary.

Most would be outmuscled by Adiwang, but not Saruta. This battle would be an “unstoppable force versus immovable object” type of match-up, with the division’s top contender spot potentially at stake.

Read more: Brandon Vera’s Next ONE Heavyweight World Title Defense Confirmed