The heroes of ONE Championship delivered a slew of unbelievable performances that brought the fans in Jakarta, Indonesia to their feet on Friday, 3 May.
A new World Champion was crowned, future World Title contenders emerged, and a slew of debutants made an impact at ONE: FOR HONOR.
While the Istora Senayan is still cooling down from the blistering 14-bout card that just emanated there, let’s take a look at what could be next for some of the night’s biggest winners.
Jonathan Haggerty put on the performance of a lifetime.
The 22-year-old Englishman fearlessly squared off against Sam-A Gaiyanghadao in an ultra-competitive bout and landed a pair of knockdowns en route to a unanimous decision victory. In the process, he captured the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title.
Immediately after the contest was over, Haggerty was asked who he would like to face next and, without blinking, he mentioned a potential showdown with Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon.
Rodtang has looked incredible ever since he first arrived in ONE Super Series back in September. After demolishing former World Title challenger Sergio “Samurai” Wielzen, the 21-year-old Thai superstar registered compelling victories over Fahdi Khaled and Hakim Hamech.
With the kind of blistering speed and power these two young guns have shown throughout their respective careers, Haggerty and Rodtang squaring off in a World Title bout seems like a recipe for another potential ‘Bout Of The Year’ candidate.
The 25-year-old earned the biggest victory of his career as he finished the Japanese mixed martial arts legend with a scorching TKO in the second round of the co-main event battle. It marked his 13th win in his last 14 outings, and he is primed to take the next step in his career.
Considering his recent stoppage victories over high-caliber opponents like Okami and Agilan Thani, Abbasov could find himself challenging ONE Welterweight World Champion Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam for the belt in his next match-up.
Kadestam is coming off an impressive win in his first World Title defense back in March, as he became the first person to defeat Georgiy Kichigin in nearly five years. The Swedish striker would be excited to face another surging martial artist, especially one who possesses high-level grappling and knockout power.
Now a winner in three of her last four bouts, “Thathie” is inching closer to the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship, and a match-up with “MMA Sister” Lin Heqin could bring her even closer.
Lin had a phenomenal ONE debut back in March, as she submitted Jomary Torres with a slick triangle choke in the first round of their atomweight clash. The Chinese athlete is a prolific finisher, with five of her past six wins coming by way of knockout or submission.
Lumban Gaol is a Wushu World Champion and lately, she has proven to be a monster on the ground. However, Lin has demonstrated a formidable grappling acumen both on the top and bottom positions. All of that combined has the makings of an action-packed contest.
Thanh Le made an impact in his ONE debut at the Istora Senayan. He survived Yusup Saadulaev’s smothering grappling attack in the opening stanza, and then delivered a crushing knockout just 12 seconds into the second round.
The Vietnamese-American is a human highlight-reel with a long string of those same kinds of finishes on his resume, but he will need more than one spectacular victory to get into World Title contention in a deep and dangerous featherweight division.
A showdown against a veteran like“The Underdog” Li Kai Wen would give Le the chance to prove he is a top contender, while hopefully catching the attention of the division’s reigning king, Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen.
Similar to the Vietnamese-American, Li is a dynamic martial artist known for his finishing ability and durability. The Chinese star is riding a three-bout win streak, and mixing his style against Le would be a recipe for an explosive clash.
After enduring a tough skid of losses a few years ago, the 33-year-old flyweight bounced back with an enhanced skill set and a new fire.
Rothana’s next test could be another rising talent in Singapore’s own Niko Soe, who is coming off a pair of memorable victories of his own.
Soe is a born finisher with a wide variety of striking and grappling skills at his disposal, and that would certainly present an interesting match-up with someone as powerful and explosive as Rothana. Should they meet in the future, it would undoubtedly be a crowd-pleasing affair.