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What Could Be Next For The Winners Of ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES?

October 09, 2018

The stars of ONE Championship thrilled the sold-out crowd inside the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday, 6 October.

ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES was an action-packed blockbuster, which featured some of the world’s best athletes competing in boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, and mixed martial arts contests.

Now that the dust has settled after the promotion’s biggest martial arts spectacular to date, take a look at what could be next for some of the mixed martial arts heroes who were victorious in Bangkok.

Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki

Shinya Aoki puts Ev Ting to sleep with an INSANE arm-triangle choke at 0:57 of Round 1!

Shinya Aoki puts Ev Ting to sleep with an INSANE arm-triangle choke at 0:57 of Round 1! Watch the full event LIVE & FREE on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast

Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, October 6, 2018

Former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki has looked absolutely phenomenal in 2019 – returning to peak form with three first-round victories.

His latest masterpiece, a 57-second submission victory over top lightweight contender Ev “E.T.” Ting, was vintage Aoki, as he quickly put his opponent to sleep via arm-triangle choke.

The 35-year-old icon earned a title shot with the win, so his options for an opponent moving forward are either his Evolve teammate Amir Khan, or his former rival Eduard “Landslide” Folayang.

Those two warriors will square off for the vacant ONE Lightweight World Championship at ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS in Manila, Philippines on Friday, 23 November.

Aoki will challenge the winner in his native Tokyo, Japan in March 2019.

Muin “Tajik” Gafurov

Muin Gafurov scores an incredible one-punch knockout of Leandro Issa at 2:24 of Round 1!

Muin Gafurov scores an incredible one-punch knockout of Leandro Issa at 2:24 of Round 1!Watch the full event LIVE & FREE on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast

Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, October 6, 2018

After a two-year absence, Muin “Tajik” Gafurov made an emphatic return to the world’s largest martial arts organization on Saturday.

The 22-year-old earned the biggest win of his career by knocking out surging bantamweight contender Leandro “Brodinho” Issa with an overhand right in the first round.

Now in title contention, Gafurov could find himself matched up with another one of the division’s best talents like Yusup “Maestro” Saadulaev or “Ottogi” Dae Hwan Kim.

Saadulaev is riding a five-bout win streak, the most recent of which was a hard-earned decision over leg lock legend Masakazu “Ashikan Judan” Imanari in January. The Russian jiu-jitsu specialist offers a more dynamic wrestling attack than Issa, which should pose a challenge for Gafurov.

Kim also looked terrific in his decision victory over the Japanese grappler in April. The South Korean, who is a former ONE Bantamweight World Title challenger, has a well-rounded mix of striking and grappling, which would set the stage for an explosive stylistic match-up with the Tajikistan hero.

Hayato Suzuki

Japanese sensation Hayato Suzuki locks in a rear-naked choke to finish Robin Catalan at 3:43 of Round 2!

Japanese sensation Hayato Suzuki locks in a rear-naked choke to finish Robin Catalan at 3:43 of Round 2!Watch the full event LIVE & FREE on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast

Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, October 6, 2018

Hayato Suzuki posted his second straight victory at ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES.

He submitted the Philippines’ Robin “The Ilonggo” Catalan with a tight rear-naked choke late in the second frame.

Two of the leading candidates to face the 32-year-old are also highly-regarded Filipino warriors.

New ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio’s last defeat was to Suzuki in August 2017, and the Baguio City native would surely love to even the score. Suzuki will be equally as ready to challenge the division’s reigning king for his gold.

Another possibility is Rene “The Challenger” Catalan – a top contender who was supposed to face the Japanese wrestler in Bangkok until he suffered an injury and was forced to withdraw from the contest.

The elder Catalan is a Wushu world champion who is riding an impressive five-match win streak. He is on the verge of a shot at the belt, too, so he could be the perfect opponent for a World Title eliminator bout.

Rika “Tiny Doll” Ishige

Rika Ishige sends Bangkok into a frenzy with a ground-and-pound TKO of Bozhena Antoniyar at 2:48 of Round 1!

Rika "Tiny Doll" Ishige / sends Bangkok into a frenzy with a ground-and-pound TKO of Bozhena Antoniyar at 2:48 of Round 1!Watch the full event LIVE & FREE on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast

Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, October 6, 2018

Rika “Tiny Doll” Ishige scored a much-needed victory in front of her hometown crowd when she used her superior grappling to finish Myanmar’s Bozhena Antoniyar via TKO in the opening stanza.

There are a couple of solid options for Ishige moving forward, both of which would be a step up in competition.

Indonesia’s Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol recently scored the biggest victory of her career when she earned a unanimous decision over the previously-unbeaten Jomary Torres. “Thathie” looked fantastic against a tough opponent, and she could give the Bangkok hero a stiff challenge.

Also, there is Team Lakay’s April Osenio, who is looking to make her return following a long layoff since January. The Filipina would love nothing more than to re-establish her position in the division by earning a ‘W’ against Ishige.