What’s At Stake For Every Athlete At ONE: BIG BANG II

Japanese striker Taiki Naito cracks Savvas Michael Petchyindee Academy with a punch

After opening the BIG BANG event series in thrilling fashion, ONE Championship is ready to premiere the hard-hitting sequel.

When the promotion airs the previously recorded ONE: BIG BANG II from the Singapore Indoor Stadium this Friday, fans will witness a dozen athletes competing on the global stage with the hopes of taking their careers to the next level.

A loss could be detrimental to their aspirations, but a win could help a competitor break a record, earn a spot in ONE’s Athlete Rankings, or even get them closer to the ultimate prize – a World Title shot.

Without further ado, here are the stakes for every Muay Thai fighter, kickboxer, and mixed martial artist on Friday.

Jonathan Haggerty & Taiki Naito

Friday’s main event features two Muay Thai athletes who are young, talented, and eager to earn a date with ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon.

Former titleholder and current #3 contender Jonathan “The General” Haggerty is looking for redemption.

After losing his belt to the Thai megastar and then falling to him again, the Brit is anxious to get back in the win column and prove he deserves a trilogy bout.

But Taiki “Silent Sniper” Naito has been calling out Rodtang for the past year and wants a crack at the king just as badly.

Naito may not be ranked, but that just means he has much more to gain. A victory for the Japanese star would push him closer to a dream bout with “The Iron Man,” put him on a five-bout winning streak, and help him secure a top spot in ONE’s Athlete Rankings.

Nieky Holzken & Elliot Compton

The co-main event features a battle of lightweight kickboxing contenders who are looking to build some momentum and crash the World Title picture.

After falling twice to ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Champion Regian “The Immortal” Eersel, Dutch kickboxing legend Nieky “The Natural” Holzken is looking to chain together some victories to secure a trilogy bout with his compatriot.

Holzken, the #1-ranked contender, previously confessed that he was not 100 percent focused in his most recent World Title challenge. He’s hoping to atone for that and begin his redemption tour in Singapore.

But #5-ranked contender Elliot “The Dragon” Compton wants to defeat a legend he admires, shoot up the rankings, and take the next big step toward achieving his dream of holding both the ONE Super Series Kickboxing and Muay Thai belts.

Tetsuya Yamada & Kim Jae Woong

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The featherweight mixed martial arts division has come under the spotlight lately, and it will be magnified once again on Friday.

That evening, Tetsuya “MMA Fantasista” Yamada will be looking to send a loud message in Singapore.

In a weight class full of hungry athletes looking to challenge ONE Featherweight World Champion Thanh Le next, Yamada has a chance to make his case.

The Japanese star is the division’s #4-ranked contender and the most veteran competitor of the chasing pack. He holds a 26-7-2 slate, has gone 9-2 his last 11 fights, and knows that a decisive performance could help separate him from other contenders like Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon and Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen.

But while Yamada is hoping to break into the World Title picture, “The Fighting God” Kim Jae Woong is trying to take his spot in the rankings.

When the South Korean was last in action, he fell to #3-ranked contender Koyomi “Moushigo” Matsushima, so he may not be getting a World Championship opportunity anytime soon. However, he could derail Yamada’s momentum and sneak into the rankings with a victory in “The Lion City.”

Errol Zimmerman & Rade Opacic

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When two monstrous heavyweights enter the Circle on Friday, viewers could hear the biggest bang of all.

The ONE Super Series heavyweight kickboxing division will be featured, as multiple-time Muay Thai and Kickboxing Champion Errol “The Bonecrusher” Zimmerman goes toe-to-toe with Serbian Muay Thai Champion Rade Opacic.

These two behemoths will be making their promotional debuts on the global stage, but a victory would make the winner the leading man in the division.

For both Zimmerman and Opacic, this is a chance to introduce themselves to ONE’s global fan base and get a solid start to building a legacy in The Home Of Martial Arts.

Agilan Thani & Tyler McGuire

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Two of the welterweight division’s most beloved stars will make their highly anticipated returns in Singapore, and the victor could step closer to a date with the king.

Agilan “Alligator” Thani has been a cornerstone in the weight class ever since joining the promotion in 2015. The Malaysian currently holds the records for most welterweight contests in ONE (11), most divisional wins (7), and most submission victories in the weight class (4).

When he steps into the Circle on Friday, Thani will be competing in his record-setting 12th welterweight battle. A submission would extend his other two records and see him tie the legendary Ben “Funky” Askren for most finishes in the division.

Unless Tyler McGuire can finish the “Alligator” within 29 seconds, he will not be setting a promotional record on Friday. However, the American is on the comeback trail and looking to right the ship after suffering his only career blemish last time out.

With no clear challenger in ONE Welterweight World Champion Kiamrian “Brazen” Abbasov’s sights just yet, the winner of this clash could potentially become the next man up for the Kyrgyzstani wrecking machine.

Ali Motamed & Chen Rui

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Opening the show will be a battle between young bantamweight mixed martial artists.

Ali Motamed is the latest contract winner from Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series. The Iranian, who has been one of the most exciting prospects to ever grace the organization’s proving ground, won his last two bouts to earn a spot on the main roster.

First impressions are everything, and Motamed is determined to have a good showing and make his presence felt in the bantamweight division.

“The Ghost” Chen Rui is quite familiar with that. In his 2016 promotional debut, the Chinese athlete won two bouts in a single night to become a ONE Jakarta Tournament Champion. His success has continued, as he tamed “Jungle Cat” Muhammad Aiman in his most recent fight last year.

This will be a battle of rising bantamweight stars, but only one can leave Singapore with a victory.

Read more:5 Reasons Why You Can’t Miss ONE: BIG BANG II

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