Features

What’s At Stake For Every Fighter At ONE: DANGAL

May 13, 2021

ONE Championship thrilled the masses for four consecutive weeks with the “ONE on TNT” event series, and after a brief break in the event calendar, the promotion is ready to ignite the global fan base once again.

The world’s largest martial arts organization will air ONE: DANGAL from the Singapore Indoor Stadium this coming Saturday, 15 May, and there’s a lot on the line for every fighter on the five-bout card.

Two behemoths will compete for the biggest prize in mixed martial arts, a Muay Thai superstar will look to impress in his promotional debut, talented athletes will aim for redemption, and of course, a plethora of Indian heroes will attempt to inspire their homeland with impressive performances.

Here are the stakes for the stars of ONE: DANGAL this Saturday.

Brandon Vera & Arjan Bhullar

The biggest heavyweight battle in promotional history will be contested on Saturday night.

Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera has been the most dominant force ever seen in the division. The Filipino-American has simply steamrolled the competition, knocking out every single heavyweight foe in the first round, claiming the inaugural belt, and defending it ever since.

Vera would love nothing more than to keep his first-round knockout streak alive, but that dream scenario will be difficult to achieve considering that his challenger has only lost once in his professional career, with that defeat coming in the second round.

When Arjan “Singh” Bhullar enters the Circle on Saturday, he’ll have a chance to realize his own dream.

If he dethrones the seemingly invincible king, Bhullar would claim the belt and become India’s first-ever Mixed Martial Arts World Champion.

Tawanchai PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym & Sean Clancy

Tawanchai PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym fights Sean Clancy at ONE: DANGAL in the co-main event

Unless this co-main event ends via knockout within six seconds, neither Tawanchai PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym nor Sean “Clubber” Clancy will enter the promotion’s record books. However, there’s still a lot on the line for these Muay Thai bantamweight competitors.

Tawanchai has long been considered one of the top pound-for-pound Muay Thai athletes in Thailand’s stadium circuit, and on Saturday, he will finally showcase his skills on the global stage.

The 21-year-old superstar wants to make a resounding statement in his promotional debut, and if he wins in highlight-reel fashion against an ultra-durable opponent, he could instantly break into ONE’s Athlete Rankings.

Clancy, however, wants to play spoiler and earn some redemption.

The hard-hitting Irishman has had a difficult time against Tawanchai’s teammates, suffering tough losses to the legendary Saenchai, to Kongsak PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym, and most recently, to Pongsiri PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym in his ONE debut.

By taking out Tawanchai, Clancy would gain a degree of revenge against the popular mega gym and also announce himself as a threat to the top of the order.



Bi Nguyen & Ritu Phogat

A pivotal battle in the women’s atomweight division will have major implications.

Undefeated phenom Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat has made an extraordinary transition from wrestling to mixed martial arts. The Indian has dominated her opponents, earning four straight victories and an invitation to the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix later this month.

But her spot is at stake. If she doesn’t emerge victorious at ONE: DANGAL, Phogat will be removed from the biggest women’s mixed martial arts tournament in history.

Standing in her way is Bi “Killer Bee” Nguyen, who has experienced a tough spell in her mixed martial arts career as of late.

The Vietnamese-American feels insulted that she is being used as “a warmup fight” for Phogat before the World Grand Prix, and she will aim to ruin the Indian star’s big plans on Saturday.

Ayaka Miura & Rayane Bastos

Ayaka Miura fights Rayane Bastos at ONE: DANGAL

This 58.25-kilogram catchweight encounter is crucial for both sides.

Ayaka “Zombie” Miura exploded onto the global stage, claiming three consecutive scarf-hold Americana victories and earning the #4 contender’s spot in the women’s strawweight rankings.

A tough loss to #1-ranked Tiffany “No Chill” Teo slowed her momentum, but another outstanding victory would get her back on track. In order to achieve her goal of challenging both the atomweight and strawweight queens one day, Miura cannot take another backward step.

Meanwhile, Rayane Bastos is looking to maintain her unblemished record and build on her stellar debut victory over Sovannahry “The Sweet Savage” Em. By taking out the “Zombie,” she would become an instant contender in the strawweight ranks.

Gurdarshan Mangat & Roshan Mainam

Opening the show will be an all-Indian clash, and though it’s being contested at a catchweight of 65 kilograms, both men are otherwise natural flyweights who hope to achieve greatness in the weight class.

Gurdarshan “Saint Lion” Mangat was absolutely dominant upon arriving in the world’s largest martial arts organization. But #5-ranked flyweight contender Reece “Lightning” McLaren derailed the Canadian-Indian’s hype train with his slick Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu wizardry.

That loss temporarily stopped Mangat’s meteoric rise, but it also paid dividends, as he grew from the experience. With his newfound wisdom, “Saint Lion” is ready to make another run toward the flyweight gold.

But in order to do that, he’ll need to defeat someone he mentored in rising star Roshan Mainam.

Mainam has been unstoppable since making his promotional debut, using his world-class grappling to earn three straight submission victories. He hopes to get his fourth – and extend his unbeaten campaign in ONE – by defeating the man he considers an “older brother.”

Read more: Arjan Bhullar Believes Love And Understanding Can Overcome Racism

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