ONE Championship is getting ready for its big debut on United States prime-time television, but first, it will write the final chapter of its fiery FISTS OF FURY event series.
This Friday, 19 March, the world’s largest martial arts organization will air the previously recorded ONE: FISTS OF FURY III from the Singapore Indoor Stadium, and there’s a lot on the line for every fighter on the six-bout card.
A pair of elite kickboxers will square off for a World Championship, while other contenders will compete for a potential World Title opportunity. Plus, a mix of rising stars and established veterans will look to keep their undefeated records intact, move up the rankings, or make a memorable debut on the global stage.
Here are the stakes for every fighter on Friday night in Singapore.
Regian Eersel & Mustapha Haida
ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Champion Regian “The Immortal” Eersel is in peak form right now.
The Dutch-Surinamese star has a perfect slate in ONE, going 4-0 en route to capturing the division’s inaugural gold and defeating the legendary Nieky “The Natural” Holzken two consecutive times.
Eersel is the most dominant kickboxer in the lightweight division, and he wants to keep a firm grasp on the belt while continuing his flawless run.
But the division’s #2-ranked contender, Mustapha “Dynamite” Haida, wants to take all that away from his foe.
The Morrocan-born Italian has been on a collision course with Eersel for several months, and finally, he has the chance to defeat “The Immortal” and achieve his own ONE World Title dreams.
If Haida doesn’t capitalize on this opportunity, it may be a while before he gets another crack at the gold – if he does at all.
Alma Juniku & Janet Todd
The co-main event of ONE: FISTS OF FURY III is a massive Muay Thai showdown with major implications for the atomweight division.
Reigning ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Janet “JT” Todd is switching back to her natural sport in an effort to kick-start her bid for a second World Title.
Todd, who’s also the #2-ranked atomweight Muay Thai contender, is on a four-bout winning streak and has looked stronger in every outing. She’ll need another masterful effort to extend her stellar run and break into the ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Title picture.
But standing in her way is #4-ranked atomweight Muay Thai contender Alma Juniku, a young Aussie upstart who constantly pushes her opponents to the limit.
Juniku is still searching for the breakthrough victory that will take her career to a new level, and she has an opportunity to announce herself as a Muay Thai World Title threat by defeating the kickboxing queen.
Alex Silva & Hiroba Minowa
The #5-ranked Silva is a third-degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt who’s submitted a who’s who of decorated grapplers, including Indonesia’s Stefer “The Lion” Rahardian, China’s Peng Xue Wen, and Minowa’s Japanese compatriot Hayato Suzuki.
However, the 38-year-old Brazilian is also coming off a narrow split-decision loss to reigning strawweight king Joshua “The Passion” Pacio, so a victory on Friday would help point him toward a rematch.
Moreover, a submission win would make Silva the division’s leading man in that category, breaking a tie with Suzuki, Pacio, and Adrian “Papua Badboy” Mattheis.
On the other side, Minowa earned a tight split decision over Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang in his ONE debut and wants to make some noise of his own in the division.
If the young lion can defeat Silva, he would take the Brazilian’s #5 spot, become the third Japanese athlete in the strawweight mixed martial arts rankings, and become a potential new threat to Pacio.
- 3 Fights That Could Steal The Show At ONE: FISTS OF FURY III
- Family, Homelands Motivate Haida For World Title Challenge
- Regian Eersel Vs. Mustapha Haida: 4 Keys To World Title Glory
Maira Mazar & Jenelyn Olsim
The Evolve-Team Lakay rivalry will be renewed once again – and this time, it will have an impact on the women’s strawweight rankings.
Olsim is not just defending Team Lakay’s honor, but she is also making her promotional debut.
The Filipina will undoubtedly want to make a great first impression on the global fan base, and she can do so – while potentially earning a spot in the rankings – by bringing the W back to Baguio City.
Roshan Mainam & Aziz Calim
“The Indian Notorious” Roshan Mainam will be the first Evolve star competing on this card, and he will look to get the Singapore-based gym off to a flying start.
Mainam is riding a two-bout winning streak, having submitted both of his opponents on the global stage. On Friday, he’ll aim to score the hat trick and keep his ONE slate clean.
The man who will attempt to derail the Indian’s momentum is Aziz “The Krauser” Calim, who is making his flyweight debut.
Calim has been putting on weight, so he should effortlessly move up from the strawweight division for this exciting mixed martial arts clash. And while Mainam is a grappler by nature, “The Krauser” is an Indonesian Karate Champion, so he will attempt to use his striking to stun the rising star.
Yodkaikaew Fairtex & Hu Yong
Opening the show is another flyweight mixed martial arts battle, and both men would greatly benefit from a victory.
Yodkaikaew “Y2K” Fairtex has been on fire since joining the world’s largest martial arts organization in August. The former Muay Thai competitor has two knockout finishes and narrowly defeated Japanese veteran Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada in his most recent contest.
If the Fairtex representative wins again and extends his ONE record to 4-0, he would make a strong case for a spot in ONE’s Athlete Rankings.
“Wolf Warrior” Hu Yong will have something to say about that, however.
The Chinese standout came up through ONE Hero Series and earned a main roster spot, so he is determined to make a strong first impression on the global stage – and there is no better way to accomplish that than by bringing the “Y2K” train to a grinding halt.
Read more: 5 Reasons To Watch ONE: FISTS OF FURY III