The world’s greatest strikers are ready to descend upon Singapore and continue their rises to superstardom.
This Friday, 26 February, those athletes will compete in a slew of high-stakes matchups at ONE: FISTS OF FURY, where victories and defeats could change the course of many careers.
Two athletes are fighting for World Title gold, while others are looking to build their legacies, climb the ranks, make a statement in their divisions, and even earn a World Championship opportunity of their own.
With so much on the line, let’s examine why every bout at the Singapore Indoor Stadium is so crucial.
Ilias Ennahachi & Superlek Kiatmoo9
Both men are undefeated in ONE Super Series, and they will be fighting for the gold in the ONE: FISTS OF FURY main event.
Ennahachi claimed the ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title in his first match on the global stage and then successfully defended it against an old rival in a trilogy bout.
Whoever emerges victorious on Friday will be the undisputed ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion and remain unbeaten in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
Giorgio Petrosyan & Davit Kiria
The ONE Super Series kickboxing featherweight division has become the most stacked group in all of combat sports, and this co-main event will determine the top contender in the striking weight class.
Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan currently holds the #1 spot, and rightfully so. The Armenian-Italian is considered the kickboxing GOAT, holds a lifetime record of 103-2-2 (2 NC) in the sport, and defeated three world-class athletes to become the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Champion.
Kiria fell to “The Doctor” in the early part of his career back in 2012. But since that time, the Georgian striker has become a force to be reckoned with. He even beat the last guy to knock out Petrosyan – Andy Ristie – to become a Glory Kickboxing World Champion.
There’s no doubt that Kiria’s confidence is at an all-time high. Should he avenge his loss and hand Petrosyan just his third career defeat, he would leapfrog the GOAT for the division’s #1 spot and potentially challenge for the vacant crown.
Rodtang Jitmuangnon & Tagir Khalilov
ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon officially starts his quest for two-sport glory on Friday.
The Thai megastar, who holds the most wins in ONE Super Series history with eight, will look to continue his unbeaten promotional run when he competes in his first kickboxing match on the global stage at ONE: FISTS OF FURY.
Rodtang is currently the #1-ranked flyweight kickboxing contender, and a victory would seemingly lock up a highly anticipated ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title showdown with either Ennahachi or Superlek.
But debuting Russian star Tagir Khalilov could dash Rodtang’s hopes and dreams of contending for a second belt.
Khalilov is replacing Spain’s Alejandro Rivas on just a few days’ notice, and he understands the enormity of the challenge that lies before him. However, if the Russian can defeat Rodtang, he would instantly make a name for himself and become a celebrity overnight.
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Hiroki Akimoto & Zhang Chenglong
Two of the top contenders in the bantamweight kickboxing division will meet for the second consecutive time at ONE: FISTS OF FURY, and a win – especially a stylish win – could be an absolute game-changer for either one of them.
Last October, WFKO Karate World Champion Hiroki Akimoto moved up from flyweight and made his bantamweight debut against former ONE World Title challenger “Muay Thai Boy” Zhang Chenglong in the main event of ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES II.
Though it looked like a difficult matchup for Akimoto on paper, the Japanese star valiantly engaged in a back-and-forth tussle and walked away with a narrow split decision.
Both men weren’t entirely pleased with the result. While Akimoto is thrilled to have earned the division’s #3-ranked contender spot, he wants to put on a more decisive performance and earn a first-round knockout victory – one that could potentially earn him a shot at ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Champion Capitan Petchyindee Academy.
Zhang, however, is determined to stop that from happening. The Chinese star felt like he was robbed by the judges in their initial encounter, and he has vowed to take this fight out of their hands and get a KO of his own. By doing so, he would knock the Evolve representative down the rankings.
Wondergirl Fairtex & Jackie Buntan
The talented young women of ONE Super Series continue to ignite the promotion’s all-striking league, and a pivotal battle in the strawweight Muay Thai division will be under the spotlight on Friday night.
Wondergirl Fairtex electrified the global fan base with a pair of highlight-reel showings last year, as she knocked out Brooke Farrell in 81 seconds and stopped KC Carlos en route to a second-round TKO.
Also, there is another interesting layer to this matchup. Wondergirl trains alongside former two-sport ONE World Champion Stamp Fairtex, while Buntan perfects her craft alongside Stamp’s rival, reigning ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Janet “JT” Todd.
If the Stamp-Todd bouts are any indication, then fans are in for a treat.
Victoria Lee & Sunisa Srisen
The lone mixed martial arts showdown on the card will kick-off the event – and it will be a landmark moment.
At 16 years old, Victoria “The Prodigy” Lee will make history as the youngest mixed martial artist to compete in ONE Championship.
The Singaporean-American debutant, who is the little sister of ONE World Title-winning siblings “Unstoppable” Angela Lee and Christian “The Warrior” Lee, is eager to live up to her prodigious billing and determined to earn a first-round submission victory.
That, of course, would also make her the youngest mixed martial artist to record a win in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
But Sunisa “Thunderstorm” Srisen doesn’t want to be a footnote in Lee’s career. The Thai has experience against big-name athletes, and she even defeated Thai pioneer Rika “Tiny Doll” Ishige, so her opponent’s hype will not faze her.
If Srisen can indeed derail Lee’s hype train, she would immediately get big sister’s attention and force her way into the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title picture.