5 European Fighters Making Waves In ONE Championship
The main card of the sold-out ONE Fight Night 10: Johnson vs. Moraes III on Prime Video on May 5 features a potential ONE World Title eliminator matchup between two fearless European welterweights.
On that night at 1stBank Center in Colorado, former ONE Welterweight World Champion and Swede Zebaztian Kadestam meets Croatia’s Roberto Soldic in an MMA bout that is guaranteed to end with a punctuation mark.
The bout goes to show that European fighters have been making waves in ONE Championship as of late. That said, here are five of the continent’s stars you should keep an eye on, starting with Soldic.
Soldic joined ONE in 2022 off the back of a highly successful stint in the European MMA promotion KSW. In fact, the Croatian held two belts in the organization — one at middleweight and one at welterweight.
His impressive 20-3 record and 17 knockouts made him an instant threat to ONE’s top-rated welterweight athletes. However, in his ONE debut he met Russian juggernaut Murad Ramazanov, was hit with a low blow, and left the Circle with his first no contest.
Despite the 28-year-old’s lackluster entrance into ONE, Soldic is expected to be the next biggest star in mixed martial arts. He plans to prove that at ONE Fight Night 10 against the welterweight division’s former king.
Two-sport ONE World Champion Regian Eersel may have been born in Suriname, but the lightweight striking king has called Europe home for some time now.
He trains out of the esteemed Sityodtong Amsterdam camp in the Netherlands, a gym that has helped him capture both the ONE Lightweight Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Titles.
He’s currently 9-0 in ONE and 60-4 overall. Most recently, he defeated Thai star Sinsamut Klinmee twice in a row. The first time he won the inaugural Muay Thai strap and the second time he defended it by fourth-round KO.
By the looks of it, the seven-time ONE World Champion could occupy the lightweight striking throne for years to come.
ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion Roman Kryklia is a bad man. He proved as much in 2022 when he moved up a division and won the ONE Heavyweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Championship.
The 6-foot, 6-inch towering titan pulverized two heavyweights en route to the title. First, he knocked out Guto Inocente in under three minutes. Then, he took on old tormentor Iraj Azizpour and blasted the Iranian in round two to score a redeeming KO.
Kryklia’s “Go Go Gadget” arms and legs make him an impossible obstacle to pass. For this reason, the Ukrainian may be the man to beat in the heavier striking divisions for a long time.
Chingiz Allazov experienced a meteoric rise through the ranks before clinching the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Championship with a spectacular knockout of Superbon Singha Mawynn at ONE Fight Night 6 in January.
He earned his shot at gold after achieving remarkable success in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix. In the tourney, he knocked out both Samy Sana and Jo Nattawut in the first rounds of their respective fights to win the silver belt — and a shot at Superbon.
The Azerbaijani-Belarusian is currently riding an impressive four-fight winning streak and owns a 75 percent finishing rate.
Allazov appears to be an unstoppable force at the top of the striking world, and he is already regarded as one of the greatest featherweight kickboxers of all time.
Saygid Izagakhmaev, a Sambo specialist hailing from the renowned Nurmagomedov MMA camp, has enjoyed many victories inside the Circle.
Undefeated in the organization with a 67 percent finishing rate, Izagakhmaev made a powerful statement when he submitted James Nakashima in round two of their tilt in January 2022. His career has continued to flourish ever since.
The 28-year-old went on to finish Japanese MMA legend Shinya Aoki by TKO in round one at ONE 163: Akimoto vs. Petchtanong in November 2022, cementing his status as a hardy challenger.
Now the fifth-ranked contender in the lightweight division poses a serious threat to those above him in the rankings.