The biggest event in ONE Championship history is just a few days away.
On Sunday, 31 March, the promotion will hold ONE: A NEW ERA at the iconic Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan, and all eyes will rightfully be focused on the blockbuster spectacle.
This historic showcase will feature four World Title matches at the top of the 15-bout card, including a World Champion versus World Champion clash for the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title that has grabbed plenty of attention.
ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee will attempt to maintain her spotless record and capture the strawweight crown in a bid to become the first woman to hold ONE World Titles in two separate weight classes.
To do that, she will need to dethrone reigning titleholder “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan, who remains unbeaten in her promotional campaign.
For those reasons, it will be the biggest women’s match-up in the promotion’s history. Ahead of this marquee showdown, four of the atomweight division’s premier talents predict who will leave Japan with the gold.
“Angela’s strengths are her ground [game] and grappling, while Xiong is a very good striker. Xiong is very tough, and she loves to brawl. If Angela can hold on to her striking after three rounds, she can win the strawweight title.
“Both athletes are undefeated in ONE, and both corners will have a good game plan, which might make or break the match.
“I feel Xiong Jing Nan will win by fourth-round TKO.”
“Both have almost an equal chance for victory, but each of them has to take full advantage of their own skills, as well as take [advantage of] the momentum or opportunity to win.
“It’s important for both Angela and Xiong not to be dragged into their opponent’s game.
“I think Xiong would be more dominant in the striking part, as she has really taken her ability to another level. I believe she will win if she’s not dragged onto the canvas.
“With Angela, I know that she is a very good ground player with outstanding BJJ skills, but she has to bring Xiong into her game. If she’s able to score a takedown against Xiong, Lee will have all the momentum to end the bout with a submission.
“I know that Lee will not easily release her opponent when she locks her down. Aside from that, I think she will be in perfect condition, as she does not have to cut weight.
“The odds are close, but I’ll go with Xiong by a 55-percent chance.”
“I can’t say for sure who will win. It can go either way. Angela Lee has a flawless ground game, while Xiong is an excellent striker. It will be a clash of styles and whatever the result is, it will be an exciting match.
“As I’ve said, Angela Lee’s ground game is so refined, and she has complete control when the fight goes to the ground. However, Xiong’s striking is extraordinary as well. She is a knockout artist and is very accurate in her striking ability.
“Ring rust is a factor when it comes to fights, especially since Xiong has been active while Angela didn’t compete for a while – but it’s just a small factor. It will really go down to who is the better and smarter athlete between the two.”
“It depends on the circumstances of the bout. Both of them have exerted a great deal of effort for the match. I find it difficult to decide, but I expect that the winner will be Xiong Jing Nan.
“She is physically well-built and has a lot of power. Also, Xiong’s boxing skills are really outstanding, and her speed and cleverness will bring her to victory. I am looking forward to it.
“We met at Bali MMA, and I think she is one of the elite athletes in mixed martial arts. I will stand with ‘The Panda’ Xiong Jing Nan.”
Tokyo | 31 March | 3:30PM | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneera19