Kuala Lumpur will host some of the finest talents in the world of martial arts once again, as ONE Championship returns to Malaysia’s vibrant capital.
On Friday, 13 July, ONE: PURSUIT OF POWER takes place at the Axiata Arena with a sensational event full of national heroes and international superstars.
Two of the promotion’s most revered welterweights top the bill, while the rest of the card features World Title contenders, famous Muay Thai competitors, exciting veterans, and some fresh faces eager to showcase their skills on the global stage of martial arts.
Welterweight Heroes Star In The Main Event
Two of the promotion’s most popular welterweight heroes will collide in the main event.
Kuala Lumpur’s own Agilan “Alligator” Thani returns to the cage to face off against Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam, as two former ONE Welterweight World Title challengers look to climb back towards the top spot.
Thani suffered his only career defeat when he met Ben “Funky” Askren for the illustrious belt in May 2017. But since then, “Alligator” has rebounded with consecutive victories over Sherif Mohamed and Amitesh Chaubey.
Those wins put him right back on the trail for gold, and he will expect to feed off the energy of his hometown crowd to shut down a threatening opponent.
Kadestam made an explosive impact by coming from behind to knock out Luis “Sapo” Santos in his first ONE contest in May 2017.
Despite also coming up short against Askren’s relentless ground attacks in his title match, the Swede has shown he is a dangerous opponent in the cage.
He will look to make another massive statement by becoming the first person to defeat Thani in Malaysia.
A Muay Thai Co-Main Event
The co-main event features a ONE Super Series Muay Thai featherweight battle between “Smokin” Jo Nattawut and Yohann Fairtex Drai. Both men are well aware that an impressive victory could reward them with enormous opportunities.
Nattawut is a two-division Lion Fight World Champion, but the sensational striker is chasing the biggest accolade of his career to date in ONE.
After losing a decision to Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan in his promotional debut, the American-based Thai knows that only victory can keep him on that path.
Drai trains at the famous Fairtex gym in Pattaya, Thailand, where he trains alongside Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex, who made an impressive ONE Super Series debut in May.
He has the right coaches and training partners around him, which is reflected in his successes around the world – including becoming the Super Muay Thai Champion.
The French athlete has committed his life to martial arts, moving to Asia to pursue his dreams. To bring them one step closer to becoming reality, he must turn heads with his gutsy style on his ONE debut in Malaysia.
Another Pivotal Welterweight Battle
There is another welterweight showdown that could help shape the division, as Santos welcomes Tyler McGuire to the world’s largest martial arts organization.
The Brazilian veteran – who has an astonishing 64-10-1 (1 NC) record – knows another win could place him as a frontrunner for contendership.
He will have to overcome McGuire, who makes his ONE debut. The American is unbeaten so far in his career, with submission victories in seven out of his 10 wins to date.
Two Former Champions Set To Clash
Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Narantungalag Jadambaa is making a quick return to action.
Just weeks removed from defeating Team Lakay’s Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly via TKO at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER, “Tungaa” heads to Malaysia and looks to continue his ascension back up the ranks.
He meets promotional debutant and Pancrase Lightweight Champion Kazuki Tokudome.
The Japanese athlete is a reputable finisher, as 12 of his 18 career wins have come via knockout or submission. He has won six of his last eight matches, and will start his ONE campaign in the featherweight division.
World Champion Strikers
ONE Super Series bouts have pitted the finest champions from around the globe against one another, with scintillating results every time.
One of the most impressive performances came from KOK World Champion Sergej “Kuvalda” Maslobojev, who defeated K-1 World Grand Prix champion Antonio Plazibat with an overwhelming display of power and technique in his ONE debut in May.
Now, aiming to put himself at the front of the queue for a World Title shot, the Lithuanian meets Florent Kaouachi. The Frenchman from Mahmoudi Gym has enjoyed great success in his career so far, being a three-time kickboxing world champion.
In Kuala Lumpur, he will aim to show his skills exceed Maslobojev’s, and make a huge first impression to explode to the top of the ONE Super Series middleweight ranks.
Featherweights Aiming To Make A Statement
Three fierce match-ups between featherweight fan-favorites are set to showcase the depth and skill of the division’s roster, as they attempt to stand out from the crowd in a stacked field.
First is Malaysia’s Keanu Subba. With four first-round stoppages in his ONE Championship career so far, he has shown he is a major threat any time he enters the cage.
To win in front of the Kuala Lumpur faithful, he will have to end Xie Chao’s perfect run in the ONE cage. The Chinese athlete has a penchant for finishing bouts, with seven of his nine victories coming by stoppage.
They will be joined on the card by former World Title challenger Eric “The Natural” Kelly, who is training hard to overcome Pancrase Lightweight Champion Kazuki Tokudome. Both are experienced and well-rounded, so anticipate a fantastic display of mixed martial arts.
Finally, Emilio “The Honey Badger” Urrutia will return against “The Underdog” Li Kai Wen. The American will be gunning to recapture the form that saw him achieve victory in his first two ONE contests in highlight reel fashion.
He must overcome the ONE Featherweight Beijing Tournament Champion, who will return to action just three weeks after a record-breaking knockout of Rodian Menchavez in Macau.
Warriors Of The World
Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion Ariel “Tarzan” Sexton earned his black belt under the famed Renzo Gracie. He has brought those skills to bear in the cage, and cemented himself as Costa Rica’s finest martial arts export.
He will face Kota “Kong” Shimoishi of Osaka, Japan. Holding an impressive 21-5 record, Shimoishi is one of Japan’s top lightweights, and will make his promotional debut with every intention of making the crowd remember his name against a respected ONE veteran.
Malaysia will also be represented on the preliminary card by MIMMA and Wushu World Champion Jihan “Shadow Cat” Radzuan. The Ultimate MMA athlete has an unblemished 2-0 slate as a professional, with wins by both submission and knockout.
She’ll take on the surging Priscilla “Thathie” Lumban Gaol, whose record in 2018 is unmatched in ONE. The 30-year-old has posted three straight first-round victories since January. A fourth could make her a likely contender for a World Title.