ICYMI: Everything That Went Down In ONE Championship In December 2023

Roman Kryklia Alex Roberts ONE Fight Night 17 30

The world’s largest martial arts organization closed out 2023 with an action-packed month.

With a pair of historic fight cards, a slew of massive announcements, and several ONE World Titles up for grabs, December gave the organization’s global fan base plenty to follow.

To stay up to date on all the latest happenings, we look back at everything that went down in December.

Roman Kryklia Makes History At ONE Fight Night 17

On December 8 in U.S. primetime, ONE held its first all-Muay Thai card, featuring the planet’s top strikers squaring off in 4-ounce gloves at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

In the main event of ONE Fight Night 17, reigning ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion Roman Kryklia scored a highlight-reel knockout of Australian standout Alex “The Viking” Roberts to claim the inaugural ONE Heavyweight Muay Thai World Title.

Now undefeated across six dominant appearances in ONE, the towering Ukrainian looked perfectly comfortable competing in small gloves for the first time in his accomplished career.

Kryklia is now a two-sport ONE World Champion, cementing his status as one of the planet’s best – and most feared – pound-for-pound strikers.

Four Fights Added To ONE 165: Rodtang Vs. Takeru In Tokyo

On January 28, 2024, ONE will touch down in Tokyo, Japan, for a monumental event headlined by a kickboxing super-fight between longtime ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangon and newly signed Japanese megastar Takeru Segawa.

This past month, the promotion announced the addition of four pivotal bouts to support that blockbuster main event at ONE 165: Rodtang vs. Takeru.

Top-five strawweight MMA contenders Hiroba Minowa and Gustavo “El Gladiador” Balart will collide in a battle between two of the division’s finest grapplers, with a potential World Title shot on the line.

Also in the strawweight MMA division, #2-ranked South African star Bokang Masunyane will take on undefeated Japanese sensation Keito “Pocket Monk” Yamakita.

And in an intriguing all-Japanese women’s atomweight MMA tilt, talented judokas Itsuki “Android 18” Hirata and Ayaka Miura hope to put on a show for the hometown crowd.

Still just 24 years old, Hirata fell in her most recent outing against #1-ranked Ham Seo Hee, but she’s determined to get back on track and fight her way to a shot at divisional queen Stamp Fairtex.

Standing in her way is former ONE World Title challenger Miura. Fresh off a stunning submission win in November, “Zombie” hopes to use her powerful grappling attack to pick up a statement victory in her new division.

Finally, beloved Japanese knockout artist Yuya Wakamatsu will clash with Danny Kingad in a flyweight MMA rematch that’s been more than five years in the making.

Both ranked in the division’s top five, a win for either striking dynamo at ONE 165 would move him one massive step closer to a potential date with current ONE Flyweight MMA World Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson.

Big Bouts Added To ONE 166: Qatar

The fight announcements didn’t stop there.

ONE 166: Qatar will go down on March 1, 2024, at the Lusail Sports Arena and is rapidly taking shape as a must-see event. In December, the promotion announced a trio of exciting matchups for the card.

Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks will defend his ONE Strawweight MMA World Title for the first time when he faces former divisional king Joshua “The Passion” Pacio in a rematch of their captivating December 2022 clash.

Former ONE Heavyweight MMA World Champion Arjan “Singh” Bhullar is returning for the first time since losing his belt.

He’ll face surging Iranian powerhouse Amir Aliakbari, and given each man’s colossal strength and ruthless finishing instincts, fans shouldn’t blink during this clash of titans.

Also, the Middle East’s top BJJ competitor will be in action, as Yemeni-Saudi sensation Osamah Almarwai returns for his sophomore appearance in ONE.

The IBJJF World Champion and former ONE World Title challenger will lock horns with talented Brazilian Cleber “Clandestino” Sousa in a flyweight submission grappling contest that promises to deliver fireworks.

In addition to that matchup between world-class grapplers, ONE is set to host a Road to ONE submission grappling tournament in the week leading up to ONE 166: Qatar. 

The region’s top up-and-coming male and female grapplers will vie for a coveted six-figure contract and a spot on ONE’s main roster.

Three World Titles Awarded At Stacked ONE Friday Fights 46

The organization closed out 2023 with a bang.

Topped by a trio of World Title contests, ONE Friday Fights 46: Tawancahi vs. Superbon took place on December 22 at Bangkok’s Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, and the event delivered white-knuckle action from start to finish.

Breakout Thai sensation “The Queen” Phetjeeja capped an epic year with the biggest win of her career, as she scored a unanimous decision victory over women’s striking GOAT Anissa “C18” Meksen to claim the ONE Interim Women’s Atomweight Kickboxing World Title. 

In addition to winning the golden belt, the 21-year-old’s meteoric rise through the world’s largest martial arts organization saw her go 5-0 this year and become the first ONE Friday Fights athlete to earn a six-figure contract with the organization.

After that, interim titleholder Prajanchai PK Saenchai avenged a 2022 loss to Joseph “The Hurricane” Lasiri to unify the ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Championship. 

The Thai’s picture-perfect elbow strike just 1:28 into the first round sealed the deal and made him an undisputed ONE World Champion for the second time in his career.

The main event saw featherweight Muay Thai kingpin Tawanchai PK Saenchai successfully defend his World Title against former featherweight kickboxing titleholder Superbon Singha Mawynn in one of the year’s most technical and high-paced fights.

After his win, the 24-year-old phenom announced his intention to pursue two-sport glory and chase a ONE Kickboxing World Title.

Finally, ONE Friday Fights 46 also saw a pair of notable bantamweight Muay Thai contests.

Thai sensation Suablack Tor Pran49 picked up his fourth straight knockout win in ONE and earned a coveted US$100,000 contract.

And in a shocking turn of events, Scottish rising star Nico “King of the North” Carrillo stormed back to knock out former longtime ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Hama and announce his intention to challenge reigning king Jonathan “The General” Haggerty.

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