ICYMI: Everything That Went Down In ONE Championship In February 2023
ONE Championship continues to motor along at a frenetic pace in 2023.
The year began with a wild month of January, and the action did not slow down in February, with five events that delivered epic battles in ONE’s striking, MMA, and submission grappling ranks.
Beyond the competition inside the ring, there were plenty of announcements outside it, strengthening upcoming cards and putting more World Title belts on the line.
In case you missed anything, here’s the complete recap of February 2023 in ONE.
Fabricio Andrade Becomes ONE Bantamweight World Champion
After an anticlimactic ending to their entertaining first contest, Fabricio “Wonder Boy” Andrade and John “Hands of Stone” Lineker rematched for the vacant ONE Bantamweight World Title in the main event of ONE Fight Night 7 on February 24.
For months, Andrade had claimed he was the uncrowned king of the division, and his phenomenal display against “Hands of Stone” finally elevated him to the throne.
Although Lineker threw his feared fists with full power, “Wonder Boy” was sharper and slicker, eventually accumulating enough damage for the bout to get stopped at the end of round four.
The emotional Brazilian phenom was elated with his win, which paid off a lifetime of hard work with his first World Title victory in front of a U.S. primetime audience.
Tawanchai Retains Muay Thai Gold, Kingad Shows Big Improvements
The Thai star finished Jamal Yusupov with low kicks in less than a minute, successfully defending his World Title for the first time.
The Filipino striker halted Saputra’s streak of seven first-round victories with a well-rounded performance that showcased his huge improvements in the grappling department and proved that he remains a World TItle threat.
The First Full Month Of ONE Friday Fights In Bangkok
ONE Friday Fights got underway on January 20, and February brought the first full month of weekly events at the famous Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
It was hard to imagine things continuing at the same intensity, but all four cards were jam-packed with excitement, finishes, and back-and-forth wars.
From epic headliners like Superball Tded99 vs. Kongklai Annymuaythai and Kongthoranee Sor Sommai vs. Gingsanglek Tor Laksong to shocking KOs from the likes of Ilias Ennahachi and Fabio Reis, there was barely a pause for breath.
These Asia primetime events have produced absolute chaos so far, and with the most exciting athletes garnering a haul of performance bonuses, expect that trend to continue.
First ONE Friday Fights Mega-Card Announced For March 17
There are elite athletes on display every week at ONE Friday Fights, but in February, the promotion announced its first tentpole event – ONE Friday Fights 9 on March 17.
Plus, Kulabdam Sor Jor Piek Uthai and Muangthai PK Saenchai will battle for bantamweight contention, while former two-sport ONE World Champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao returns from retirement to face surging Irishman Ryan Sheehan.
The supporting card is stacked with a slew of bouts that could steal the show, so expect a full-throttle event when things get underway.
More Big-Time Bouts Added To ONE Fight Nights 9 & 10
The lineup announcements have been coming thick and fast for the upcoming ONE Fight Night on Prime Video cards.
In particular, ONE Fight Night 10: Johnson vs. Moraes III in Colorado on May 5 – the organization’s first United States show – has been bolstered with several confirmations.
In MMA, former welterweight king Zebaztian Kadestam will take on Croatian star Roberto Soldic, former two-division titleholder Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang will meet Fan Rong, and lightweight contenders Reece McLaren and Kairat Akhmetov will throw down.
Plus, BJJ phenom Tye Ruotolo and middleweight MMA king Reinier de Ridder will face off in a submission grappling super-fight, while Muay Thai rising star Jackie Buntan gets to perform in front of a home crowd against Diandra Martin.
ONE Fight Night 9 on April 21 has also received a massive main event, as Thai legend Nong-O Hama will make his next ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title defense against former flyweight Muay Thai king Jonathan “The General” Haggerty.