After finishing off the ‘A NEW BREED’ event series, ONE Championship has confirmed four martial arts superstars for its next show on Friday, 9 October.
ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES will feature two-sport ONE World Champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao defending his ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title against the division’s top-ranked contender, Josh “Timebomb” Tonna, in the main event.
Additionally, the co-main event will see mixed martial arts juggernaut Aleksi “The Giant” Toivonen attempt to keep his spotless record intact when he squares off with #5-ranked flyweight contender Reece “Lightning” McLaren.
Ever since moving down to his natural weight class in October 2019, Sam-A has looked sharper and quicker than ever.
First, the Thai used his slick technique and speed to knock out Daren Rolland. Next, he edged out “Golden Boy” Wang Junguang to win the inaugural ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Title in December 2019, and then he dominated Rocky Ogden to claim the inaugural ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title in February.
Sam-A, who’s been competing at the elite level for nearly two decades, has rightly established himself as the best striker in his division.
Tonna, however, plans to shuffle up the ranks and fulfill his own ONE World Title dreams.
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The Australian underdog endured a difficult start to life in The Home Of Martial Arts, as he suffered a knockout loss to Petchdam “The Baby Shark” Petchyindee Academy in a flyweight tilt back in July 2018.
He experienced some mixed results in his next bouts, but it was only a matter of time before “Timebomb” exploded, and he did so in a major way.
After adjusting his training, the Aussie defeated Yoshihisa Morimoto in a three-round flyweight war in July 2019, and then – just like Sam-A – he dropped down to strawweight and knocked out five-time Muay Thai World Champion Andy “Punisher” Howson.
That earned Tonna the #1-ranked strawweight Muay Thai contender spot. Now, he’s hoping to accomplish the impossible by dethroning the legendary Sam-A.
Before that exhilarating striking battle goes down, fans will be treated to an energetic matchup between two of the most exciting flyweight mixed martial artists on the planet.
Toivonen has been perfect in mixed martial arts so far.
The rising Finnish star jump-started his career with a 6-0 (2 NC) professional record. He then took his training to the next level when he participated in the Evolve Global Tryouts and was chosen to join the squad in November 2018. Then, he signed with ONE.
“The Giant” enjoyed a terrific start on the global stage, as he submitted Akihiro “Superjap” Fujisawa in his promotional debut in July 2019. But his momentum was halted by a torn ACL during an ordinary sparring session last September.
After months on the sidelines, Toivonen has recuperated. He’s now looking to break into ONE’s Athlete Rankings with another victory that extends his flawless run.
McLaren, however, is a well-rounded dynamo who could spoil his foe’s clean slate. He’s a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt with an astonishing 170-22 record in grappling competition, and he’s also an XFC and Eternal MMA Champion.
The Australian kicked off his ONE career in the bantamweight division with a bang, submitting Mark “Mugen” Striegl in December 2015 and then handing Muin “Tajik” Gafurov his first professional loss four months later to earn a ONE Bantamweight World Title shot.
Although he fell to bantamweight king Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes by a razor-thin split decision in December 2016, McLaren eventually decided to move down a weight class and try his luck at flyweight.
He got off to a lightning start, defeating Antapong “Mak Mak” Bunrad, Gianni Subba, and Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada. And after competing in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix in 2019, McLaren finished the year strong with a big submission victory over Gurdarshan “Saint Lion” Mangat.
Now, he holds the #5-ranked contender spot in the flyweight division. To cement his status and move forward, he must do what no other man has done: Defeat “The Giant.”
More bouts for ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES will be announced soon. Stay tuned to ONEFC.com for more updates.