ONE Championship’s 10-year anniversary event just got even bigger, as Dagestani grappler Yusup Saadulaev and Japanese MMA fighters Shoko Sato, Ryuto Sawada, and Senzo Ikeda have been confirmed for the super show in Singapore.
At ONE X on Saturday, 26 March, Saadulaev will meet Sato in a battle of formerly ranked bantamweight contenders. The card will also feature compatriots Sawada and Ikeda, who collide in a strawweight contest.
The news was announced by Abema TV during the live broadcast of ONE: FULL CIRCLE.
Yusup Saadulaev Is Preparing Hard In Dagestan
Yusup Saadulaev, also known by his moniker “Maestro,” holds a 20-6-1 (1 NC) professional record with a 65 percent finishing rate.
The Dagestani grappler owns victories over the likes of former ONE World Title challenger “Holy Beast” Dae Hwan Kim and leg-lock legend Masakazu Imanari, and he was previously the #3-ranked contender in the bantamweight division.
But after suffering a loss to Stephen Loman last December, Saadulaev dropped out of the rankings. In Singapore, he begins his climb back to the top.
In preparation for the battle, “Maestro” is training with Magomed Bagandov and Murad Machaev at Khabib Nurmagomedov’s gym in Dagestan.
“I am preparing for the upcoming fight at @nurmagomedov_mma_school under the guidance of @machaev and @magomedgadgi.”Saadulaev’s translated caption from his Instagram account
Shoko Sato Won’t Have Any Fear
Shoko Sato, a Shooto Bantamweight Champion, will be looking to do the same thing.
The Japanese veteran owns a 32-14-2 (1 NC) professional record, was formerly the #5-ranked bantamweight contender, and even holds a first-round submission victory over current #2-ranked athlete “Pretty Boy” Kwon Won Il.
Though he fell to current #4-ranked Fabricio Andrade in his last promotional appearance back in January 2021, he could re-enter the rankings with a stellar performance in “The Lion City.”
According to his official Twitter account, Sato is already working hard in the gym.
“I don’t want to get stuck in fear in the game, so I unscrew the fear in practice and move without hesitation in the game.”Sato’s translated quote from Twitter
Senzo Ikeda Ready To Put On A Show
Joining him will be former Pancrase Flyweight Champion Senzo Ikeda.
The veteran had a rough start to his ONE Championship run. But since recovering from an arm injury and moving down to the strawweight division, he has flourished.
Ikeda has a dozen professional victories and is currently riding a two-fight winning streak, and he looks to build on that momentum at ONE X.
He said to ONE Championship:
“The fans have always been very supportive and have given me a lot of strength, so I want to show my gratitude to them by giving it my all in this bout to make fans happy. Of course, the result of the bout is important, but what I want to do is have a bout that everyone can enjoy, while I enjoy fighting. Thank you so much for all of your support. That gives me a lot of strength. I am going to give all the power I have, so please root for me!”
Ryuto Sawada Eager For This Opportunity
Looking to stop that momentum is Ryuto Sawada, who will be fighting with urgency.
“Dragon Boy,” as he is called, has 14 professional wins and a marvelous 78 percent finishing rate. However, he is riding a two-bout skid – the first of his career – and he’ll do everything he can to turn it all around in Singapore.
He said to ONE Championship:
“In the last bout, I had a lot of regret about my performance, so I was looking forward to having my next opportunity. It is very rare for ONE to make matches between Japanese athletes, so honestly, I was surprised. I am so happy to be a part of the 10-year anniversary event and fight against another Japanese athlete. I feel grateful from the bottom of my heart. I hope to showcase the power of the Japanese athletes in the bout. With gratitude and respect, I want to beat Senzo.”
Saadulaev, Sato, Ikeda, and Sawada are just the latest additions to ONE’s 10-year anniversary show. Check this space regularly for more news about ONE X.