ONE Championship is scheduled to make its return to Jakarta, Indonesia, on Saturday, 12 May, and the promotion will be bringing an exciting card topped by a thrilling world title rematch.
Brazil’s Alex “Little Rock” Silva will make the first defense of his ONE Strawweight World Title at ONE: GRIT & GLORY, live from the Jakarta Convention Center. He faces the man he defeated to win the belt, Japan’s Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito, in the main event.
Silva, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion, demonstrated his submission prowess with five consecutive submission victories as he surged into world title contention last year.
He captured the strawweight world title, however, by showcasing his rapidly evolving striking game to beat then-undefeated champion Naito by unanimous decision at ONE: WARRIORS OF THE WORLD in Thailand last December.
Now, the Japanese grappler has been granted a rematch. He has been handed a golden opportunity to win back the title he once called his, and against the only man to ever defeat him.
“Their first encounter just months ago was a gripping five-round affair that saw the best of each man. Now, Alex Silva and Yoshitaka Naito are set to dance once again inside the ONE Championship cage,” said Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship.
“The ONE Strawweight World Championship hangs in the balance. Jakarta is once again ready to play host to a blockbuster evening of world-class martial arts, and I am pleased to announce another spectacular card.”
The Return Of Stefer Rahardian
Silva and Naito are not the only top strawweights competing at ONE: GRIT & GLORY.
Also at the top of the card is one of Indonesia’s finest talents, Stefer Rahardian. Unbeaten at 8-0, the Jakarta native will continue his quest for the world title in a brand new division, as he moves down from flyweight to make his strawweight debut.
Rahardian will take on Himanshu Kaushik, who brings a wushu record of 71-7 to the ONE cage. The Indian will make his promotional debut against one of the organization’s top martial artists, and will be looking to make a statement in his opponent’s hometown.
A Massive Middleweight Clash
The event will also see former ONE Middleweight World Champion Vitaly Bigdash make his long-awaited return to action, as he lines up against former middleweight world title challenger Leandro Ataides in a pivotal clash that could determine the next contender for two-division ONE World Champion Aung La N Sang.
Bigdash captured the middleweight world title after a back-and-forth battle with Igor Svirid, then defended successfully against Aung La N Sang in January 2017, also in Jakarta. But the Rostov-on-Don, Russia native lost the belt to “The Burmese Python” in a thrilling rematch, which was awarded “Bout Of The year 2017” honors.
Now, at 9-1, he looks to defeat Ataides, and make his case for a trilogy match with the Myanmar hero.
Ataides has the same title aspirations, however. He is a multiple-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion who has made a name for himself inside the ONE cage with his stunning KO power. The Brazilian boasts a career record of 10-3, with three of his last four wins coming via knockout.
His most recent win saw him claim a unanimous decision victory over Michal Pasternak, who had himself challenged for the ONE Light Heavyweight World Title. A victory over Bigdash could similarly see him line him up against “The Burmese Python” later this year.
Top Featherweights Prepare For A Fierce Battle
Boku is a former ONE Lightweight World Champion who now plies his trade at featherweight, and he will be looking to use his vast experience, and knockout power, to claim another notable win against “Indio.”
Nunes, who successfully returned to action with a victory over Eric Kelly this past January , rocks an impressive 11-1 record. All but one of his victories have come by spectacular finish, which gives the Brazilian a near-perfect finishing rate.
A victory over a noted former world champion like Boku will give the Brazilian all the momentum he needs to move into title contention in a super-competitive featherweight division.
Indonesian Warriors Battling For Glory
The event will also serve as a showcase for some of the very best Indonesian martial arts talents, with a host of local stars set to star in the ONE cage.
Gaol is on a high at the moment, having built surging momentum with back-to-back first-round finishes earlier this year. Now, she bids to complete a hat trick of wins with victory over Trinidad, who will be making her second appearance for the promotion.
Bandung, Indonesia’s Victorio “Indra” Senduk will look to extend his undefeated 7-0 record, as the IBC Featherweight Champion takes on Cambodia’s Sor Sey. The Cambodian heads into the bout with a formidable Kun Khmer record of 145-47-11, and has a TKO win from his ONE debut already under his belt.
There are also two all-Indonesian match-ups to decide who moves up the ONE Championship ranks in their divisions.
Boxing stylist Eliyas “Malaku Warrior” Latupeirissa takes on silat specialist, Dodi “The Maung” Mardian, while promotional debutant Doan Birawa goes up against and Bali MMA’s Riski “King Kong” Umar, who has claimed both of his career wins via first-round KO/TKO finishes.