ONE Championship is just about ready for its next night of incredible action.
Meanwhile, the main event will feature a ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title showdown that fans have been waiting to see for months.
In that matchup, two-sport ONE World Champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao will look to continue his reign atop the strawweight division, while Australian underdog Josh “Timebomb” Tonna believes he’s the man who can take the belt.
Before these two strikers battle on Friday night, let’s get some predictions and thoughts from their fellow ONE stars.
“I think the Josh and Sam-A fight is going to be an absolute cracker! Sam-A is a living legend, but Josh is a man on a mission.
“Josh has the underdog spirit and some explosive tactics. For Josh to be successful, he needs to start hard, be as unpredictable as possible, and not give Sam-A time to use his experience against him.
“Sam-A has potentially some of the best counter skills and fight IQ across the whole ONE roster, and he will be looking to utilize every aspect of that.
“I think Josh has some tricks up his sleeve and will catch the champ with a different array of strikes from what he’s seen in his previous opponents. I think this fight will come down to who wants it most, and you can never count out an underdog with a point to prove.”
“I love watching both fighters, and I have especially loved seeing the growth Josh has had in the recent past to get to where he is today. It’s a great opportunity for Josh.
“That being said, I think Sam-A will retain the belt. He’s very slick out of his southpaw stance, and his timing is impeccable.”
“I think Josh Tonna will win. Sam-A fights beautifully, but I see the promise in Josh Tonna, who has aggressive combinations with fierce knees.”
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“Watching Tonna’s previous fights, he has an aggressive, forward pressure [style], and one thing I like about him is he uses his boxing well and has solid combinations that could give the champion problems because that’s one weakness of Sam-A.
“In Sam-A’s previous fights, I saw him struggle [when] dealing with a good puncher, so that’s one key for Tonna in this fight. He will have to put pressure on Sam-A and connect with power punches, especially with those 4-ounce gloves. He should not let Sam-A dictate the fight. [Sam-A] is a World Champion for a reason, and he’s very good with his counters.
“This is the weight class where Sam-A truly shines. He is stronger in this weight class, and that’s why I am going for Sam-A in this match. I see them going the distance, with Sam-A retaining his belt by unanimous decision.”
“Sam-A has a clear advantage in terms of skill and experience. After all, Sam-A is a legendary fighter who has won numerous Lumpinee Stadium World Titles in Thailand.
“Since joining ONE Championship, Sam-A has managed to prove himself too by becoming a two-sport ONE World Champion. He is above his competitor, and I predict he will win via knockout.
“To be honest, in terms of skill, they are vastly different. I have watched some of Tonna’s fights, including when he faced Petchdam [Petchyindee Academy]. Though Tonna showed how dangerous he was, he was ultimately defeated. And Sam-A’s caliber is way above many other Thai fighters.”
“They are in their 30s, so they have experience. They know the game, but if we look at their fight history, Sam-A is way above Tonna – and this is a Muay Thai bout, where Sam-A is a legend.
“Sam-A is not only dangerous in the clinch, but his kicks are also powerful. On the other hand, Tonna has strong punches and knees, so Sam-A has to dodge them. Tonna has knockout power too, so he will find a way to unleash that.
“Tonna is more agile and has a good fighting spirit. His style is fascinating to watch, and since moving down a weight class, I think he’s performing better.
“Also, I think Tonna has better stamina, but overall, I guess Sam-A will likely defend his title.”