ONE Championship is ready to give fans around the globe a second dose of its extraordinary INSIDE THE MATRIX event series.
Two superstars will be fighting for ONE World Title gold, while others will be looking to earn a World Championship opportunity, crash ONE’s Athlete Rankings, or send a loud message to the warriors in their divisions.
Before the explosive show airs this Friday, let’s break down the stakes for every matchup on the card.
Kiamrian Abbasov & James Nakashima
Abbasov, who holds a 22-4 professional record, captured the belt by dominating previous titleholder Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam en route to a unanimous decision victory in October 2019.
The well-rounded Kyrgyzstani hero will make his first title defense in Singapore, and he desperately wants to get his reign off to a blistering start. Handing Nakashima his first career loss would send a definitive statement to every other welterweight contender.
Meanwhile, Nakashima has a very rare opportunity in front of him.
The American, who owns a 12-0 professional record, could join an elite group by becoming the eighth undefeated ONE World Champion in history.
The others to accomplish this feat are reigning ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee, new ONE Middleweight World Champion Reinier “The Dutch Knight” De Ridder, and former titleholders Marat “Cobra” Gafurov, Ben “Funky” Askren, Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov, Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito, and Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke.
Timofey Nastyukhin & Pieter Buist
In the co-main event, a pair of top lightweight contenders will compete in a World Title eliminator.
Pieter “The Archangel” Buist holds a marvelous 17-4 professional record and is currently riding an eight-bout winning streak. The Dutchman has enjoyed a fantastic promotional run, having defeated Kota Shimoishi, Antonio “The Spartan” Caruso, and former lightweight king Eduard “Landslide” Folayang to earn the #3-ranked contender distinction.
On Friday, he’ll be staring into the eyes of Russian powerhouse Timofey Nastyukhin, the division’s #4-ranked contender.
Nastyukhin, who owns a 13-4 record, has also enjoyed a terrific run in the world’s largest martial arts organization. He co-holds the record for fastest victory in ONE history (a six-second KO of “Ruthless” Rob Lisita) and most recently knocked out MMA legend “The Underground King” Eddie Alvarez.
Whoever claims victory in this bout could earn a shot to challenge ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee. Meanwhile, the person who falls short in Singapore will drop out of title contention.
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Kim Kyu Sung & Yuya Wakamatsu
Wakamatsu, who owns a 12-4 record and an 83 percent knockout rate, has some great momentum behind him. He became the first person to knock out former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio in August 2019 and then routed former ONE World Title challenger “Ottogi” Dae Hwan Kim two months later.
Though “Little Piranha” is considered the premier knockout artist in the flyweight division, he’ll be facing a heavy hitter in Kim, who possesses a 60 percent knockout rate and owns an 11-centimeter height advantage.
Like his Japanese adversary, Kim packs a mean punch, as observed in his 68-second knockout of Akihiro “Superjap” Fujisawa in November 2019.
This will certainly be a battle of KO artists, and whoever gets their hand raised will be known as the division’s most lethal striker while stepping closer to the ONE Flyweight World Title picture.
Eko Roni Saputra & Ramon Gonzales
ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX II will feature a second flyweight showdown between two of the division’s rising stars.
Multiple-time Indonesian Wrestling Champion “Dynamite” Eko Roni Saputra has flawlessly applied his elite grappling skills to mixed martial arts.
Just a few weeks removed from his dominant first-round submission victory over Murugan “Wolverine” Silvarajoo, Saputra has the potential to put himself on a four-bout winning streak and keep his 100 percent finishing rate intact.
However, Ramon “The Bicolano” Gonzales will attempt to derail the Indonesian hype train and make a statement of his own.
Gonzales is a Filipino Kyokushin Karate Champion who possesses the striking and the jiu-jitsu savvy to finish his opponents quickly. Like Saputra, he has a 100 percent finishing rate, so both men will be fighting to maintain their perfect ratio.
Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol & Meng Bo
Meng, the division’s #2-ranked contender, holds a 14-5 professional record, has defeated a who’s who in the sport, and owns a 55 percent finishing rate.
The global fan base has only seen a brief glimpse of the Chinese star, but she delivered fireworks in that brief appearance by knocking out former ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title challenger Laura “La Gladiadora” Balin.
In order to keep her spot in ONE’s Athlete Rankings, she must overcome Lumban Gaol, who is looking to enter the prestigious list and make some history of her own.
Lumban Gaol, a multiple-time Wushu World Championships Medalist, has a chance to extend her record for most victories in the atomweight division (currently at seven) and tie Rika “Tiny Doll” Ishige for most finishes in the weight class (at four).
The victor will undoubtedly earn bragging rights, but each woman also wants a chance to enter the ONE Atomweight World Grand Prix in 2021. A terrific showing in Singapore could catapult the winner into the world’s biggest women’s mixed martial arts tournament.