Opinion

From The Mind Of Miesha Tate: 5 Bouts To Watch At ONE: CENTURY

ONE: CENTURY is stacked with 28 World Champions, four World Championship bouts, and two mega events in one epic day!

It’s certainly tough to pick out one match and say it’s the one to watch over any of the others, but I’ve done my best to highlight some of the ones I think will be the best ones to watch.

One bout I am particularly excited about is the clash between Bibiano Fernandes and Kevin Belingon for the ONE Bantamweight World Title.

This is a rivalry for the ages — it is like the ‘Ali-Frazier’ of mixed martial arts. Every time these two step in the Circle, you know you’re going to get something good.

This will be their fourth championship bout, and it will cement a legacy one way or the other.  Bibiano won the first bout via kimura in January 2016, while Kevin won the second bout via split decision last November. The next match ended with an unfortunate DQ for illegal elbows administered from Kevin, leaving Bibiano as the new World Champion.

Bibiano doesn’t believe he has ever truly lost to Kevin, and as the current ONE Bantamweight World Champion, he wants to solidify that he is the best in the world.

On the other hand, Kevin is sort of fighting for redemption at this point since he didn’t get a finish in the previous outing. He wants to get his World Title back, and as always, fans can expect a heartfelt performance from the Team Lakay product.

Kevin is one of my favorite athletes to watch in ONE Championship. He is ferocious, he has a gas tank that seems to go on forever, and he is very unpredictable — not to mention he competes with so much passion.

Watching him arrive at an event, you can sense in his eyes that he carries the pride of his country and team, which gives him this superhuman ability to ‘wow’ the masses. It’s always a pleasure to watch Kevin compete, and I am sure he will deliver another jaw-dropping performance this Sunday.

Bibiano is a powerhouse, too. He throws wild and heavy punches on the feet, and he knows he doesn’t have to worry about people taking him down as he is a black belt on the ground with multiple grappling accolades on his resume.

He is a really scary athlete, particularly on the ground, and I don’t think any athlete – including Kevin – wants to be there with him. Both guys are confident they can leave Tokyo with the win, but only one will walk out as the victor.

I also want to add that the fan engagement on this match is huge. There’s a storyline to follow, a history of rivalry, and both have proven they have the ability to beat each other in different ways. This is one bout that always leaves fans on the edge of their seats. It can be anybody’s night.

Next on my list is Demetrious Johnson versus Danny Kingad. This one is going to be an amazing scrap.

Kingad is the perfect opponent to push the best out of Demetrious, and he only knows one speed – go! He is an amazing athlete, and he will force Johnson to be at his best. Both guys are highly skilled in every department, and their speed and tricks could be the deciding point in this tie.

I’m still looking forward to the Angela Lee versus Xiong Jing Nan rematch, which is something I wrote on extensively during my last column.

This will easily be one of the greatest female battles of all time – and fans cannot miss this, especially after how entertaining their first match-up was.

Apart from the size of the event, and the 28 World Champions who will line up at ONE: CENTURY this weekend, we also have the US$1 million ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Championship Final.

There has never been a prize this big in kickboxing history, and it features two of the best strikers in the world in Giorgio Petrosyan and Samy Sana.

My last (but certainly not least) pick would be the final bout of the 44 superstars on display, which will put the exclamation point on these two mega events in one day. That bout is none other than Aung La N Sang versus Brandon Vera.

The winner of this bout could very well come down to who can outlast who, or who can find that opening first and still have the energy to do so in the later rounds.

I know Brandon has four first-round knockouts in all four of his ONE Championship outings, but Aung La is a different animal. He presents a whole different challenge to Brandon. I don’t think he will get knocked out in the first round. It will come down to who can find the finishing shot first.

Both these guys have tremendous knockout power – Brandon and Aung La have proven it several times. But the advantage Aung La has is that he can knock people out in the fifth round.

Vera’s strength is that he is the bigger man, which means he is going to pack the bigger punch. He is also likely to be able to take more damage than the opponents Aung La has faced in his career.

Don’t get me wrong – Aung La hits hard, but Vera is used to getting hit by heavyweight men. He also has a crazy chin, and he will be able to take a lot of punishment from Aung La before he goes down.

This match is going to be a war. If we see a finish, it will be somewhere after the third round.

These two men understand they have a lot of power, and they’re going to respect one another for that. They will throw in the first couple of rounds, but all that will only be to find a hole in the opponent’s game without getting hit by the other one.

It’s going to be a mind-blowing day of martial arts that will break records around the world. There are so many things that have never been done that ONE Championship will do on 13 October. I am elated to be a part of something so amazingly historic. No fan of martial arts will want to miss this event, I promise that.

Miesha Tate is the Vice President of ONE Championship. She is also a multi-time mixed martial arts World Champion, as well as a women’s mixed martial arts pioneer. Check back weekly for a new installment of “From The Mind Of Miesha Tate.”

Tokyo | CENTURY | ONE Championship’s 100th Live Event | Tickets: Purchase here

  • Watch PART I in USA on 12 October at 8pm EST and PART II on 13 October at 4am EST
  • Watch PART I in India on 13 October at 5:30am IST and PART II at 1:30pm IST
  • Watch PART I in Indonesia on 13 October at 7am WIB and PART II at 3pm WIB
  • Watch PART I in Singapore on 13 October at 8am SGT and PART II at 4pm SGT
  • Watch PART I in the Philippines on 13 October at 8am PHT and PART II at 4pm PHT
  • Watch PART I in Japan on 13 October at 9am JST and PART II at 5pm JST

ONE: CENTURY is the biggest World Championship martial arts event in history with 28 World Champions featured across various martial arts. No organization has ever promoted two full-scale World Championship events on the same day.

The Home Of Martial Arts will break new ground as it brings multiple World Title bouts, a trio of World Grand Prix Championship Finals, and several World Champion versus World Champion matches to the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on 13 October.