Opinion

Rich Franklin Analyzes The ONE Light Heavyweight World Title Bout In Japan

Oct 9, 2019

ONE: CENTURY is an absolutely stacked card.

It’s hard to even pick out a favorite match-up because of the abundance of talent that is set to compete in Tokyo, Japan on 13 October.

Aung La N Sang will defend his ONE Light Heavyweight World Title against Brandon Vera. This is a huge match, and I mean that both physically and metaphorically.

These are both big men, and their bout also happens to be the headline act for ONE: CENTURY PART II, so let’s talk a little bit about this particular match.

Brandon will move down a weight class for this contest. We all know he is a big guy, but keep in mind Brandon initially started his career at a much lighter weight.

Having some history in light heavyweight does confer some advantages. Brandon knows what it feels like to compete with some gas in the tank, coupled with the fact that coming down a division will strip the weight off him. With that in mind, I don’t see cardio or conditioning being much of an issue for him.

Brandon has been posting some updates on social media recently, and he is looking quite trim and smaller than he was a year ago. That’s going to make a big difference.

I think for these two big guys, you may see a match where this goes into the later rounds. It will be interesting to see if the muscle memory of being lighter and being able to sustain longer rounds will be effective for Brandon.

brandon vera one heavyweight world champion

It is also important to note that Aung La has been performing consistently for the last several years at light heavyweight, unlike Brandon who is just now revisiting this weight class. In theory, it seems like Aung La should have the advantage on this front with the experience at light heavyweight.

Both competitors are actually pretty similar in terms of power, and they are fairly even in both the stand-up and ground game, which makes for a really intriguing match-up.

Brandon normally scores the quick finish, but I think part of that is because most of his opponents are bigger guys, and most heavyweights aren’t exactly known for their stamina. Like I mentioned earlier, I believe Brandon coming down in size is going to even the playing field further in the conditioning department.

Anyone who has seen these two guys in action will know they are both phenomenally durable athletes who can take punishment in the ring. They are equally well trained in jiu-jitsu, although Brandon might be better with his wrestling technique.

However, even if he does get Aung La on the ground, it won’t be an easy submission. Brandon will have his work cut out for him.

Aung La N Sang

I think what we’ll likely see is two bigger light heavyweights pushing a pretty decent pace for their size, but at the same time attempting to figure each other out while trying not to commit any unforced errors.

At this size, I’m not just talking about getting caught by a punch, but mistakes like these can actually cost you the match.

There is no doubt this will be an entertaining contest, and it boils down to the first competitor who has his opponent figured out. That will be the deciding factor.

I have confidence these two guys will put on a main event worthy performance for our fans, and I hope everyone enjoys this fantastic card.

Rich Franklin is a ONE Championship Vice President and the CEO of ONE Warrior Series. He is also a multi-time mixed martial arts World Champion. All opinions are his own.

Read more: Rich Franklin’s 3 Fondest Memories Of Japan

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.