5 fights fans want to see at ONE 161: Moraes vs. Johnson II

Pictured from left to right: Ok Rae Yoon, Eddie Alvarez, Joshua Pacio. [Photos ONE Championship]
Pictured from left to right: Ok Rae Yoon, Eddie Alvarez, Joshua Pacio. [Photos ONE Championship]

The highly anticipated rematch between ONE flyweight world champion Adriano Moraes and Demetrious Johnson has been announced for ONE 161.

The blockbuster main event showdown at ONE 161 is another chance for Johnson to claim ONE Championship gold. At the same time, it’s an opportunity for Moraes to further establish his dominance.

Needless to say, there’s a lot on the line in this one.

But aside from this killer headliner, ONE Championship is sure to announce an exciting list of supporting bouts to supplement the ONE 161 card.

ONE 161: Moraes vs. Johnson II broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, August 26 on US primetime

Here are five fights fans want to see at ONE 161.

#5. Stamp Fairtex vs. Denice Zamboanga (ONE atomweight)

It’s a classic striker vs. grappler matchup that is sure to have repercussions in the women’s atomweight division.

Stamp Fairtex, the No.1 contender in the division vs. Denice Zamboanga, the No.3 contender, is sure to shake up their division, with the winner taking a massive step closer to a date with ONE women’s atomweight world champion Angela Lee.

Zamboanga, the former No.1 contender, wrestled her way to the top of the division with three straight wins at the start of her ONE Championship career. Her biggest victory, however, came when she defeated former title contender Mei Yamaguchi in February 2020.

Stamp, the former ONE atomweight kickboxing and Muay Thai world champion, already got a crack at Lee when she challenged the atomweight queen for the belt at ONE X. Despite the loss, Stamp looked to have Lee beaten in the first round.

The Thai superstar landed a vicious liver blow that had the champion reeling. Nevertheless, Stamp is still one of the biggest names in the organization and a fight against Zamboanga, who's another top contender, would be a huge deal, especially if it were to come at ONE 161.

#4. Eddie Alvarez vs. Shinya Aoki III (ONE lightweight)

Trilogy fights are not that uncommon in the realm of mixed martial arts, but a three-fight series across three organizations is practically unheard of.

Well, MMA legends Shinya Aoki and Eddie Alvarez could achieve that feat.

Aoki and Alvarez are 1-1 in their head-to-head matchups, with the Japanese submission specialist taking the first bout via first-round submission when they met in December 2008 in K-1.

Alvarez leveled the series after a first-round knockout win when they collided under the Bellator banner in April 2012.

Now that they’re both in ONE Championship, the multi-titled pair can have the rubber match in what could be a bout for the history books.

Aoki is a former ONE lightweight world champion who also won titles in DREAM and Shooto. Alvarez, meanwhile, is a former UFC and Bellator champion, and is the first and only man to hold titles in both organizations.

#3. Angela Lee vs. Xiong Jing Nan III (ONE atomweight/ONE women's strawweight)

The head-to-head between Angela Lee and Xiong Jing Nan might just be the most intriguing matchup in the promotion. Both are inaugural champions in their respective weight classes and both nearly became double champs during their historic fights.

Lee and Xiong are 1-1 in their head-to-head matches, with the two challenging each other for their respective world titles.

Xiong successfully defended her ONE women’s strawweight world title when she knocked out Lee in the fifth round of their first meeting in March 2019.

‘Unstoppable’ got to avenge her loss in October of the same year when she scored a last-gasp submission win in the fifth round to retain her ONE atomweight world title.

Since their titanic matches in 2019, both Lee and Xiong have called for a third fight and it’s also a bout the fans have been clamoring for. It would certainly be worthy of the grand stage of ONE 161.

Their rivalry also has the potential to get to a fourth, or maybe even a fifth bout, since Lee and Xiong have shown that they have no problems jumping to a different weight class when they challenge for another world title.

#2. Ok Rae Yoon vs. Christian Lee II (ONE lightweight)

Ok Rae Yoon snatched the ONE world lightweight title from Christian Lee when he took it in what was seen as a highly-controversial unanimous decision win in September 2021.

While it ended in a unanimous decision, a huge section of the viewing public believed Lee should’ve retained the belt. Lee used his grappling to great effect in the earlier rounds, but was visibly gassed in the latter part of the match.

Ok, meanwhile, maintained a consistent approach throughout the whole five-rounder.

Nevertheless, a storyline has already brewed since their first meeting and a rematch at ONE 161 would be a phenomenal episode for their respective careers.

Ok can cement his name as one of the best lightweights of his generation if he can beat Lee for the second time. The 31-year-old is 3-0 in the promotion and his list of victims includes the top of the division in Lee, Eddie Alvarez, and Marat Gafurov.

Lee, meanwhile, could avenge arguably the most painful loss of his career if he were to put away Ok in a potential rematch at ONE 161.

The 23-year-old could also further his legacy in the sport if he beats Ok. Already a seasoned veteran despite his young age, Lee has beaten top talents in Kotetsu Boku, Timofey Nastyukhin, and Shinya Aoki.

#1. Joshua Pacio vs. Jarred Brooks (ONE strawweight)

It’s the rivalry that has taken so many turns from hostile to wholesome and everything in between.

Jarred Brooks has been going at it with ONE strawweight world champion Joshua Pacio since he arrived at ONE Championship in late 2021. The outspoken grappler has used every taunt in the book to get under the skin of the Filipino champion and there were times when their feud has hit fever pitch.


Pacio, who’s always taken Brooks’ trash talk in stride, is the Philippines’ most dominant champion, having held the title for more than a thousand days across two reigns.

Brooks, meanwhile, is 3-0 in in the organization and looked nothing short of dominant in his victories.

A match between the two rivals at ONE 161 is sure to create shockwaves in the sport, with Brooks seen as the marauding outside force, while Pacio, despite being only 26 years old, is the longtime division king.

Both Pacio and Brooks (well, mostly Brooks) have cut their promos and all that’s left is the explosive title match between the two, which could come at ONE 161.

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Edited by Harvey Leonard
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