5 ONE Championship Bouts We'd Love To See Happen In 2019
Through May, we've already seen several memorable ONE Championship matches, but with plenty of dates still left on the 2019 schedule, there is room for even more. The following five matches are bouts we'd love to see before the end of the year.
#1 Kiamrian Abbasov vs. Zebaztian Kadestam
Many believe that welterweight contender Kiamrian Abbasov has done enough to earn a shot at the ONE Welterweight World Championship.
The 25-year-old ran his professional record to 21-4 with a second-round TKO win over Yushin Okami at ONE: FOR HONOR back on 3 May. Okami arrived at ONE with some fanfare, but Abbasov proved immune.
The win was Abbasov’s third in a row and his second straight stoppage victory, and it seems like he is the most natural next opponent for the current champion Zebaztian Kadestam. The welterweight champion is coming off an impressive win over Georgy Kichigin at ONE: REIGN OF VALOR back in March.
While grappling is one of Abbasov's primary skills, he has repeatedly shown the ability to strike effectively in stand up exchanges. Most see that as a strength for Kadestam so it would be interesting to see where a match between the two would go.
#2 Joshua Pacio vs. Hayato Suzuki II
When Joshua Pacio dropped the ONE Strawweight World Championship to Yosuke Saruta at ONE: ETERNAL GLORY back in January, the Filipino star was initially supposed to face grappler Hayato Suzuki in a rematch.
An injury to Suzuki allowed Saruta the opportunity that he took full advantage of en route to the split decision victory. Pacio would win the rematch with Saruta definitively with a fourth-round head kick knockout at ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR just three months after losing the belt.
Suzuki however, holds a first-round submission victory over the reigning champion. The Japanese submission specialist defeated Pacio handily back in 2017, and that loss is one that the Filipino champion might want to avenge as well.