5 reasons to watch ONE Fight Night 18: Gasanov vs. Oh

Shamil Gasanov (left) and Oh Ho Taek (right).
Shamil Gasanov (left) and Oh Ho Taek (right).

ONE Championship isn’t easing into the new year, with the promotion immediately starting in 2024 with a banger card at ONE Fight Night 18.

This Friday’s card goes down at the historic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, and several fights have the potential to shake up the rankings or even produce potential world title challengers.

ONE Fight Night 18 is ONE Championship’s first Amazon card of the year and is also the first ONE Fight Night card that will be broadcast live on Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.

Before ONE Fight Night 18 streams live and for free on Prime Video in North America, Sportskeeda MMA’s ONE Championship team looks at why the entire card could change the promotion’s landscape heading into 2024.

#5. Muay Thai bouts that could shake up whole divisions

Since the event’s taking place at Muay Thai’s home palace Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, it’s only fitting that the sport takes massive importance in the card.

There are three Muay Thai bouts scheduled for the event, and two of those bouts will be under the watchful eye of ONE lightweight Muay Thai and kickboxing world champion Regian Eersel.

British striker Liam Nolan will look to continue his ascent up the lightweight hierarchy when he takes on Russian brawler Ali Aliev.

Nolan is coming off a huge upset win over Eddie Abasolo at ONE on Prime Video 4, while Aliev will try to make his mark on the global stage in his ONE Championship debut.

Another lightweight Muay Thai contest features Thailand’s Rungrawee Sitsongpeenong against Shakir Al-Tekreeti. Not only will this fight produce a potential world title contender, but it also brings with it a layer of drama.

Al-Tekreeti will try to avenge his older brother Mustafa, whom Rungrawee beat via unanimous decision at ONE Friday Fights 3.

Bantamweight Muay Thai also takes the co-main event spot when Thai star Suablack Tor Pran49 faces Irish striker Stefan Korodi. Suablack exclusively fought under the ONE Friday Fights series, and he’ll try to take his fifth straight win under the ONE banner when he makes his Amazon debut.

#4. The entire ONE Fight Night 18 card is available live and for free on Prime Video

Amazon is practically part of anyone’s daily life in North America, and that extends to its streaming service Prime Video.

Since ONE Championship and Amazon entered a partnership in 2022, the two massive entities have experienced rapid growth in their respective fields.

ONE Fight Night 18 is no different from all the Amazon cards. The entire event is available live and for free to all Prime Video subscribers in the United States and Canada.

All the viewer has to do is click or press that button and enjoy premier martial arts action without any additional or hidden fees.

#3. Bantamweight MMA gets the limelight

The bantamweight division is easily one of the most exciting weight classes in ONE Championship, regardless of discipline.

Bantamweight fights under Muay Thai, kickboxing, and MMA rulesets will always deliver some of the greatest action inside the ONE circle, but MMA will take the spotlight at ONE Fight Night 18.

Of the nine fights on Friday, three are part pf MMA’s 145-pound division.

Mark Abelardo, easily one of the most electrifying fighters in the promotion, will welcome Russian prospect Ibragim Dauev in the card’s opener.

Several fights up the card, No.4-ranked contender Artem Belakh takes on Mongolian warrior Enkh-Orgil Baatarkhuu, who’s a perfect 3-0 in ONE Championship.

Rounding out the triumvirate of bantamweight MMA contests is the pivotal showdown between Kwon Won Il and Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg.

Kwon is the No.3-ranked contender, and a win over Zoltsetseg could potentially set him up for a shot at ONE bantamweight MMA world champion Fabricio Andrade.

#2. Top-class featherweights clash in the headliner

This match could very well dictate the rankings of ONE Championship’s volatile featherweight MMA division.

Shamil Gasanov is currently sat fourth in the division, while Oh Ho Taek will try to usurp his spot on the ladder if he gets the job done at ONE Fight Night 18’s headliner.

The featherweight MMA division is at a crossroads, especially with four of its best fighters competing at ONE 165 and ONE 166.

Garry Tonon, the No.1-ranked contender, will face former ONE featherweight and lightweight world champion Martin Nguyen, the No.3-ranked contender, at ONE 165 on January 28 at Tokyo’s Ariake Arena.

ONE featherweight MMA world champion Tang Kai and interim world titleholder Thanh Le, meanwhile, are set to collide in a world title unification match at ONE 166: Qatar on March 1 at Lusail Sports Arena.

With such activity at the top of the table, it would be crucial for Oh or Gasanov to capitalize on ONE Fight Night 18’s main event and secure his spot as the potential world title challenger.

#1. Renewed focus on MMA

ONE Championship spent much of 2023 with a heavy focus on Muay Thai, which triggered a massive surge in the sport’s popularity on the global level.

This time, however, MMA will be back in full force.

ONE Fight Night 18 will feature five MMA bouts, and each match has the potential to become an absolute barnburner that’s worthy of Lumpinee’s prestige and mystique.

Established stars, surging contenders, and bright prospects will all look to elevate their stock in ONE Championship’s stacked roster. Whoever gets their hands raised this Friday, will move closer to that career-defining opportunity of contending for a ONE world title.

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Edited by Harvey Leonard