Biggest threats to the biggest stars At ONE: DAWN OF HEROES
Every ONE Championship athlete brings a set of weapons into each bout -- striking, grappling, strength, speed, confidence, or some combination of the traits. That being said, they also have to be aware of everything their foes bring into the ONE Circle.
Sometimes, the greatest threat to an athlete isn't even what their opponent can do, it's overlooking particular factors that could affect their performance.
Let’s list down the biggest stars and the most severe threats in their respective bouts at the ONE: DAWN OF HEROES card in Manila, the Philippines on 2 August.
Martin Nguyen -- Koyomi Matsushima's Striking
ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin Nguyen is a well-rounded athlete. A significant amount of his wins came by knockout. He has finished Marat Gafurov, Eduard Folayang and Narantungalag Jadambaa with dynamic strikes.
Nguyen has had many memorable KO finishes, something his opponents have to be wary of when they step into the cage with him. Nguyen, though, must also beware of the skills his opponent in Manila has.
Koyomi Matsushima is also a dangerous striker. In fact, he too owns a KO victory over Gafurov. If Nguyen isn't careful, he could be in trouble if he gets caught with the challenger’s strikes.
Eddie Alvarez -- Being Overconfident
Eddie Alvarez might have been a little overconfident against Timofey Nastyukhin in his ONE debut. The result? A first-round KO loss.
Alvarez wants to bounce back, but he’ll have to do it against the legendary Eduard Folayang in his second match with ONE Championship. Alvarez should make sure he doesn't take his opponent lightly.
Alvarez has been the bigger puncher throughout his career, but Folayang might actually be a bigger man across the shoulders and back, which was a factor in the bout against Nastyukhin. Alvarez must be at his best if he intends to chalk up his first win with ONE Championship.
Eduard Folayang -- Alvarez's Striking
The biggest hole in Folayang's game has always been his striking defense. He is susceptible to the big, one-strike KO throughout his career, and almost every one of his losses has come by stoppage due to strikes.
That happens to be Alvarez's preferred method of victory, but he also has a strong ground game. Folayang must be cautious of Alvarez's power shots and knees, which can be the difference makers.
Jonathan Haggerty -- A Letdown
After defeating an opponent as legendary as Sam-A Gaiyanghadao, it's easy to see Jonathan Haggerty heading into his bout with Rodtang Jitmuangnon a little less fired up, which could be a mistake.
An upset hangover is a potential pitfall in all sports, but it could be especially dangerous against Jitmuangnon, who is a dynamic and motivated striker who wants to dethrone Haggerty. If the champion isn't locked in mentally, he will soon become the former champion.
Demetrious Johnson -- Looking Past His Opponent
If we're being honest, it doesn't appear Demetrious Johnson will face any serious challengers in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix. Tatsumitsu Wada is next, and you better believe an upset win for Wada would be even more shocking than a win by Yuya Wakamatsu in the quarterfinals.
Assuming Johnson moves on, he could face Danny Kingad or Reece McLaren, which are two other opponents he'd most likely be favored to defeat. It all leads up to the potential matchup with champion Adriano Moraes.
Perhaps the only thing that can prevent Johnson and Moraes from clashing is if “Mighty Mouse” becomes careless. If he looks past his upcoming bout, Wada can take advantage.