#2. ONE Championship double champ Reinier de Ridder will become the first triple-weight champion in MMA history
ONE Championship's only double champ Reinier 'The Dutch Knight' de Ridder might achieve the unachievable by winning a third belt in 2022.
At the moment, MMA hasn't seen a triple-champ yet and 'The Dutch Knight' might become the first. The undefeated middleweight and light heavyweight champion has repeatedly expressed his aspirations of conquering another weight class in ONE.
The only question is, which weight class will it be? It's either welterweight or heavyweight. If de Ridder chooses welterweight, that's 185 pounds. If heavyweight, that's a whopping 265-pound weight limit.
Looking closely at the weight classes, de Ridder currently rules ONE's 205 and 225-pound weight divisions. Earning his place on the welterweight throne would mean 'The Dutch Knight' will be a champion in weight classes across 40 pounds. If he decides to go heavyweight, that's a mind-blowing 60 pounds.
To put this in perspective, boxing's record for most weight class titles belongs to Manny Pacquiao, who has eight. That's from weight classes between 112 pounds and 154 pounds; a 42-pound difference.
What de Ridder is looking to accomplish is nothing short of historic and if he is successful, it may never be done again. Something tells us that he might just do it in 2022.
#1. ONE Championship will have its first major event on US soil
In 2021, ONE Championship broke new ground with its TV deal with American television network TNT. On April 7, ONE debuted on US TV with ONE on TNT.
The show made waves across the combat sports world. One of the highlights of the event saw former UFC champion and MMA great Demetrious Johnson get knocked out by ONE flyweight king Adriano Moraes.
The show has sprung three more events and is not looking to stop any time soon. More and more ONE Championship is entering the American mainstream media and is garnering more fans from the west.
With its partnership with RUF Nation, an Arizona-based MMA promotion, ONE Championship has been garnering fans from the US through small shows. Add this to the TNT deal and we might see a resurgence of Asian MMA in the US.
In 2006, Japanese MMA giant Pride Fighting Championship tried to break through the US market with Pride 32 and 33 but ultimately closed its operations a year later.
ONE Championship might try to outdo its Asian MMA forefather and conduct its first show on US soil in 2022. It already has a following in the US anyway. With most states in America open to live shows and gatherings, this is not far from being possible.