ONE Championship is back at full strength with the stacked ONE: REVOLUTION event just around the corner.
The Asian martial arts organization is back to the format that fans love: live, full-length cards. With a host of thrilling fights and high stakes on offer, the upcoming card promises to be an absolute treat for fans of martial arts.
Here are five reasons fans should tune in to watch ONE: REVOLUTION on September 24, in what will undoubtedly be an action-packed event:
#5. Three world championship fights at ONE: REVOLUTION
ONE Championship didn’t just stack ONE: REVOLUTION; they filled it to the brim. With both lightweight and strawweight belts on the line, the stakes can’t get any higher. Additionally, the bantamweight kickboxing belt will be up for grabs, making for an outstanding championship fight triple-header.
In the main event, Christian Lee looks to defend his lightweight strap against South Korea’s Ok Rae Yoon. Should Lee secure a victory, he will have defeated every top-five contender in his division. Conversely, should Rae Yoon defeat Lee, it would represent one of the biggest upsets in the promotion's history. Regardless of the result, action is guaranteed.
The co-main event features a striking fan’s delight. ONE bantamweight kickboxing world champion Capitan Petchyindee Academy goes up against French-Algerian former WBC Muay Thai world champion Mehdi Zatout. Capitan will look to make his initial title defense, while Zatout will look to extend his winning streak en route to capturing gold. This bout features the cream of the crop when it comes to technically sound striking.
But first, we have a trilogy match with a lot more than just bragging rights on the line. ONE strawweight world champion Joshua Pacio will look to settle the score in a rubber match against Japanese rival Yosuke Saruta. In their initial meeting, Saruta edged out Pacio on the scorecards to earn a split decision victory. Pacio left no doubt in the sequel, leaving Saruta facedown in the circle in a devastating KO. The third and perhaps final bout will determine the superior combatant as well as the rightful ruler of the strawweight kingdom.
#4. Christian and Victoria Lee in action
Two Lee siblings will be stepping into the circle at ONE: Revolution. The lightweight champion Christian will attempt to defend his title and extend his ironclad reign over the division in the evening’s main event. His opponent, Ok Rae Yoon, is the No.3-ranked lightweight and the only man Christian hasn’t beaten in the top five.
If Lee beats Rae Yoon, which many predict, virtually no one is left to challenge him. It opens up the door for former UFC champion Eddie Alvarez to potentially challenge for the title. However, Christian Lee has stated that 'The Underground King' needs to win some fights first.
Victoria, the 17-year-old phenom, will try to remain perfect as a professional in her third fight, as she sees a step-up in competition against Victoria Souza. Souza went 5-0 on the Brazilian regional scene to earn a shot with ONE. Victoria has shown shades of her older sister, atomweight queen Angela, in two fights with ONE so far. The ceiling is certainly very high for the impressive teenager.
#3. Heavyweight title eliminator
The world loves heavyweight combat sports action; after all, who doesn’t like to see two titans go at it with lots on the line? Iranian wrestler Amir Aliakbari takes on undefeated Russian bruiser Anatoly Malykhin. The contest will most likely determine the next challenger for Arjan Bhullar’s ONE heavyweight world championship.
As if 500 pounds of aggression meeting in the middle of the circle isn’t enough, these two heavyweight standouts simply do not like each other. Malykhin was seen laughing at Aliakbari following his knockout loss, causing the latter to seek revenge. The matchup will represent the future of the division, launching one athlete to the top and sending the other down a peg.
Needless to say, when two giants with powerful abilities meet with bad intentions, there's a lot to look forward to for combat sports enthusiasts.
#2. Featherweight title eliminator
For those who may have lost track, ONE: REVOLUTION features three title bouts and two title eliminators.
In the featherweight division, former ONE featherweight world champion and current No.1-ranked featherweight Martin Nguyen looks to earn a chance at reclaiming gold. He will be opposed by No.5-ranked Kim Jae Woong, who has been clamoring for a fight with the former champ. Woong recently trained at California’s renowned gym Team Alpha Male in preparation for this fight.
Kim Jae Woong has been working with the likes of former WEC champion Urijah Faber, former UFC champion Cody Garbrandt and top UFC contender Song Yadong. The winner of this bout will move up to the challenge for the ONE featherweight world title.
Given the speed and ability of both these powerhouse contenders, this fight has all the makings for a barnburner. Keep your eyes peeled, and don't blink.
#1. BJJ legend makes his MMA debut
The time has finally arrived. Marcus 'Buchecha' Almeida - arguably one of the greatest Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners of all time - makes his long-awaited MMA debut.
With 17 BJJ world championships to his credit, 'Buchecha' instantly became the best grappler in ONE Championship upon signing with the organization. He holds a grappling record of 128-13-1, which translates to a winning rate of over 90 percent.
The Brazilian athlete will make his debut in the heavyweight division, opposite his fellow countryman Anderson 'Braddock' Silva, who is dangerous in his own right. Silva holds the title of Brazilian national kickboxing champion. Almeida’s debut is one of the most anticipated in the entire sport, bringing an entirely new level of grappling to the heavyweight stable.