4 Bouts Malaysians Must Watch At ONE: ETERNAL GLORY
ONE Championship will kick off another promising year with a bang at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia on Saturday, 19 January.
The promotion’s first event of 2019, ONE: ETERNAL GLORY, is set to feature 14 world-class bouts between some of the organization’s finest martial artists.
Nine Indonesian athletes will seek to maintain yet another winning start for their contingent, while Malaysia’s very own AJ “Pyro” Lias Mansor is set to make his return to the ONE cage.
Here are four bouts Malaysians must watch at ONE: ETERNAL GLORY.
#1 Joshua Pacio VS Yosuke Saruta
ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio (13-2) will make his first title defense against Japan’s Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta (18-8-3) in the main event.
The 23-year-old Team Lakay sensation is on a four-match win streak, and he ended 2018 by avenging his previous loss to Yoshitaka Naito to claim the gold.
Saruta, a former Shooto Strawweight World Champion, has dominated the Japanese scene for years. That momentum carried over to ONE when he made his debut in Kuala Lumpur last month, registering a victory over former titleholder Alex Silva.
The thrilling encounter could go either way, but Saruta must be very wary of Pacio’s ability on the ground.
#2 Christian Lee VS Edward Kelly
Keep your eyes locked on this featherweight encounter, as Christian “The Warrior” Lee and Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly touch gloves for the second time in less than four months.
The 20-year-old Singaporean dominated the last match before being disqualified for an illegal suplex. He came back stronger two months later, however, as he recorded another sensational knockout – his career sixth – against Kazuki Tokudome at ONE: HEART OF THE LION.
Kelly should come out with a better game plan if he wants to avoid a similar fate in his last match against a very explosive Lee, who confessed he cannot wait for this rematch.
#3 Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol VS Puja Tomar
Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol was ONE’s most active athlete in 2018. She competed six times and recorded five victories.
The Jakarta-based hero will fancy her chances against India’s Puja Tomar, as she possesses a huge reach advantage and always brings a well-planned strategy into every contest.
“Thathie” has improved dramatically since her defeat to Malaysia’s Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan, while Tomar has yet to feature since her triangle-choke submission loss at the hands of the same athlete in March 2018.
Will it be a sixth career victory for the Indonesian? Or will Tomar upset the home favorite?
#4 Yohan Mulia Legowo VS AJ Lias Mansor
Of course, the bout Malaysians will have their eyes locked on will feature their national hero AJ “Pyro” Lias Mansor. He makes his return to the ONE cage for the first time in two years.
The Borneo Tribal Squad athlete is not getting any younger at 43 years old, but he will fancy his chances against Indonesia’s Yohan “The Iceman” Mulia Legowo.
It has been quite a journey for Mansor these past couple of months. He went from a life-saving surgery to training camp in a matter of weeks.
He has not shown any signs of slowing down, and Malaysia is guaranteed to be behind him as he seeks yet another victory in his career.