Following the blockbuster card in Jakarta, Indonesia on Saturday, 22 September, the next live event from ONE Championship in Bangkok, Thailand on 6 October is absolutely stacked with some of the biggest names in the forever-expanding landscape of martial arts.
Validating its billing as the world’s largest martial arts organization in the world today, ONE Championship will highlight the best and the brightest athletes from the most prominent combat sports from across the globe such as boxing, mixed martial arts, Muay Thai and kickboxing.
With 14 marquee matchups slated for the trip to the bustling city of Bangkok, here are the five compelling reasons to catch ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES live.
Thailand’s national hero faces Mexico’s best
For the first-time ever on the ONE Championship stage, two outstanding pugilists will duke it out for a coveted world championship in the talented 115-pound weight class.
This past July, ONE Championship made a blockbuster announcement of entering into the sport of boxing, forming a partnership with Nakornloung Promotion (NKL) to co-promote the next title defense of Thai superstar Srisaket Sor Rungvisai.
Sor Rungvisai puts his WBC Super Flyweight World Championship on the line against Mexican challenger Iran “MagnifKO” Diaz in the main event of ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES, which takes place at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
Sor Rungvisai is one of the most celebrated pugilists in Thailand’s history, winning the prestigious WBC Super Flyweight World Championship on two occasions. Holding a professional record of 46-4-1 with 41 knockouts, Sor Rungvisai is ranked No. 5 on the pound-for-pound best boxers list of Boxrec.com and No. 7 on The Ring Magazine’s rankings.
After regaining the WBC Super Flyweight World Championship in March 2017 and then successfully defending it two times, Sor Rungvisai will now defend his crown at ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES against Diaz.
“This is going to be a very exciting fight. See you all at the Impact Arena. I can’t wait to climb into the ring again and showcase my talent in front of the whole world,” Sor Rungvisai promised.
On the other hand, Diaz is one of the fastest rising talents in today’s boxing scene of Mexico, a country known for its passionate adulation for pugilism. With a boxing standing of 14-2-3 with six knockouts, Diaz’s most notable victories have come at the expense of dangerous former world champions Hernan “Tyson” Marquez and Luis Concepcion.
Looking to follow in the footsteps of Mexican boxing legends such as Ricardo Lopez, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez and Julio Cesar Chavez, Diaz seeks to accomplish the feat of becoming Mexico’s 187th world titleholder in boxing as he is slated to challenge Sor Rungvisai for the WBC Super Flyweight World Championship on 6 October.
“This is without a doubt the biggest fight in my time as a professional. I have a great team behind me helping me prepare for this. I am coming into the ring in the best shape of my life and I can’t wait to score this huge victory,” Diaz assured.
Hosting the first professional boxing bout in its seven-year history, ONE Championship has received the WBC’s endorsement for the usage of its five-rope ring, which was first unveiled at ONE: HEROES OF HONOR in Manila, Philippines last April. All bouts at ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES are expected to be held inside the ONE Championship ring, including matches that are officiated under mixed martial arts, Muay Thai and kickboxing rules.
Kai Ting Chuang defends ONE Super Series title for the first time
After pulling off a major upset victory over Yodcherry Sityodtong to capture the inaugural ONE Super Series Kickboxing Atomweight World Championship last July, Kai Ting “Killer Bee” Chuang makes her first defense as champion in the co-headliner of ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES.
Chuang is set to take on Thailand’s Stamp Fairtex, one of the most recent additions to the ONE Super Series female roster. Representing the world-renowned Fairtex gym in Thailand, Stamp is regarded one of the fastest rising talents in kickboxing, boasting an impressive record of 60-15-5 and a fan-friendly style in the ring.
Meanwhile, Chuang owns a stirring 17-5 professional record, holding victories over the likes of Yodcherry and multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Ayaka “Little Tiger” Miyauchi.
It is shaping up to be an amazing showdown between two young, talented women, and this bout will undoubtedly set the standard for women’s kickboxing in ONE Super Series and across the world.
Winner gets lightweight title shot
Two of the world’s top lightweights will collide in the ONE Championship ring as Japanese legend Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki battles Malaysia’s Ev “E.T.” Ting on the undercard of ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES.
Aoki has won his last two outings in ONE Championship, submitting Russia’s Rasul Yakhyaev in the first round last May before stopping Thailand’s Shannon Wiratchai two months later. On the other hand, Ting is riding high on a three-bout winning streak since falling short in his bid to become the division kingpin against then-champion Eduard Folayang in April 2017.
The winner of the epic encounter will get a crack at the prestigious ONE Lightweight World Championship, which is currently in the possession of two-division titleholder Martin Nguyen.
Kickboxing legends duke it out in ONE Super Series
ONE Super Series will roll out the red carpet for two kickboxing legends as Andy “The Destroyer” Souwer of the Netherlands squares off with Anthony “The Assassin” Njokuani of Nigeria. A former K1 World Max Champion, Souwer is known as an accomplished veteran of the sport, compiling an extensive professional record of 160-20-1.
Now ready to take his talents to the bright lights of ONE Championship, Souwer is set to make his ONE Super Series debut against Anthony Njokuani, who is also a grizzled trouper in kickboxing.
Other matches under the ONE Super Series include the three-round meeting between Nong-O Gaiyanghadao and Mehdi Zatout, the heavyweight scrap between Alain Ngalani and Andre Meunier, and the highly-anticipated bout between Petchmorrakot Wor. Sangprapai and Alaverdi Ramazanov.
Also expected to bring fireworks as part of the ONE Super Series lineup are Singtongnoi Por Telakun’s return to action against Masahide Kudo and the tussle between Petchdam Kaiyanghadao and Kenny Tse.
Signature mixed martial arts contests
Before enshrining itself as “The Home of Martial Arts,” ONE Championship started out as a mixed martial arts promotion in 2011. On 6 October, ONE Championship will also bring its signature brand of mixed martial arts to Bangkok, Thailand.
Thailand has always been a hotbed for martial arts in Southeast Asia as it is renowned for being the birthplace of Muay Thai.
The nation has famously produced some of the finest athletes in combat sports, but in recent years, a plethora of competitors have made the transition to ONE Championship and have experienced great success in mixed martial arts, including Rika Ishige.
Ishige is booked to dance with Myanmar’s Bozhena Antoniyar in a three-round atomweight showcase.
Also scheduled to compete is Brazilian bantamweight contender Leandro “Brodinho” Issa, who locks horns with top Tajikistani talent Muin Gafurov. Meanwhile, Japanese grappling wizard Hayato Suzuki tests his mettle with resurging strawweight Robin Catalan of the Philippines.
China’s Fu Chang Xin shares the ONE Championship ring with Rin Saroth of Cambodia, while Indonesia’s Dodi Mardian faces Ramon Gonzales of the Philippines.