A Complete Guide to ONE Championship: Century – Part 1

ONE Championship: Century
Xiong Jing Nan (left) and Angela Lee faceoff ahead of ONE Championship: A New Era in March of 2019. The two will rematch for the atomweight title at ONE Championship: Century taking place Sunday, October 13th from the Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan (photo credits to ONE Championship)

We are now just a month away from ONE Championship: Century, the Singapore-based promotion’s historic 100th event to date since its formation in the summer of 2011. With over eight years of competition under its belt, ONE Championship has already grown to become Asia’s largest sports media property with tens of millions of viewers worldwide. Hosting various forms of combat including mixed martial arts, kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Lethwei, the promotion and its 550+ roster look to continue its rapid expansion.

ONE Championship: Century hopes to play a part in the organization’s growth with a celebration of high-caliber and thrilling match-ups. The day of fights will take place next month on Sunday, October 13th from the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan. On top of making this special event an incredible experience, two separate fight cards will take place on the very same day at the very same venue.

Part One,’ as coined by he promotion, will consist of 11 total bouts available on TNT beginning at 8:00pm ET (5:00pm PT) Saturday evening in the United States.

Part Two‘ will also host 11 bouts at 4:00am (1:00am PT) ET following the first card with broadcasting available to 140+ countries around the world. Bleacher Report will have free streaming available on their app for both Apple and Samsung devices.

We now shall take a dive into each separate match-up taking place at ‘Part One.’ This guide will give a breakdown of each fighter competing and a brief history of their successes in combat sports. Statistics provided for the athletes below have been collected from ONE Championship, Sherdog, and Tapology. All images below have their respected sources at the very bottom of this article. Do note that the listed fights are scheduled as of September 13th and could change within the coming month.

Stay tuned to MMASucka.com for ‘Part Two’ which will be available to read next Friday, September 20th featuring an equally-stacked line-up including four world championship title fights.

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Bout 1 – Catchweight – MMA

Sunoto Peringkat

Won IL Kwon

🇮🇩 Indonesia 🇮🇩 REPRESENTING 🇰🇷 South Korea 🇰🇷
11-6 RECORD 7-2
2 KO/TKO, 4 SUB FINISHES 5 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
•IndoGym
•Team Phantom MMA
AFFILIATION •Extreme Combat
•Top Gym BF

The very first fight of ‘Part One’ sees Indonesia’s Sunoto Peringkat taking on South Korea’s Won IL Kwon at a catchweight of 150 pounds (68 kilograms).

This will be Sunoto Peringkat’s 16th consecutive appearance with ONE Championship, his time with the promotion beginning over four years ago. After some inconsistency early on into his professional career, he found success from 2017 to 2018 scoring five victories with only a single loss. His biggest win to date fell mid-way into this year where he scored a decision over the seven-fight run of newcomer Paul Lumihi. In Peringkat’s most recent fight, however, he would see a sixth defeat to young Muhammad Aiman. The Sambo-experienced and Japanese Jiu-Jitsu brown belt looks to get back in the win column and make a run through the bantamweight ranks.

His opponent, “Pretty Boy” Won IL Kwon, had an incredible start to his mixed martial arts career. Four straight first-round finishes and a split decision victory over veteran Toshihiro Shimizu led to his signing with ONE at the beginning of 2019. His debut fight against Anthony Engelen lasted only 67 seconds, Kwon finishing his foe with a straight right earning his first success with the promotion. A month later saw his first MMA loss to legend Masakazu Imanari, but a momentary rebound in April would follow with a lightning-fast 19-second knockout over Eric Kelly. A second defeat would unfortunately come in June, suffering a decision loss to Koyomi Matsushima. Now, just four months later, Kwon is already set for his fifth fight of the calendar year and in search of promotional victory number three.

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Bout 2 – Featherweight – MMA

Phoe Thaw

ONE Championship: Century

Chang Min Yoon

ONE Championship: Century

🇲🇲 Myanmar 🇲🇲 REPRESENTING 🇰🇷 South Korea 🇰🇷
8-1 RECORD 2-1
7 KO/TKO FINISHES 1 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
•Team PT
•Fight for Good
AFFILIATION •Team MAD

Up next we move up five pounds to the featherweight division (155 pounds, 70.3 kilograms) as Phoe Thaw faces Chang Min Yoon. BJPenn’s Tom Taylor mentions how this undercard fight is “must-watch TV,” both men looking to steal the entire show.

Myanmar’s Phoe Thaw had a late start to his MMA journey, but it has not halted his success. From his first fight to now (all taking place under ONE) he has scored eight victories with a knockout finishing rate of 87.5%. Two victories on October 7th of 2016 saw him capture the Myanmar featherweight championship, spending only three minutes and 45 seconds total inside the cage. A lone blemish in 2018 sits as his only professional defeat where he suffered a first-round guillotine loss to Keanu Subba. 34-year-old Thaw will look to add another knockout or a potential first career submission to his resume.

A newer addition to ONE’s roster comes with Chang Min Yoon. He trains out of Team MAD located in Busan alongside fan-favorite notables Dong Hyun Kim, Seo Hee Ham, Kyung Ho Kang, and Doo Ho Choi. As an amateur, Min Yoon captured four straight decisions with Road FC before switching over to the professional scene. After four years of inactivity from competition, a knockout loss would come in his first pro-MMA fight. Despite this, he would sign with ONE at the beginning of 2019. A rear-naked choke in March and a knockout in June have now propelled “The Big Heart” to the hardest test of his career at the biggest event in history.

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Bout 3 – Strawweight – MMA

Senzo Ikeda

ONE Championship: Century

Lito Adiwang

ONE Championship: Century

🇯🇵 Japan 🇯🇵 REPRESENTING 🇵🇭 Philippines 🇵🇭
12-7-1 RECORD 9-2
2 KO/TKO, 2 SUB FINISHES 5 KO/TKO, 3 SUB
•The Paraestra Matsudo AFFILIATION •Team Lakay

Our third match-up drops to 125 pounds (56.7 kilograms) between Senzo Ikeda and Lito Adiwang, an experienced talent versus a future Filipino star.

Senzo Ikeda is in search of his first victory with ONE Championship. He captured the Pancrase flyweight championship in February last year, finishing soon-to-be mentioned Yuya Wakamatsu by knockout in the fifth. The win came in his 15th fight with Pancrase, his first ever claiming of a title. A sensational and memorable battle it was, as Ikeda would sign with the promotion at 2019’s beginning. His debut fight came in February to Danny Kingad, yet despite coming up short in a decision, the former undefeated boxer remains a serious threat to anyone competing at strawweight.

Lito Adiwang comes into this fight as a hot prospect on the rise. Following three dominant performances under ONE Warrior Series, the most recent of those coming in August, Adiwang was awarded an official contract with ONE Championship. CEO of ONE Warrior Series Rich Franklin sees sublime potential in the 26-year-old, telling the strawweight division to “take note of this guy because he’s coming to shake things up!” Trained out of a stellar camp in Team Lakay, Adiwang is ready to make a statement come October. Can he defeat the likes of Pancrase title holder Ikeda? We will soon find out.

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Bout 4 – Atomweight – MMA

Itsuki Hirata

ONE Championship: Century

Rika Ishige

ONE Championship: Century

🇯🇵 Japan 🇯🇵 REPRESENTING 🇹🇭 Thailand 🇹🇭
4-0 RECORD 4-3
4 SUB FINISHES 2 KO/TKO, 2 SUB
•K-Clann AFFILIATION •Tiger Muay Thai
•Bangkok Fight Lab

An intriguing clash of atomweights (115 pounds, 52.2 kilograms) comes in fight four between finishers Itsuki Hirata of Tokyo and Rika Ishige of Bangkok. MMASucka founder Jeremy Brand gives warning that “if you think this fight stays on the feet or hits the judges scorecards, you will likely be mistaken. Expect a submission and expect that in the very first round.”

Within a 12-month span, 20-year-old Itsuki Hirata has gone from competing as an amateur to earning four straight professional victories. The first of her three fights came at Fighting Agent War: Season 3, a tournament hosted by Japanese streaming service AbemaTV. Hirata put each opponent on the mat, submitting all three within ten minutes each. Her ONE debut came in June, finishing Angelie Sabanal with another submission. She hopes to further utilize her Judo, slick ground game, and evolving mixed martial arts form in her second ONE outing.

Rika Ishige is set to make her eighth ONE Championship appearance. Following a childhood of bullying, martial arts entered her life which she has since fallen in love with. Ishige’s popularity grew to incredible amounts following her first victory in Bangkok two years ago over Audreylaura Boniface. Her last six have seen the alternation of wins and defeats, lastly dropping a decision to newcomer Nou Srey Pov in February. “Although being paired with a submission ace,” Brand adds, “this will not be unfamiliar territory for Ishige as she also has made work of her opponents on the canvas in all four of her victories.” Training out of the prestigious Tiger Muay Thai camp, the possibilities for Ishige are full as the atomweight star will attempt to keep her 100% finishing rate intact. Be sure to watch for her entertaining walkout!

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Bout 5 – Welterweight – MMA

Yushin Okami

ONE Championship: Century

Agilan Thani

ONE Championship: Century

🇯🇵 Japan 🇯🇵 REPRESENTING 🇲🇾 Malaysia 🇲🇾
35-14 RECORD 10-3
14 KO/TKO, 3 SUB FINISHES 3 KO/TKO, 5 SUB
•EX Fight AFFILIATION •Monarchy MMA

A name familiar to most, Yushin Okami will make his third ONE Championship appearance against Malaysia’s Agilan Thani at 185 pounds (83.9 kilograms).

49-fight veteran Yushin Okami looks to snap a three-fight losing skid. Okami made his UFC debut in 2006, a stint lasting until his questionable release in 2013. Despite coming up short in his lone title shot to all-time great Anderson Silva, the Judo black belt defeated many incredible UFC fighters including notables Alan Belcher twice, Evan Tanner, Dean Lister, Nate Marquardt, and Hector Lombard. A victory over Silva did come before that title shot, though coming following an illegal up-kick from the Brazilian. After brief appearances in WSOF/PFL, as well as a short UFC return, “Thunder” would joint ONE’s welterweight roster earlier this year. A victory would be special for Okami as he looks to have a hand raised in his home-country of Japan, a feat he has not accomplished in over three years.

Agilan Thani is set to represent Kuala Lumpur’s Monarchy MMA. Six straight finishes propelled “The Alligator” to his first and only-to-date title shot against former ONE welterweight champion, Ben Askren. A first-round submission loss handed Thani his first professional defeat, two more losses coming later in 2018 to now middleweight title holder Zebaztian Kadestam and top competitor Kiamrian Abbasov. His last appearance inside the cage came three months ago, finding triumph over Judoka master and veteran Yoshihiro Akiyama. A few more victories for Thani would show the world he still has what it takes to become ONE’s first-ever Malaysian champ.

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Bout 6 – Strawweight – Muay Thai

Sam-A Gaiyanghadao

ONE Championship: Century

Daren Rolland

ONE Championship: Century

🇹🇭 Thailand 🇹🇭 REPRESENTING 🇫🇷 France 🇫🇷
366-47-9 RECORD N/A
N/A FINISHES N/A
•Evolve MMA AFFILIATION •Team El Quandili

One of three Muay Thai fights taking place October 13th includes star Sam-A Gaiyanghadao versus newcomer Daren Rolland at 125 pounds (56.7 kilograms).

Since his professional combat beginnings in 2003, Thailand’s Sam-A Gaiyanghadao has grown to become one of the greatest Muay Thai fighters in the world. He has captured numerous and various weight-class titles throughout his 420+ fight career. Sam-A would compete in the first ever ONE Championship Muay Thai fight in January of 2018, defeating Italy’s Joseph Lasiri by knockout. His second ONE match saw him capture the 135-pound strap over Sergio Wielzen becoming the promotion’s first ever champion at flyweight. Unfortunately, his attempt at defending the title went in the hand’s of Britain’s Jonathan Haggerty last May suffering a decision loss. Sam-A hopes to get the Tokyo crowd behind him in search of his 367th win.

Daren Rolland out of France is set to make his first appearance with ONE. He trains under the likes of coach Abel El Quandili, a former multi-time world champion kickboxer from France. Rolland currently holds the WBC Muay Thai featherweight championship, having captured the belt in August with an upset knockout win over top-ranked Spaniard Carlos Coello Canales. His 21st birthday will come just two weeks before his debut in Japan; the young athlete hopes for a late birthday present victory over one of Muay Thai’s greats. What an incredible upset this could be if Rolland pulls it off.

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Bout 7 – Flyweight – MMA

Yuya Wakamatsu

ONE Championship: Century

Dae Hwan Kim

ONE Championship: Century

🇯🇵 Japan 🇯🇵 REPRESENTING 🇰🇷 South Korea 🇰🇷
11-4 RECORD 15-5-1
10 KO/TKO FINISHES 4 KO/TKO, 6 SUB
•Tribe Tokyo MMA AFFILIATION •Ryeong Promotion
•KukJe Gym

Sensational athletes Yuya Wakamatsu and Dae Hwan Kim will scrap at 135 pounds (61.2 kilograms) in fight seven of ‘Part One.’ BJPenn’s Tom Taylor shares: “I’m really excited for this upcoming appearance of Wakamatsu, a protégé of Ryo Chonan, who is fighting Hwan Kim. Wakamatsu looked great against Demetrious Johnson in March, and even better when he nuked the former chap Geje Eustaquio this summer.”

Yuya Wakamatsu has had built quite the impressive resume for a 24-year-old. His nickname “Little Piranha” suits him very well, having finished ten of his eleven victories by knockout. In only his sixth mixed martial arts fight, he became a Pancrase flyweight tournament champion. As briefly mentioned earlier this read, Wakamatsu came up short in a thrilling Pancrase title fight to Senzo Ikeda last year. Upon joining ONE Championship, he would face two straight defeats to now-Flyweight Grand Prix finalists (Kingad and the previously-mentioned Johnson, both to discuss shortly set in our co-main event slot). Though a solid recovery would come not long after, last month knocking out former interim ONE bantamweight champion Geje Eustaquio. Even with a 2-3 record since February of 2018, a couple more victories would likely see Wakamatsu back in the title picture.

Dae Hwan Kim had an incredible start to his mixed martial arts career. The decorated taekwondo jin and multi-combat national champion defeated eight opponents in a row before signing with ONE Championship in late 2013. Two victories with ONE including a first-round submission over Kevin Bellingon propelled the South Korean to a title shot against Bibiano Fernandes. This fight would come as his first professional loss inside the cage, Fernandes victorious with a second-round rear-naked choke. Since this fault in 2014, Hwan Kim has compiled a 5-4 record including a May knockout over Jumayi Ayideng. Through training with his team and older brother, the retired Dae Ryeong Kim, ‘Ottogi’ hopes to rise back up the flyweight division while in search of an eleventh stoppage.

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Bout 8 – Atomweight – Muay Thai

Janet Todd

ONE Championship: Century

Ekaterina Vandaryeva

ONE Championship: Century

🇺🇸 United States 🇺🇸 REPRESENTING 🇧🇾 Belarus 🇧🇾
34-11 RECORD N/A
N/A FINISHES N/A
•Boxing Works AFFILIATION •Kick Fighter Gym

The second of three Muay Thai fights at ONE Championship: Century features Janet Todd and Ekaterina Vandaryeva at 115 pounds (52.2 kilograms).

Hermosa Beach, California’s Janet Todd has found tremendous success throughout her career. She has captured 13 Muay Thai titles since 2013 including two IMFA Pan American Championship bronze medals and the WBC Muay Thai Tournament Championship in 2017. Upon her ONE Championship debut, she suffered a decision loss in a tough battle against the youthful and dangerous Stamp Fairtex. Despite coming up short in this inaugural ONE atomweight Muay Thai title fight, she would rebound with back-to-back victories in May and July. Todd hopes to make a statement as she represents the progressively growing form of combat in the United States.

Ekaterina Vandaryeva poses as a tough test for anyone that steps inside her opposite corner. After participating in an array of athletics during childhood, she would switch over to the combat scene in 2007. Finding a niche came quickly through practice and competition alongside the likes of her coaches, multi-time Belarusian Muay Thai champions Andrei Kulebin and Andrei Kotsur. It took little time for Vandaryeva to execute her artistry, capturing many world championship titles and medals in a few short years. Vandaryeva’s most notable victory to date fell in 2011, taking a debatable majority decision over future UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. We have yet to see her compete since 2016, a year in which she defeated three straight opponents under the Kunlun Fight banner. Will she find claim further triumph in her return to action and promotional debut?

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Bout 9 – Lightweight – MMA
World Grand Prix Championship Finals

Eddie Alvarez

Eddie Alvarez

Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev

Saygid Gusyen Arslanaliev

🇺🇸 United States 🇺🇸 REPRESENTING 🇹🇷 Turkey 🇹🇷
30-7, 1 NC RECORD 8-1
17 KO/TKO, 7 SUB FINISHES 6 KO/TKO, 2 SUB
•Ricardo Almeida BJJ AFFILIATION •Corvos Combat

The ninth outing of the night sees Eddie Alvarez and Saygid Gusyen Arslanaliev ready for war in the ONE Lightweight Grand Prix finals (170 pounds, 77.1 kilograms). The Body Lock’s Mike Skytte shared that aside from Alvarez’s fantastic history resume, “people aren’t aware of how ridiculously good Saygid is.” BJPenn’s Tom Taylor furthers this with his excitement for the battle, “but perhaps not for the reason you’d think. I’m legitimately curious to see how Alvarez will attempt to deal with Dagi (Arslanaliev). I see Alvarez as a real underdog in this one.” A long-time, fan-favorite veteran taking on an all-around decorated finisher makes this showdown all-the-more fascinating. The winner will be next to take on current ONE lightweight champion Christian Lee.

Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez will go down as one of the greatest lightweights in MMA history. The former Bellator and UFC lightweight champion has amassed 30 victories with only seven defeats through his near-sixteen year professional run. Triumphs over names like Tatsuya Kawajiri, Shinya Aoki, Michael Chandler, Gilbert Melendez, Anthony Pettis, and Rafael dos Anjos make up only a fraction of his successes. Following four years with Bellator and four more with the UFC, Alvarez would sign with ONE and enter the organization’s eight-man lightweight Grand Prix. His quarter-finals fight did not go to plan, as Timofey Nastyukhin would knockout Alvarez in the first. However, an injury for the Russian resulted in his return to the semi-finals against former ONE lightweight champion Eduard Folayang (replacing Lowen Tynanes). Alvarez appeared to be on his way to defeat again following Folayang’s leg strike knockdown and ground strikes. Though a reversal and mistake from his opponent handed Alvarez a comeback rear-naked choke in round one, moving forward to the finals.

At only 24 years old, Saygid Gusyen Arslanaliev has put the entire welterweight division on blast with his staggering performances. Following a sub-two minute knockout of the aforementioned Timofey Nastuykhin, Arslanaliev would join the 170-pound ONE Grand Prix. In just 25 seconds, he would advance to the semi-finals handing New Zealand’s Ev Ting his first professional knockout loss. The semi-finals would go much of the same for Arslanaliev, scoring a first-round knockout over Evolve MMA’s Amir Khan in May. The victory would be his eighth finish through eight fights, still holding an impressive 100% stoppage rate. A single resume scratch came in January of 2017 where he was disqualified after landing an illegal kick to a downed Georgi Stoyanov; a fight he was dominating. The Dagestani has captured many championships with his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as well as numerous wushu-sanda titles in various countries. Arslanaliev’s craft at such a young age will not go unnoticed as he hopes to take out one of the division’s best.

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Bout 10 – Flyweight – MMA
World Grand Prix Championship Finals

Demetrious Johnson

Demetrious Johnson

Danny Kingad

Danny Kingad

🇺🇸 United States 🇺🇸 REPRESENTING 🇵🇭 Philippines 🇵🇭
29-3-1 RECORD 13-1
5 KO/TKO, 12 SUB FINISHES 1 KO/TKO, 2 SUB
•AMC Pankration
•Evolve MMA
AFFILIATION •Team Lakay

In the co-main event, Demetrious Johnson and Danny Kingad will clash as part of the ONE Flyweight Grand Prix finals at 135 pounds (61.2 kilograms). Both men are eager for the title, the winner ready for the next shot against divisional king Adriano Moraes. The Body Lock and FloCombat’s Michael Fiedel details how “Kingad will look to be just the fourth man to ever defeat Johnson at ONE Championship: Century.”

Regarded by some as one of the greatest fighters to ever compete, Demetrious Johnson will look to continue adding towards his already spectacular legacy. ‘Mighty Mouse’ set numerous records during his dominant UFC reign including the flyweight championship and eleven title defenses from 2012 to 2018. An end to his near six-year command came to a halt last year losing the belt in a close and debatable decision to now two-division title holder Henry Cejudo. A shocking trade would then ensue surprising fans as the UFC took hold of welterweight Ben Askren with Johnson moving over to ONE Championship. To kick off a new journey, he would join the promotion’s 2019 Flyweight Grand Prix being first paired with former Pancrase flyweight title challenger Yuya Wakamatsu. This tournament entry came as a surprise, Fiedel stating how “Johnson – along with fellow former UFC champion-turned-ONE star Alvarez – were inserted into the GP format rather than an outright title shot.” Nevertheless, a second round guillotine finish over Wakamatsu advanced Johnson to the semi-finals against two-time DEEP flyweight champion Tatsumitsu Wada. A back-and-forth 15 minutes saw Wada, at times, have his moments to create a potential upset. But Johnson would prevail victorious in the end by decision, moving him to the Grand Prix finals. Fiedel adds how both contests with Wakamatsu and Wada were “admittedly much closer fights than most initially predicted,” thus showing everyone that ONE’s star-studded roster is never to be overlooked.

Filipino Danny Kingad hopes to be the man to shock the world as he prepares for the biggest test of his career. Training out of the highly recognized Team Lakay in Baguio City, along with assistance from former ONE champions like Eduard Folayang and Kevin Belingon, anything is possible for the 23-year-old. After five years of successfully establishing himself in wushu, he made the transition to MMA making his debut in 2014. Four straight wins would lead to his signing with ONE in 2016’s second quarter. Upon defeating three more opponents, Kingad would be set for the biggest test of his career: a flyweight title fight against the 16-2 record of champion Adriano Moraes. The match would be short, but unfortunately not in the right way for Kingad, as he was taken down by the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and submitted in the first. His mental strength would rebuild in his next four bouts, capturing four victories in a row including two over the aforementioned Yuya Wakamatsu and Tatsumitsu Wada. He would then be selected as one of the eight men for the promotion’s Grand Prix, his quarter-finals fight coming against Senzo Ikeda. After racking up a unanimous decision, he would be paired with former bantamweight title challenger Reece McLaren (who had replaced an injured Kairat Akhmetov). In a thrilling fight, Kingad would edge out the split decision over Akhmetov in front of his home country. “It goes without saying that a win over ‘Mighty Mouse’ would be the most significant and consequential of Kingad’s career,” Fiedel expresses, “and the fact that the bout takes place in the finals of an extensive Grand Prix tournament makes this fight all the better.”

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Bout 11 – Atomweight – MMA
World Championship Title Fight

Angela Lee

Angela Lee

Xiong Jing Nan

Xiong Jing Nan

🇸🇬 Singapore 🇸🇬 REPRESENTING 🇨🇳 China 🇨🇳
9-2 RECORD 14-1
1 KO/TKO, 6 SUB FINISHES 10 KO/TKO, 1 SUB
•Evolve MMA
•United MMA
AFFILIATION •Bali MMA

The featured fight of ‘Part One’ sees a highly-anticipated rematch between current ONE atomweight title holder Angela Lee and challenger Xiong Jing Nan (115 pounds, 52.2 kilograms). The Body Lock and The Scrap’s Drake Riggs had this to share about what is to come for our main event:

“Their first meeting in March was a fight of the year contender and the second-ever female super fight in MMA history. All eyes were on the young, undefeated atomweight champion, Lee moving up in weight in attempt to earn her second divisional title at only age 22. Instead, the defending champ at strawweight would spoil those dreams. Now, moving down a weight class, Jing Nan gets a chance to make them come true for herself. Lee’s motivation to win should be at an all-time high, and someone like Jing Nan is always incredibly focused no matter the task at hand. I’ll be stunned if this fight isn’t on the same level of greatness as the first fight at the very least.”

Angela Lee’s accomplishments are undeniably exemplary. A black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a black belt in Taekwondo, a multi-time Pankration champion, and a state wrestling championship in Hawaii; she has accomplished so much throughout her youthful career. Talent runs in the family as shown by her older brother, current promotional lightweight champion Christian Lee. Following three amateur victories, Lee would make her professional debut with ONE in 2015. Two rear-naked chokes, an armbar, a neck crank, and a rare twister would lead an undefeated Lee to the promotion’s inaugural atomweight title fight against Mei Yamaguchi. A back-and-forth grappling affair would result in not only one of the best fights of 2016, but Lee’s capturing of the title at just 19 years old (a Guinness World record). Two impressive defenses by submission over then-undefeated opponents Jenny Huang and Istela Nunes led to a scheduled rematch with Yamaguchi before 2017’s end. However, a terrifying car accident would result in a concussion and the fight being pushed back to May of 2018. Overcoming trauma and adversity from that horrific day, Lee would successfully defend her title over Yamaguchi moving to 8-0 as a pro.

In attempt to become the second-ever simultaneous two-division ONE champion, Lee would move up in weight to battle strawweight queen Xiong Jing Nan in March. The-back-and-forth ‘Fight of the Year’ contender came to a close in the fifth, Jing Nan handing Lee her first loss inside the cage by technical knockout. Another defeat would come in Lee’s second strawweight fight by decision to the decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner Michelle Nicolini. Returning to atomweight, she now will look to snap this two-fight skid and avenge her prior defeat to Jing Nan while defending her 115-pound strap.

Xiong Jing Nan shares her own craft of excellence. After brief runs competing in weightlifting and boxing, as well as earning a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu championship in her home country of China, she would switch over to the mixed martial arts scene at 26 years of age. Her first outings came under Beijing’s Kunlun Fight, the same promotion that hosted home to many superstars including Sitthichai SitsongpeenongValentina Shevchenko, Weili Zhang, and bout eight of ONE Championship: Century’s Ekaterina Vandaryeva. Five straight finishes inside the distance within an eight-month span led to a big test against California’s Colleen Schneider, a two-divisional Super Fight League champion and ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ season eighteen competitor. After three rounds, Schneider would give Jing Nan the first loss of her career by unanimous decision.

After this defeat, Jing Nan rebounded scoring four more victories with Kunlun Fight before signing with ONE in 2017. With a finish in her promotional debut by knockout in the first, a chance at ONE’s inaugural strawweight championship would come against the undefeated Tiffany Teo. Jing Nan displayed her full arsenal throughout the course of the fight, landing heavy shots on the feet and controlling positions on the mat. A knockout would materialize in the fourth round, Jing Nan becoming the first holder of the 125-pound belt. She would prove her place in the division with two title defenses in 2018 over Argentina’s Laura Balin and Brazil’s Samara Santos. In 2019, as previously mentioned, the first fight with Angela Lee would become official for March. Jing Nan’s fifth-round TKO would keep her once more at the peak of the strawweight division whilst holding her gold. Influenced by her father and late grandparents, the now 31-year-old continues to strive to be the most confident and wholesome athlete she can be. Will Jing Nan find success in her cut to atomweight and become a two-divisional champion? We will find out next month.

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If you have made it this far, thank you for reading. This concludes the ONE Championship: Century, ‘Part One’ guide. A major thanks to Jeremy Brand, Michael Fiedel, Drake Riggs, Mike Skytte, and Tom Taylor for providing their input on some of these fantastic fights. Please check out their hyperlinked Twitters and read their amazing work. As mentioned near the beginning, ‘Part Two’ featuring an equally-stacked card will be available next Friday on September 20th.

Stay tuned to MMASucka for upcoming ONE Championship news as well as further news associated with Asian mixed martial arts. We are ONE.

IMAGE SOURCES:

Sunoto Peringkat; Won IL Kwon; Phoe Thaw; Chang Min Yoon; Senzo Ikeda; Lito Adiwang; Itsuki Hirata; Rika Ishige; Yushin Okami; Agilan Thani; Sam-A Gaiyanghadao; Daren Rolland; Yuya Wakamatsu; Dae Hwan Kim; Janet Todd; Ekaterina Vandaryeva; Eddie Alvarez; Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev; Demetrious Johnson; Danny Kingad; Angela Lee; Xiong Jing Nan

FEATURED IMAGE:

ONE Championship: Century
Xiong Jing Nan (left) and Angela Lee faceoff ahead of ONE Championship: A New Era in March of 2019. The two will rematch for the atomweight title at ONE Championship: Century taking place Sunday, October 13th from the Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan (photo credits to ONE Championship)

 

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Wesley Riddle is a 24-year old writer out of Harrisonburg, Virginia and a recent graduate from Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, having obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Health and Physical Education. Watching the draw between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard from 2011 sparked his interest in the sport of mixed martial arts. He created "All That MMA" on Twitter, which came to birth in December of 2013. He would join with MMASucka in the later quarter of 2016. Some of Riddle's hobbies include music, playing golf, watching horror movies, and working with non-profit organizations throughout his community. You can follow him on Twitter at @AllThatMMA or @WesleyRiddleMMA, and on Instagram @WesleyRiddle.

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