ONE Championship’s return tonight, April 21, with the third installment of the ONE on TNT event series and ONE on TNT III is all about the top contenders.
ONE on TNT III Showcases Contenders
In the five bouts, four featured a ranked athlete, including three key mixed martial arts contests.
The lone bout without a ranked athlete is still an important matchup. Strawweights Ryuto Sawada and Miao Li Tao are trying to position themselves to break into the official ONE athlete rankings and are chasing Joshua “The Passion” Pacio.
It is a rematch of their October 2020 meeting that saw Sawada take home a unanimous decision win. Still, the Japanese star has since picked up an additional victory over Robin Catalan. A third-straight win would give him a reason to be ranked. As for Miao, redemption would allow him to take over “Dragon Boy’s” spot.
The featured preliminary contest now has higher stakes. The organization announced the winner would return at ONE on TNT IV to meet Eddie Alvarez. Ok Rae Yoon and #5-ranked Marat “The Cobra” Gafurov go toe-to-toe for that honor. It will serve to reason if the meeting is between Alvarez and Gafurov that it could be a lightweight title eliminator.
When the main card kicks-off, #4-ranked flyweight contender Yuya Wakamatsu and #5-ranked Reece “Lightning” McLaren will try to state their case to meet Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes.
After Moraes’ victory over Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, there is a spot open for his next challenger. Competing on the global stage and huge TNT platform gives these two contenders a leg-up on the competition should they put on a memorable performance.
Lastly, in the main event, #1-ranked bantamweight contender John “Hands of Stone” Lineker will try to stamp down his title ticket against “Pretty Boy” Troy Worthen.
Worthen is attempting to make noise and dash Lineker’s hopes to jump into the rankings, but Lineker is competing for the right to challenge Bibiano Fernandes for the gold. A win would make the unquestioned choice for that right.
While ONE on TNT III does not have a title bout like the first two installments and the following ONE on TNT IV, it is built around the future contenders that will help round out 2021.
As the summer heats up, these are a few of the athletes who will have earned their right at career-defining matches in the second half of the year. ONE on TNT III is a huge stage with huge stakes.
The preliminary card begins on the B/R app, B/R Live, Bleacher Report, B/R Live YouTube, and B/R MMA Twitter at 8:30 p.m. EST/5:30 p.m. PST.
The ONE on TNT III main card begins at 10 p.m. EST or on the Watch TNT app at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST on Wednesday, April 21. Fans living on the West Coast can watch the main card on TNT on a delay at 10 p.m. PST.
The main card will also be available on Bleacher Report and the B/R app at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST with cable subscription credentials.
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