A lot has transpired within the Circle Walls of ONE Championship in recent months, and it has been reflected in the official ONE athlete rankings.
In the latest edition of the rankings, four divisions have seen active movement.
After bursting onto the main roster in 2019, strawweight Lito Adiwang has quickly become one of the most exciting athletes on the roster. The ONE Warrior Series alum holds a 13-3 professional record and is 4-1 on ONE’s main stage.
After a decision victory against China’s Hexigetu, Adiwang has finally broken through at the #5-ranked strawweight contender. Also moving up, Bokang Masunyane, Hiroba Minowa, and Alex Silva all jumped one spot as they sit behind #1-ranked Yosuke Saruta in chasing after ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua Pacio.
ONE Super Series was not without a slight shift either.
Petchtanong Petchfergus and Zhang Chenglong flipped spots as the #4 and #5-ranked contenders in Bantamweight kickboxing.
The incredibly stacked lightweight division has its athletes all looking up at the newest World Champion, Ok Rae Yoon, who is one of the most impressive breakout athletes of 2021. The South Korean now has the bullseye on his back following his narrow win over Christian Lee to grab the gold.
Also flipping spots, former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki usurped Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev as the #2-ranked lightweight contender. He now sits behind the recently dethroned Lee in the rankings.
Shinya Aoki CALLED OUT "Sexyama" at the Road to ONE event in Japan 😳 Who wants to see it? @a_ok_i @akiyamayoshihir #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship pic.twitter.com/SicSWO8ZlM
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) October 7, 2021
Although Aoki rose in the rankings, he has seemingly turned his attention toward Yoshihiro Akiyama for a stunning matchup of fan-favorites.
The division with the most movement was the featherweight division.
In December, Thanh Le will defend the ONE Featherweight World Championship against #3-ranked Garry Tonon at ONE X. Those positions are unchanged, but every other position has seen a shake-up.
That is thanks largely to Kim Jae Woong’s sensational knockout upset over former two-division World Champion Martin Nguyen. The victory also earned the South Korean the next title shot against the winner of the ONE X matchup.
Nguyen was knocked down to the #2 spot following his defeat. Christian Lee, who has been competing in the lightweight division, was dropped to the #4 spot but still maintains his position among the top contenders should he choose to go back down in weight. Lastly, Koyomi Matsushima slipped one spot to #5 with Woong’s rise to the top spot.
As we enter the final quarter of action, the top-ranked contenders are all positioning themselves for a strong end of the year and possible title bids in 2022.