3 Fights to Watch at ONE: First Strike
The six-bout card features a heavyweight opener, the four ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix quarterfinals, and the inaugural ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Championship bout.
It’s a staggering lineup, but there are still a few that fans should circle on the bout sheet ahead of the action on Friday.
Here is a closer look at three matchups to make sure you are wide-eyed and bushy-tailed for this Friday morning.
Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Superbon
There was no way the main event could not be featured on this list. While it’s a clear and obvious choice, the two top contenders competing for the inaugural ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Championship is a must-watch meeting.
Giorgio Petrosyan is arguably the pound-for-pound best kickboxer on the planet. His accolades are long and have put him in a category amongst legends. But standing opposite him will be Superbon, and the #2-ranked featherweight contender is every bit his equal.
Coming off a victory over Sitthichai in his ONE debut, Superbon established himself immediately. And now it’s time for the ultimate showdown.
Everything has led to this moment. The ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Championship is finally ready to be worn by one of these two outstanding strikers, and when the bell sounds, these two will put on an absolute spectacle.
Sitthichai vs. Tayfun Ozcan
The 2021 ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix will see its four quarterfinal matchups take place at ONE: First Strike. While are four bouts could take a spot on this list, circle the meeting between Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong and Tayfun Ozcan.
These two were originally supposed to meet at ONE: Battleground in July. However, Ozcan had to drop out due to a training injury which forced Tawanchai to take his place. Sitthichai won a narrow split decision against his fellow countryman to grab his first ONE victory.
But Ozan is healed and ready now. The Dutchman is on a 13-bout winning streak and enters the Grand Prix as one of the dark horses to take home the title. He will now compete on a platform where he can make an impression on a global audience against a top-ranked competitor.
Expect fireworks between the two, and do not be surprised if the victor of this bout suddenly becomes a hot pick to win the 2021 ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix.
Rade Opacic vs. Patrick Schmid
While featherweights take centerstage at ONE: First Strike, be in your seat early for the first bout of the night as heavyweights Rade Opacic and Patrick Schmid get the party started.
The two sluggers were supposed to meet in January, but Schmid had to withdraw. The match was rescheduled for ONE on TNT, but then Opacic was forced to withdraw. This led to Schmid taking a mixed martial arts bout against “Reug Reug” Oumar Kane.
The meeting is finally going to happen on Friday.
Opacic has shined with two highlight-reel knockouts thus far, and Schmid is looking to finally compete in ONE Super Series action to showcase his skills. With immense power, the suggestion would be not to blink. This is going to be a cracking way to kickstart the event.
ONE: First Strike airs on Bleacher Report at 8:30 a.m. EST/5:30 a.m. PST on Friday, October 15.