On Friday, ONE Championship begins their new year with ONE: Heavy Hitters. The action is headlined by a ONE Strawweight World Championship clash between “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan and Japan’s Ayaka Miura.
The undercard is filled with compelling matchups that have been making headlines, such as the debut of Khabib Nurmagomedov’s protege, Saygid Izagakhmaev. However, there is plenty more to take in during the eight-bout event.
What else will captivate your mind when the action gets underway from the Singapore Indoor Stadium?
Here are three bouts to keep an eye on when the bell rings at ONE: Heavy Hitters.
Tiffany Teo vs. Meng Bo
After her failed title bid, Tiffany Teo remains one of the top contenders in the strawweight division, but this matchup is worth a look as Meng Bo moves up a weight class to test her skills against the Singaporean.
Meng carries tremendous power in her punches. If that translates to strawweight, she could be a threat to “The Panda” in an all-Chinese battle, should Xiong get past Miura in the main event.
This is a critical match for both women, but the addition of Meng to the division offers a little more excitement. Watching how her skills translate against one of the top contenders will help give a better perspective on where the division is going in 2022.
Supergirl vs. Ekaterina Vandaryeva
Supergirl shined in her debut with a one-minute knockout, but her return matchup will truly test her skills as she takes on a craft veteran in Ekaterina Vandaryeva.
“Barbie” is not to be slept upon. Among her list of victories includes Joanna Jedrzejczyk. The 18-year-old will have her hands full with the Belarusian.
But this matchup is all about Supergirl. After such an impressive performance, the teenage sensation gets the opportunity to cement herself as a title threat while eyeing bigger opportunities. The Thai star will be out to prove any doubters wrong and pick up a career-defining victory against a well-known contender in the strawweight division.
Saemapetch vs. Tawanchai
The Muay Thai collision between Saemapetch and Tawanchai has kind of been floating under the radar heading into the event, but it should be front and center.
If you were to make a list of must-see matches for 2022 in ONE Super Series action, this bout would almost assuredly be on the sheet of paper. And we get to see it in the co-main event.
This is a chance for Tawanchai to upset the #1-ranked bantamweight contender and jump right into discussions about being next-in-line for Nong-O Gaiyanghadao and the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship. However, Saemapetch is looking to erase the taste from his last outing when he lost by doctor stoppage due to an unfortunate cut.
Do not sleep on this bout. It could be the show-stealer, and it has major implications for both men.
ONE: Heavy Hitters airs on Bleacher Report’s YouTube channel at 5:00 a.m. EST/2:00 a.m. PST on Friday, January 14.