August 26 will be a huge day in the world of mixed martial arts as ONE Championship officially premieres on Amazon Prime Video.
The thrilling ONE on Prime Video 1: Moraes vs. Johnson II card is stacked with talent in both Muay Thai and mixed martial arts contests.
3 Questions Heading Into ONE on Prime Video 1
But for some of the athletes competing on the card, there are questions that come to the forefront before being answered by their performances inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Let’s look at three burning questions heading into ONE’s debut on Prime Video.
Is Buchecha Ready For A Title Shot?
Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida has torched his competition thus far in his mixed martial arts career. The multiple-time BJJ World Champion has shown dominance in his three outings and is now set to face off with Kirill Grishenko.
Grishenko is coming off a bid for the ONE Interim Heavyweight World Title. Although he was unable to grab the gold, he is the perfect next opponent for Almeida.
“Buchecha” has been brilliantly booked by ONE. The steady increase in competition allows him to progress in the sport naturally, and his performances determine how they move him up the ranks. After the perfect start, seeing how he fairs against the top end of the division is the natural next move.
If the Brazilian can put together another first-round finish, he may be the next challenger for the ONE Heavyweight World Championship. He will force himself into the title picture by sheer dominance even though the humble grappling legend is still learning his craft.
Can Haggerty Stake His Claim?
Jonathan Haggerty was supposed to be in the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Grand Prix but was removed at the last minute. Now, the Brit is ready to return in an alternate bout for the tournament against Amir Naseri.
Haggerty’s performance will be crucial.
Not just because it could get him back in the tournament should someone fall out, but a dominant showcase could put him back at the top of the heap depending on the outcome of the other bouts.
His flyweight battle against Naseri could have significant title implications even if he is not needed as an alternate. That will put a lot of pressure on his shoulders heading into the main card contest.
Will Hirata Rebound In Style?
Japanese rising star Itsuki Hirata was unbeaten in her mixed martial arts career until a battle with Jihin Radzuan left her with a split decision loss at ONE X this past March. Her bout with Lin Heqin will be very telling on the lead card of ONE on Prime Video 1.
Hirata’s grappling has always been a joy to watch, but to compete against the elite, she will need to round out her skills and become dangerous in every scenario. Her first bout after her first career loss will be just as much about how she handles it mentally as it will be about what she learned.
If Hirata returns to form with another finish, she could jump right back into the thick of the hunt at atomweight.
At 22 years old, Hirata is still in the early stages of her career. The learning experiences from tough, close battles will pay off eventually, and this will be the first step back to see where she stands in a red-hot division.
ONE on Prime Video 1: Moraes vs. Johnson II airs live on Prime Video at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST on Friday, August 26.