ONE Championship returns to Prime Video on Friday with a loaded lineup of martial arts action. World title tilts head-up the marquee, but contenders and newcomers bolster the undercard with exciting matchups of their own. Sifting through the event shows a few standout bouts that fans should have highlighted before the first bell.
“The Lion City” will once again play host as ONE on Prime Video 2: Xiong vs. Lee III closes out the month of September. After a wild month, the stars of ONE are ready to move into fall with a special night to build off the incredible first Prime Video showcase. Martial arts fans are in for another treat.
Here are five matches to make sure you are tuned in for once ONE on Prime Video 2 gets underway.
5 CAN’T MISS Fights at ONE on Prime Video 2
Xiong Jing Nan vs. Angela Lee III
The main event is not just a must-see matchup because it’s at the top of the bill. It is a match worth watching because of the history between the two ONE champions. After two previous bouts that saw each woman defend their crown against the other, the third installment is a continuation of one of the most compelling rivalries in the sport today.
Angela Lee’s first attempt to become a two-division world champion ended up with Xiong Jing Nan pummeling her body in the championship rounds as she was sapped of her energy. The body blows took their toll and ended Lee’s night. She showed herself well and nearly got the win, but Xiong’s defenses were tight, and her stamina won the day.
Fast forward to Xiong’s attempt to wear two crowns at once by dethroning Lee at atomweight, and it was Lee who came out with a late-round finish. The thrilling prior two bouts between Lee and “The Panda” have set the expectations sky high for the trilogy.
What have both women learned from the other heading into the main event? How has each champion evolved since that last meeting? Those questions will be answered, and it has created a compelling story to watch at ONE on Prime Video 2.
Mikey Musumeci vs. Cleber Sousa
The main event is not the only trilogy on the card. Mikey Musumeci and Cleber Sousa are also deadlocked at 1-1 in their series from 2017. Now the two will collide in ONE for the inaugural ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Championship. With years between their last meeting, there’s an even bigger question about how the two athletes have evolved over time.
Musumeci is getting the most shine between the two. Following his 2017 loss to Sousa, he got revenge before winning his first world championship. Now, in 2022, he has taken the submission grappling world by storm and appeared on the JRE MMA Show. He is a budding star.
Sousa has not had the same kind of media blitz, but his skills are undeniable. He can derail “Darth Rigatoni’s” hype train and become ONE’s first submission grappling title. As ONE elevates the sport to new heights, Sousa has the same opportunity as Musumeci to become its face.
Stamp Fairtex vs. Jihin Radzuan
While Lee goes for the ONE Strawweight World Championship, Stamp Fairtex and Jihin Radzuan clash in a pivotal atomweight contender’s bout. #1-ranked contender Stamp will defend her position against the #5-ranked Radzuan. The winner of the match will be in a solid position for 2023.
Radzuan may feel even more pressure. A victory could make her a possible title contender right away, whereas Stamp may need another win, having just lost to Lee at ONE X. She knows she could be one step away from a career-defining title opportunity.
As for Stamp, her next match has already been announced. The Thai star will meet Anissa Meksen in a special mixed rules superfight in January at ONE on Prime Video 6. How will that affect her performance on Friday evening? Could she be looking ahead? Keep a close eye on this atomweight affair.
Martin Nguyen vs. Ilya Freymanov
Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin Nguyen has been trying to inch closer to a shot to reclaim his title. A win over promotional newcomer Ilya Freymanov could do the trick. After Tang Kai defeated Thanh Le for the title, the division was blown wide open, looking for the first challenger to China’s first-ever men’s MMA world champion.
The prospect of a Nguyen vs. Tang matchup is enticing. Their styles mesh well together and will provide fans with an exciting matchup. Along with Nguyen’s #3 ranking in the division, “The Situ-Asian” is in excellent position to lay claim to that title shot.
That is also why it’s a great opportunity for Freymanov in his ONE debut. Not only could he take out a former champion, but the Russian star could also eliminate Nguyen from the immediate title picture. While he may not be in the best position to immediately challenge for the gold, a dominant win would greatly aid his case.
Anissa Meksen vs. Dangkongfah Banchamek
Much like Stamp, Meksen could be looking ahead to their star-studded special rules matchup in January. And much like Stamp, Meksen is going up against a strong challenger who could knock her off her path toward a title shot for the ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Championship.
Dangkongfah Banchamek is making her ONE debut, and while she is not as highly regarded as the pound-for-pound queen she is facing off with on Friday, she is a talented striker with key wins. In fact, Dangkongfah holds a win over current ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Champion Allycia Hellen Rodrigues in 2020. She is very much a live dog in this matchup, especially with four-ounce gloves.
Watching a special talent like Meksen is something all should be doing regardless, but when she is in a high-stakes match against a top talent, then it becomes a necessity. Throw in the fact that Meksen has a match booked for January on a massive show, and if she is caught looking ahead, the Thai newcomer could upend the Muay Thai world. That would make for a memorable moment.
ONE on Prime Video 2 airs live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Friday, September 30.