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3 Contenders To Watch At ONE Fight Night 9

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ONE Championship is coming back to U.S. primetime on April 21 with a 10-bout lineup at ONE Fight Night 9. The action is capped off by ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Hama defending the gold against Jonathan Haggerty. However, there is plenty more action on the docket.

As ONE marches toward its May 5 debut in the United States, ONE Fight Night 9 will help stoke the flames of their historic event on U.S. soil. And there are plenty of bouts with title implications as contenders collide in the ring inside Lumpinee Boxing Stadium. Here are three potential title threats to keep an eye on at ONE Fight Night 9 on Prime Video.

Bokang Masunyane

Bokang Masunyane was flying high into his title eliminator against Jarred Brooks in 2022. The South African was undefeated and was putting away his opponents. However, Brooks smothered him with his wrestling and took a unanimous decision victory home with him.

Now “Little Giant” is returning in another high-stakes strawweight match against Hiroba Minowa, who also suffered his last defeat at the hands of the now-ONE Strawweight World Champion. Minowa is also known for his grappling game. That will allow Masunyane to show the world how much he has learned since his last outing.

No matter who wins, the victor will position themselves as a top contender to Brooks and the ONE Strawweight World Championship. But Masunyane has more to gain if he can prove his defensive grappling has improved. This matchup has a bit of everything and could steal the show in Bangkok.

Halil Amir

#4-ranked lightweight contender Halil Amir burst onto the scene last September when he upset Timofey Nastyukhin. The Turkish talent will now welcome unbeaten Swiss star Maurice Abevi to the ring at ONE Fight Night 9. Can Amir prove his debut wasn’t a one-off, or will Abevi announce himself as a new lightweight threat?

Abevi steps onto the global stage for the first time, which will put pressure on his shoulders. But he enters with a perfect 100% finishing rate, split evenly between knockouts and submissions. Amir’s perfect finishing rate only features one submission. Even with an impressive debut under his belt, Amir still has much to prove, and this could be the match to do just that.

If Amir follows up his impactful debut with another strong showing against an undefeated opponent, he could set himself up as a true title contender. And he is being given the platform to put himself in that position, as this match will be the co-main event of the evening. 

Jhanlo Mark Sangiao

With Fabricio Andrade becoming the undisputed ONE Bantamweight World Champion, there is a need for contenders to make a move. Although currently outside of the official ONE athlete rankings, Jhanlo Mark Sangiao has a prime opportunity to continue his ascent up the ranks. The Filipino star meets unbeaten Matias Farinelli in Bangkok.

Sangiao is from the famed Team Lakay camp and is currently undefeated. He has looked exceptional in his two ONE outings so far, with first-round submission victories in both bouts. His perfect 100% finishing rate has made him one of the most exciting young athletes to watch.

But that is the exact recipe that led Andrade to the top of the division. The brash Brazilian had exciting victory after exciting victory on the global stage. Sangiao can replicate that en route to a title bid but needs at least a couple more. If he can dominate Farinelli, don’t be surprised to see him break into the title picture by year’s end.

ONE Fight Night 9 airs live on Friday, April 21, from Lumpinee Boxing Stadium. The action hits Prime Video at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT in U.S. primetime. The event is free for all Amazon Prime members based in the U.S. and Canada.

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Jeremy Brand is an experienced MMA writer and columnist. He is the founder of MMASucka.com, and has represented the company with media credentials at many mixed martial arts fights. Jeremy is also a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, training in BC, Canada.

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