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ONE: ‘Kings & Conquerors’ preview (Pt. 1)

ONE Championship

ONE: “Kings & Conquerors” is set for the Cotai Arena in Macau this Saturday night (local time) and the card features 12 fights including two title matches. Bibiano Fernandes defends his bantamweight belt in the main event while the co-headliner will be a flyweight unification bout.

In total three fights which were initially scheduled for Surabaya last week have been moved to Macau including the flyweight title rematch between interim champion Adriano Moraes and reigning champion Kairat Akhmetov.

In a strange twist of fate, Andrew Leone — who was scheduled to challenge Moraes for the flyweight belt at ONE Championship’s inaugural Macau event last year — now finds himself facing Fernandes for the bantamweight strap.

The first five fights on the card will all be streamed live on Facebook. As always with ONE fights, they are listed as walking weight, for the sake of clarity this means that if a fighter competes at 135 pounds with ONE (without cutting weight) they would compete at 125 pounds if they were with another organization (and allowed to cut weight).

205lbs.: Leandro Ataides vs Michal Pasternak

Leandro Ataides (9-3) looked unstoppable as he wrecked his way to a middleweight title shot with a series of devastating knockouts. This made it all the more surprising when he went and lost his next three but the Brazilian is coming off a highlight reel knockout (KO) win.

Pasternak (12-2) previously challenged unsuccessfully for the organization’s light heavyweight strap. Ataides is an explosive striker and a high level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) black belt but he sometimes struggles to set the right pace, either gassing himself out completely or doing far too little, and the Polish fighter might come on stronger as the fight progresses.

205lbs.: Marcin Prachnio vs Gilbert Galvao

Marcin Prachnio (12-2) missed out on a middleweight title shot due to injury and has instead been handed a tough looking eliminator. Gilbert Galvao (30-5-1) is much more experienced, he’s a BJJ black belt who has won several titles on the tough Brazilian scene.

Galvao’s last five fights have all gone the distance. Prachnio has a background in Karate and his best chance is probably to catch the Brazilian with something like a spinning strike, otherwise a grinding decision defeat could be on the cards.

155lbs.: Herbert Burns vs Magomed Idrisov

Herbert Burns (6-1) has been handed two tough assignments by the ONE Championship matchmakers. After being outwrestled by undefeated Russian Movlid Khaibulaev last time out the Brazilian is going up against Magomed Idrisov (7-1) in Macau.

Idrisov might have lost one fight but it was a long time ago and he’s won his last seven with victories over some impressive opposition. He would be the M-1 featherweight champion if he hadn’t come in 1.2 lbs overweight and Burns, a decorated BJJ black belt, will want to get the hard hitting Russian to the ground.

145lbs.: Toni Tauru vs Leandro Issa

Leandro Issa (13-6) returns to the ONE Championship cage after a stint with the UFC that featured two very impressive submission wins. The Brazilian holds a black belt in BJJ and is an accomplished grappler who’s also good with low kicks.

Toni Tauru (11-5-1) is a submission specialist too but his ground game is not on Issa’s level. The Finnish fighter has lost four out of his last five fights and stylistically this looks like a bad matchup for him.

115lbs.: Rika Ishige vs Jomary Torres

Rika Ishige ( 2-0) has fought twice for ONE Championship and the Thai atomweight’s contact lenses have caused her bigger problems than her two opponents. Her eyes have looked horribly swollen at the end of both bouts and it’s a problem she needs to find a solution too.

Ishige is a BJJ blue belt who looks more comfortable on the ground. Having gone the distance in her pro debut Jomary Torres (1-0) actually has more experience than the Thai, at least in terms of minutes spent inside the cage.

These fights are all being show on the ONE Championship Facebook page.

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