The final ONE Championship card of the year is in Kuala Lumpur this Friday and, as has become the norm in 2018, it will feature a mixture of Muay Thai, kickboxing and MMA.
ONE: “Destiny of Champions” will actually be headlined by a Muay Thai fight as Yodsaenklai Fairtex faces Luis Regis with both men wearing MMA gloves. All the action at the Axiata Arena will take place inside a cage.
Here’s part two of my preview. For part one click here.
155 lbs.: Petchmorrakot Wor Sangrapai vs Liam Harrison
This fight pits a man who has proved himself as one of the best fighters in Thailand against a man who has proved himself as one of the best fighters outside of Thailand. Liam Harrison has some devastating low kicks and the judges will like his aggression.
Petchmorrakot Wor Sangrapai is 1-1 in the ONE Super Series. He’s very strong in the clinch and uses elbows expertly but is more suited to traditional Muay Thai so the Englishman might fancy his chances of scoring an upset here.
115 lbs.: Jihin Radzuan vs. Jenny Huang
This could conceivably set up the winner for a title shot. Jihin Radzuan (3-0) is undefeated and spent several years plying her trade in the amateur ranks before turning pro while she has also competed in Muay Thai and submission grappling
Jenny Huang (5-3) is a submission specialist but has lost three straight fights. The Taiwanese fighter is a Judo black belt and a good grappler but her striking is limited and Radzuan looks to be a more well rounded fighter.
145 lbs.: Daichi Takenaka vs. Kevin Chung
Daichi Takenaka (11-0-1) will have been dismayed to hear that Bibiano Fernandes is guaranteed an immediate rematch with Kevin Belingon. The undefeated Japanese submission specialist is arguably the #1 contender and would have been hoping to land a title shot in Tokyo.
Kevin Chung (5-1) was completely dominated by Belingon last time out and will be looking to put in a much improved performance in Kuala Lumpur. He is very takedown orientated and it will be interesting to see whether the Japanese fighter employs a similar strategy.
185 lbs.: Agilan Thani vs. Kiamrian Abbasov (Welterweight)
Kiamrian Abbasov (19-4) looked bereft of ideas against Luis Santos on his ONE Championship debut. It wasn’t a good showing from the Kazakh who looked like he was completely overawed by the Brazilian but did rebound to beat an experienced opponent in Russia recently.
Agilan Thani (9-2) is a strong wrestler and holds a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). It is possible Abbasov let the occasion get to him on his ONE debut and the Malaysian would be well advised to pressurize an opponent who could be lacking in confidence right from the start.
155 lbs.: Yodsaenklai Fairtex vs. Luis Regis (Muay Thai)
You don’t get to become Lumpinee champion if you can’t kick hard but Yodsaenklai Fairtex kicks harder than most. The Thai southpaw has a devastating left body kick which he can land at will, and also packs plenty of punching power.
This style makes Yodsaenklai well suited to kickboxing rules, or non Thai scoring systems. He’s not really a points scoring type of fighter and I expect him to take the fight to Luis Regis right from the opening bell.
Regis does hold a decision win over Sibmuen Chuwuttana who is one of the top ranked super welterweights in Thailand. He doesn’t quite have Yodsanklai’s power and fighting in small gloves could favour the Thai.
The entire ONE: “Destiny of Champions” card will be available to view live and free using the newly launched app which you can download here. The first six fights will also be live on twitter and facebook.