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ONE: ‘Pinnacle of Power’ preview (Pt. 2)

ONE: “Pinnacle of Power” is set for Studio City Events Center in Macau on Saturday afternoon (June 23, 2018). The card features two title fight as well as a couple of big names from the world of Muay Thai.

The main event sees interim champion Geje Eustaquo face regular champion Adriano Moraes in a flyweight unification bout. Before that Xiong Jing Nan makes the first defence of her strawweight title against promotional newcomer Laura Balin.

For part one of our preview click here.

155 lbs.: Narantungalag Jadamba vs Edward Kelly

Narantungalag Jadamba (12-5) celebrates his 43rd birthday this year but the only man to ever beat him in a ONE Championship fight is Marat Gafurov. The Mongolian has a square on striking stance that betrays his Karate background, but is also proficient in Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Edward Kelly (10-4) has won four out of his last five and is coming off a highlight reel KO win. He’s eclipsed his brother but faces a huge test against Jadamba, age will eventually catch up with the Mongolian but it hasn’t happened yet.

170 lbs.: Ev Ting vs Koji Ando

For Ev Ting (15-4) the path to a second lightweight title shot is not exactly straight. After back to back wins, including one over top contender Ariel Sexton, he’s been handed a tricky assignment against a seasoned Japanese opponent.

Koji Ando (12-6-2) is not exactly a top contender these days, in fact he’s lost three out of his last four. But the 33 year old has never been stopped and the chances are this contest will go the distance.

148 lbs.: Petmorrakot Wor Sangprapai vs Fabrice Delannon

During his Muay Thai career Petmorrakot Wor Sangprapai used to be unusually tall for his division and would capitalize by attacking with long knees. He will probably employ a similar approach here although the ONE Championship ruleset limits clinching.

Fabrice Delannon is simply not on the same level and it will be up to Petmorrakot to decide whether he wants to finish this fight fast or drag it out a bit. Hopefully the Thai fighter chooses the former option and we see him win with something spectacular rather than just by slowly wearing his opponent down.

125 lbs.: Jing Nan Xiong vs Laura Balin

For Jing Nan Xiong (11-1) this fight looks eminently winnable. The Chinese fighter is making the first defence of her strawweight belt against an opponent whose impressive sounding record has been compiled at the expense of very low level opposition.

Laura Balin (10-2) hails from Argentina, a country not exactly renowned for having a thriving MMA scene. The vast majority of her ten wins have been against fighters with no previous professional experience.

However while the majority of Balin’s opponents have been bad it would be a mistake to assume this automatically means the Argentinian is not good. She faced Kalindra Faria, currently on the UFC roster, in 2014 and dropped the much bigger Brazilian with a left hook in the opening round.

Xiong is not afraid to stand in the pocket and throw hands. It is crude but extremely effective and she will probably look to walk Balin down and attack with punches and kicks from close range.

The Chinese fighter doesn’t move her head much when she attacks and looks open to the counter. So Balin could land the sort of strike she did against Faria, but it’s more likely that the Argentinian will simply be overwhelmed by the sheer power and volume of the champion’s punches.

135 lbs.: Adriano Moraes vs Geje Eustaquio

Adriano Moraes (17-2) submitted Geje Eustaquio (10-6) in 2014 when they first fought. However the Filipino and his team mates have enjoyed some encouraging results since then, claiming victories over wrestlers and grapplers like Andrew Leone, Reece Mclaren, Kairat Akhmetov and Shinya Aoki.

It’s impossible to separate Eustaquio’s trajectory from that of his team. The boys from Baguio are nowhere near as vulnerable on the ground as they once were and that should be cause for confidence going into this fight.

But in recent fights Moraes has used his grappling to grind out decisions, which means it might not be enough for Eustaquio to merely avoid being submitted. The Filipino will have to either stuff the takedowns or escape immediately if he doesn’t want to spend 25 minutes in adverse positions.

Moraes’ striking is good, even if we haven’t seen so much of it lately. Eustaquio might feel he has the edge in this department but the Brazilian can always pull out a flying knee, or something spectacular.

However in all probability both men will play to heir strengths. In which case the question will be: can Eustaquio keep the fight standing and make it a striking match or will Moraes take him down consistently enough to win by either submission or decision?

The entire ONE: ‘Pinnacle of Power’ card will be available to view live and free using the newly launched app which you can download here. The first four fights will also be live on facebook and twitter.

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