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ONE: ‘Spirit of a Warrior’ preview (Pt. 1)

ONE: “Spirit of a Warrior” is set for the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon on Friday night (local time). Once again, local hero Aung La Nsang will headline although he’s been handed a tough assignment against promotional newcomer Ken Hasagewa.

While the Japanese fighter might be a new face for ONE Championship fans, anyone who follows Asian MMA will know exactly who Hasagewa is. Plus, with a show in Tokyo reportedly close to being finalized, the 31 year-old will not be short of motivation here.

The card also features a few interesting matchups in the ONE Super Series as well as a bantamweight clash between former title challenger Leandro Issa and promotional newcomer Roman Alvarez.

170bs.: Elliot Compton vs Matthew Semper (kickboxing)

The first time I saw Matthew Semper fight was in Phuket and he definitely wasn’t a lightweight back then, in fact he probably weight close to 250lbs. He has definitely fine tuned his technique over the years, but still likes to throw the right hand and has a tendency to taunt opponents.

Elliot Compton took an aggressive approach to his ONE Super Series fight with Cosmo Alexandre even though he lost, which might explain why he got invited back so fast. He’s a puncher like Semper but his style is a bit more conventional.

135lbs.: Saw Darwait vs Mite Yine

Saw Darwait (1-0) is a decent level Lethwei fighter who won his ONE Championship debut by submission, a rear naked chokes with no hooks in which isn’t something you normally see experienced grapplers getting caught with.

Mite Yin is making his MMA debut but also has Lethwei experience and these matchups tend to be fun, if not particularly technical.

148lbs.: Tukktatong Petpayathai vs Mehdi Zatout (kickboxing)

Tukktatong Petpayathai was a 130lbs Channel 7 champion but hasn’t fought in around four years and hasn’t faced any top Thai fighters in even longer. He’s a patient southpaw who is good with body kicks and long knees.

Mehdi Zatout has been in with some elite fighters like Saenchai PKSaenchaigym, Fabio Pinca and Liam Harrison but rarely comes out on top in these contests. The Frenchman is highly experienced and likes to use his hands which might favour him in a kickboxing contest.

125lbs.: Jeremy Miado vs Kritsada Kongsrichai

Jeremy Miado (6-2) comes from a grappling background and it was a major surprise when he knocked out Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke. The multiple time Muay Thai champion was probably guilty of complacency but it was still a major feather in Miado’s cap.

After being controversially DQd for using a suplex (recently banned under ONE rules) Kritsada Kongsrichai (7-4) will be looking to bounce back with a win. He has extensive Muay Thai experience but is primarily a wrestler and is known for his dramatic takedowns.

145lbs.: Ahmad Qais Jasoor vs Chen Lei

Both men come into this fight with identical records. However Ahmad Qais Jasoor (4-0) has compiled his at the expense of very low level opponents and looks to have huge holes in his game.

Chen Lei (4-0) looks to be primarily a wrestler but he is already a veteran of three ONE Championship fights and has beaten better opponents than Jasoor. The Afhgan has no guard at all, he holds his hands close to his waist and a knockout could be on the cards if the Chinese fighter keeps things standing.

The entire ONE: “Spirit of a Warrior” card will be available to view live and free using the newly launched app which you can download here. The first three fights will also be live on facebook and twitter.

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