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ONE: ‘Century’ preview (Pt. 1)

ONE Championship makes its U.S. television debut courtesy of TNT with a mixed martial arts (MMA) fight card that on paper, is a stronger offering than most Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) pay per view (PPV) events.

Former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and E̶d̶d̶i̶e̶ ̶A̶l̶v̶a̶r̶e̶z̶ ONE Championship lightweight titleholder Christian Lee will both be in grand prix action alongside ONE Championship atomweight queenpin Angela Lee.

It promises to be the biggest day in the promotion’s history and below is a preview of the bottom half of the ONE: “Century” doubleheader (part one), set for the historic Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.

Sunoto vs. Kwon Won Il (Catchweight)

Sunoto (11-6) is a tall southpaw who is more comfortable on the ground. He’s a veteran of 15 ONE Championship fights and this will be his fourth bout of the year.

Kwon Won Il (7-2) either wins by quickfire stoppage after landing a right hand or he gets outwrestled and outgrappled. Under the circumstances, the Indonesian will probably be in a hurry to get this to the ground.

Phoe Thaw vs. Yoon Chang Min (Featherweight)

Phoe Thaw (8-1) has a very impressive ONE Championship record. Six of his wins came at the expense of distinctly average opponents but he is coming off two first round stoppage victories over experienced Indonesians.

Yoon Chang Min (2-1) put together a 4-0 amateur record before turning pro and all those bouts went the distance. This will be his second time fighting in the Ryogoku Kokugikan and ONE Championship matchmakers have obviously seen something they like in the Korean.

Senzo Ikeda vs. Lito Adiwang (Strawweight)

Senzo Ikeda (12-7-1) has been in some wild brawls and the Pancrase fight with Yuya Wakamatsu will live long in the memory. He comes from a boxing background but celebrated his 37th birthday last month.

Lito Adiwang (9-2) fights out of Team Lakay and has the wushu based striking style. This contest could pit the kicks of the Filipino against the punches of the Japanese fighter, although both men are well rounded.

Itsuki Harata vs. Rika Ishige (Atomweight)

Itsuki Harata (4-0) has made an impressive start to her ONE Championship career. At just 20 years old, her four wins have all come by way of submission and it is clear where her strength lies.

Rika Ishige (4-3) offers very little in striking terms. But she is tough and tenacious, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) blue belt is also much more comfortable on the ground and this could turn out to be a grappling contest.

Yushi Okami vs. Agilan Thani (Welterweight)

No one expected Agilan Thani (9-3) to beat Yoshihiro Akiyama. But the Malaysian controlled the fight from start to finish, using his wrestling to dominate an opponent who looked like he had spent his entire fight camp weight lifting.

Was the outcome more a reflection of Thani’s improvement or Akiyama’s decline? Yushin Okami (35-14) will hope it is the latter after losing his first two ONE Championship fights, and having already beaten one UFC veteran with a judo black belt, the Malayan won’t feel like an underdog here.

Muay Thai: Sam-a Gaiyanghadao vs. Darren Roland (Strawweight)

Sam-a Gaiyanghadao is several years past his prime but the promotion’s inaugural flyweight Muay Thai champion has been competing at the wrong weight class. He’s a southpaw technician with a solid left kick and will have a point to make here.

Darren Roland is making his ONE Super Series debut but France has been producing elite level Muay Thai fighters for years.

The entire ONE: “Century” part one fight card will be available to view live and free in some territories using the newly launched app which you can download here. In the U.S. it will be aired live on TNT.