clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

ONE: ‘Enter the Dragon’ preview (Pt. 1)

ONE: “Enter the Dragon” is set for this Friday (May 17, 2019) inside Singapore Indoor Stadium and features a stellar lineup. The likes of Shinya Aoki, Sage Northcutt, Yodsaenklai Fairtex and Giorgio Petrosyan will all be in action on this star-studded card.

There are two title fights and the quarterfinals of the ONE Kickboxing Featherweight Grand Prix. With 16 fights, it is a big card and here’s my preview of the bottom half.

Rahul Raju vs. Richard Corminal (Lightweight)

Both these men have been outmatched in many of their previous bouts. They each have losses to Shannon Wiratchai and Garry Tonon but this has the makings of a much more even contest.

Rahul Raju (5-4) comes from India but is based in Singapore. He caused Honorio Banario all sorts of problems last time out and will be desperate to secure his first ONE Championship win at the fourth attempt, Richard Corminal (4-4) is in a similar position.

Brown Pinas vs. Daniel Dawson (Featherweight Kickboxing Grand Prix Alternate Bout)

Brown Pinas announced himself on the ONE Super Series stage by knocking out touted Fairtex prospect Yohann Drai with a spinning back elbow. He has held his own against two seasoned Thais, too.

Daniel Dawson seems to have been tempted out of retirement by the ONE Super Series. He’s won titles in Muay Thai, kickboxing and boxing but turns 41 next month and his last win was in 2013.

Shannon Wiratchai vs. Iuri Lapicus (Lightweight)

Shannon Wiratchai (9-4) is a southpaw with a dangerous right hook. His weakness seems to be his wrestling but his opponent comes fro ma region which isn’t known for producing wrestlers which could suit the Thai.

Iuri Lapicus (12-0) trains with the Petrosyans in Italy and had initially been slated to face Amir Khan. His striking looks limited and the Italian will probably need to take Wiratchai down if he wants to win.

Mei Yamaguchi vs. Laura Balin (Atomweight)

Mei Yamaguchi (19-11-1) would have been disappointed to see Meng Bo pull out of a fight with her for the second time this year. But the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) black belt has been handed a slightly easier fight and will feel she can secure a title shot with a win here.

Laura Balin (11-4) accepted this bout on a week’s notice. The Argentinian did score an impressive win in her homeland last December but has lost two out of two for ONE Championship, she’s dropping down a division here.

Dzhabar Askerov vs. Enriko Kehl (Featherweight Kickboxing Grand Prix Quarterfinal)

Dzhabar Askerov was featured on the first series of The Contender which was filmed in Singapore in 2011. He’s beaten Kehl twice with the last win coming courtesy of a highlight-reel knockout.

Enriko Kehl’s main claim to fame was beating Buakaw Por Pramuk to win the K-1 Max Grand Prix, but Buakaw walked out of that fight and lost by disqualification. Like Askerov, he’s been in with some stellar names such as Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong and Yodsaenklai.

Garry Tonon vs. Yoshiki Nakahara (Featherweight)

Garry Tonon (4-0) has breezed through all four of his ONE Championship fights to date. The standard of opposition is steadily increasing but the multiple-time grappling champion never looks like losing.

Yoshiki Nakahara (13-4) is a southpaw with a laser-like straight left. Tonon will be in a hurry to take him down and the challenge for the Japanese fighter is to keep the fight standing long enough to make his striking advantage count.

Alex Silva vs. Yoshitaka Naito (Strawweight)

This will be the third fight between these two men and the previous two bouts have both gone the full five rounds. In the first fight Alex Silva (7-3) used his leg kicks to devastating effect but in the rematch Yoshitaka Naito (13-3) took him down and kept him down.

As a BJJ black belt Silva has the superior grappling credentials. But Naito looks the better wrestler and if the two previous fights are anything to go by this could pit the striking of the Brazilian against the wrestling of the Japanese fighter.

Sasha Moisa vs. Jo Nattawut (Featherweight Kickboxing Grand Prix Quarterfinal)

Jo Nattawut was a major star with Lion Fight before signing with ONE Championship. He was a late starter in Muay Thai terms but Giorgio Petrosyan is the only man to beat him in the ONE Super Series.

Sasha Moisa has been competing in Muay Thai and Lethwei. He likes to walk forward and throw punches, a skillset that should translate well in the kickboxing arena.

The entire ONE: “Enter the Dragon” 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 streamed on B/R Live.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania