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ONE: ‘Dawn of Heroes’ preview (Pt. 1)

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ONE: “Dawn of Heroes” is set for the MOA Arena in Manila on Friday night. It is a star studded card that features two title fights but for the Filipino fans the main attraction will clearly be a lightweight bout between Eduard Folayang and Eddie Alvarez.

That matchup will serve as the semifinal of the promotion's Grand Prix, one which has been blighted by injury.

Muhammad Aiman vs. Sunoto (Bantamweight)

Muhammad Aiman (5-3) tends to go the distance and has just come up short in his two ONE Championship defeats. He has a wide stance and is a well rounded fighter who hasn’t been finished by any of the eight opponents he’s faced in ONE Championship.

Sunoto (11-5) is a veteran of 14 ONE Championship fights and is more comfortable on the ground. Aiman has more ways to win but the Indonesian might be able to grind out a decision victory.

Ayaka Miura vs. Samara Santos (Atomweight)

Reigning atomweight champion Angela Lee has lost two strawweight fights in a row leaving the division in a state of flux. Ayaka Miura (8-2) is one of the leading contenders in the division and easily submitted Laura Balin on her promotional debut.

The Pancrase veteran faces another South American in the shape of Brazil’s Samara Santos (11-6-1) who was stopped by Xiong Jing Nan in a strawweight title fight last year.

Pongsiri Mitsatit vs. Miao Li Tao (Strawweight)

Pongsiri Mitsatit (10-2) comes from a Muay Thai background but there were question marks over how seriously he was taking his MMA career. That has all changed now that he is based at Tiger Muay Thai and the 23 year old should be well prepared for this one.

Miao Li Tao (4-1) knocked out Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke recently, although the Thai veteran seems there for the taking at this stage of his career. He’s a wrestler but has some serious punching power.

Edward Kelly vs. Xie Bin (Featherweight)

Edward Kelly (12-6) has a wushu striking style and a fairly solid ground game although he tends to come up short against top class opposition. He will be looking to secure back-to-back ONE Championship wins for the first time since 2016.

Xie Bin (7-1) is riding a seven fight ONE Championship winning streak and has finished his last three opponents by D’Arce Choke. He faces a step up against the experienced Filipino and this will be a good test for the Chinese prospect.

Yushin Okami vs. James Nakashima (Welterweight)

Yushin Okami (35-13) will be looking to bounce back after a very disappointing defeat in his ONE Championship debut. The Japanese veteran has been given another tough matchup and will probably be an underdog here.

James Nakashima (11-0) is an out and out wrestler who always goes the distance. Given what happened to Okami last time out he will be very confident of taking the UFC and WSOF alumni down and maybe even getting the finish.

Leandro Issa vs. Daichi Takenaka (Bantamweight)

Leandro Issa (17-7) fought on the inaugural ONE Championship show. He is a BJJ black belt but doesn’t have much wrestling. He’s got some solid low kicks but his chin has been tested and found wanting on several occasions.

Daichi Takenaka (11-1-1) was very unfortunate to see his undefeated record end when a fight with Mark Abelardo was stopped due to a cut. He’s primarily a grappler which makes this a difficult matchup for the Japanese fighter stylistically speaking.

Honorio Banario vs. Dae Sung Park (Lightweight)

Honorio Banario (14-8) is not going to spring any surprises at this stage of his career. He is very reliant on his kicks and has not looked particularly impressive in his last two decision wins.

Dae Sung Park (9-2) won’t want to leave this in the hands of the Manila judges. Fortunately for the Korean southpaw he has the tools to finish the fight, as he dropped Kimihiro Eto with a head kick last time out.

The entire ONE: “Dawn of Heroes” 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.