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ONE: ‘Dreams of Gold’ preview (Pt. 1)

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ONE: “Dreams of Gold” is set for Bangkok on Friday (Aug. 16, 2019) and the card is stacked with Muay Thai and kickboxing bouts. There is one title match as well as the semifinals of the promotion’s featherweight Grand Prix.

One of the biggest stars of the ONE “Super Series” will make her move into MMA with Stamp Fairtex looking for an improbable third title. Former lightweight champion Kotetsu Boku will also be on the card along with flyweight newcomer Ryuto Sawada.

Here’s my preview of the first seven fights:

Hexigetu vs. Ramon Gonzalez (Strawweight)

Hexigetu (6-4) trains out of China Top Team and has a background in sanda and wrestling. He is a southpaw who also has pro boxing experience and is coming off a decision win in this venue.

Ramon Gonzalez (4-2) has a background in karate but is coming of three straight submission wins. He could establish himself as a genuine title contender with another victory here.

Zhao Zhi Kang vs. Paul Lumihi (Bantamweight)

Zhao Zhi Kang (11-4) is a sanda champion and expectations were high when he signed with ONE Championship. He’s won two out of four for the promotion and both those wins came by way of submission.

Paul Lumihi (7-2) is a former One Pride MMA champion but dropped a decision to Sunoto on his ONE Championship debut. That defeat snapped a seven fight winning streak for the Indonesian.

Muay Thai: Alaverdi Ramazanov vs. Ognjen Topic (Bantamweight)

Alaverdi Ramazanov is a ONE Super Series regular and the Russian has made a big impression. He was very unfortunate to drop a split decision to former ‘Fighter of the Year. Kongsak Sitoboonmee in this venue earlier this year.

Ognjen Topic is nowhere near the same class as Kongsak. However he did cause Saemapetch Fairtex plenty of problems, losing to the Thai veteran by split decision.

Ryuto Sawada vs. Aziz Calim (Strawweight)

Ryuto Sawada (11-4-1) was selected to join the Evolve MMA fight team after a tryout earlier this year. He’s a submission specialist and has been in with some of the best strawweights in the world.

Aziz Calim (5-3) has more experience in ONE Championship terms but has faced a much lower calibre of opposition than Sawada. The Indonesian will be an underdog here.

Muay Thai: Bangpleenoi Petchyindeeacademy vs. Liam Nolan (Bantamweight)

Bangpleenoi Petchyindeeacademy once finished Sam-A Gaiyanghadao with a head kick. He’s a southpaw with a solid left kick who scored a decision win on his ONE Super Series debut.

Liam Nolan was stopped in the second round by Enriko Kehl on his ONE Super Series debut. That doesn’t bode well for the Englishman as he prepares to face a top ranked fighter from the Bangkok stadium scene.

Chan Rothana vs. Gustavo Balart (Flyweight)

Stylistically this is a horrible matchup for Chan Rothana (6-3). It’s going to be tough for him to find a training partner in Cambodia who can wrestle at the level of his Cuban opponent

Gustavo Balart (8-2) is probably the shortest fighter in the flyweight division. But the low centre of gravity is ideal for takedowns and he posed Tatsumitsu Wada all sorts of problems and was very unlucky to lose that bout by split decision.

Muay Thai: Lerdsila Champairtour vs. Savvas Michael (Bantamweight)

This fight pits a Muay Thai champion who is coming towards the end of his career against a young prospect making a name for himself on the modern stadium scene. Lerdsila Champairtour is a Muay Thai veteran who is good at making opponents miss and then punishing them with a fast right kick.

But Savvas Michael is emerging as a star on the modern stadium scene. He already holds a ONE Super Series win over Singtongnoi Por Telakun and will be looking to claim the scalp of another seasoned Thai veteran here.

Thanh Le vs. Kotetsu Boku (Featherweight)

Kotetsu Boku (26-13-2) might be the former ONE lightweight champion but he’s going to be at a huge disadvantage here in terms of height and reach. The Japanese fighter has good footwork and will look to get on the inside and swing his right hand.

Thanh Le (9-2) is tall for a featherweight and knows how to use his knees, as Yusup Saadulaev discovered to his cost. The American Vietnamese fighter will want to stay on the outside and keep Boku at range.

The entire ONE: “Dreams of Gold” 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.

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