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ONE: ‘Battleground’ preview

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ONE: “Battleground” is set for the Singapore Indoor Stadium this Friday. As usual there will be six fights on the card with Aung La Nsang taking on Leandro Ataides in a middleweight non-title bout.

The closed-doors event will be broadcast live and also features the return of Chen Rui who put on one of the most entertaining fights of 2021. He has been matched against Brave veteran Jeremy Pacatiw.

Victoria Lee vs. Wang Luping (Atomweight)

Victoria Lee (1-0) is the younger sister of reigning ONE Championship titleholders Angela Lee and Christian Lee. She is very strong on the ground but looked uncomfortable in the striking exchanges last time out.

Wang Luping (3-2) is a wrestler and grappler based on the limited amount of footage available. None of her wins have come at the expense of good calibre opposition.

Chen Rui vs. Jeremy Pacatiw (Bantamweight)

Chen Rui (9-2) has won four out of his six ONE Championship fights. His last fight was an all-out war that will go down as one of the best of the year in Asian MMA.

If Jeremy Pacatiw (10-4) wants to make this a striking battle he will find a willing partner. His attack is more punch orientated than most Team Lakay fighters but if the Filipino has been paying attention to Rui’s previous fights he might try to get the action down.

Ritu Phogat vs. Lin Heqin (Atomweight)

Also in atomweight action is Ritu Phogat (4-1). The Indian wrestler will be looking to rebound from her first ever defeat and needs to start capitalizing on her takedowns with either ground-and-pound or submission attempts.

Lin Heqin (14-2-1) returns after a two-year absence and her striking is vastly superior to Phogat’s. This contest will probably come down to whether or not the experienced Chinese fighter knows how to stuff a takedown and keep it standing.

Gustavo Balart vs. Ryuto Sawada (Flyweight)

Gustavo Balart (8-4) wrestled at the Olympics in 2004 but stands just 4’11” and has found the going tough since signing with ONE Championship. He has promised to showcase his boxing this time around.

Ryuto Sawada (14-6-1) also has a wrestling background although he never reached Balart’s heights in that sport. His wins typically come by way of either submission or decision so if the Cuban really does decide to wrestle defensively and turn this into a boxing match it will be interesting to see how Sawada copes.

Aung La Nsang vs. Leandro Ataides (Middleweight)

Aung La Nsang (26-12-0-1) is on a losing streak for the first time in his ONE Championship career. He is coming off back-to-back losses to Reinier de Ridder but if takedown defense is a weakness the Burmese fighter remains one of the most dangerous strikers in the division.

Leandro Ataides (11-4) is also coming off a decision loss to de Ridder. The Brazilian has been on the ONE Championship roster since 2013 and is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with one-punch knockout power but striking is not his specialty and his wrestling is nowhere near as good as de Ridder’s.

Muay Thai: Sam-A Gaiyanghadao (c) vs. Prajanchai PKSaenchaigym (For strawweight title)

Sam-A Gaiyanghadao is an experienced southpaw with a devastating left kick. But since signing with ONE Championship he has never been matched with a top Thai opponent from the stadium scene, let alone one who is very much in his prime.

Prajanchai PKSaenchaigym won the Lumpinee super bantamweight belt last year and possesses the sort of speed and stamina that a 37 year-old is unlikely to be able to live with. It will be his first time fighting for ONE Championship and wearing MMA gloves, but the younger man will still be a big favorite here.

The entire ONE: “Battleground” fight card will be available to view free in some territories using the newly launched app which you can download here.

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