ONE: “Bad Blood” is set for the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday night (local time) and was set to be headlined by an all-Brazilian bantamweight title fight between Bibiano Fernandes and John Lineker but the former tested positive for COVID-19.
Fortunately the card already had a big co-main event and the interim heavyweight title fight between Anatoly Malykhin and Kirill Grishenko will now serve as the headliner.
Here’s my preview:
Sunoto vs. Tial Thang (Bantamweight)
Sunoto (12-7) is one of the most experienced Indonesian fighters on the ONE Championship roster. He’s fought 17 times for the promotion but has consistently come up short against medium to top tier opponents.
Tial Thang (3-1) comes from a wrestling background and will want to take Sunoto down. The Burmese born bantamweight is coming off the first defeat of his career and will be looking to bounce back with a big win here.
Thomas Narmo vs. Odie Delaney (Heavyweight)
Thomas Narmo (4-1) certainly looks the part but his ONE Championship debut did not live up to the hype. Even by heavyweight standards he is huge but the Norwegian has an awkward striking style and doesn’t appear to be much of a wrestler.
Odie Delaney (2-0) hasn’t fought since 2019 but is another huge heavyweight. The American southpaw is a four-time NCAA qualifier so no prizes for guessing where his strengths lie.
Lin Heqin vs. Bi Nguyen (Atomweight)
Lin Heqin (14-3-1) showcased some nonexistent takedown defence during the decision loss to Ritu Phogat. Her opponent comes from a Muay Thai background so stylistically this might be a better fight for the Chinese atomweight.
Bi Nguyen (6-7) is a Muay Thai fighter but lacks power, so her fights almost always go the distance. She struggles to really do damage to opponents which might help explain how she ends up getting involved in so many split decisions.
Dustin Joynson vs. Hugo Cunha (Heavyweight)
Dustin Joynson (6-1) is another heavyweight coming off a disappointing ONE Championship debut. The Canadian was unable to prevent Kirill Grishenko taking him down repeatedly.
Hugo Cunha (6-0) is a BJJ black belt who has also represented Brazil in international wrestling tournaments. The Brazilian will want to put Joynson on his back where he can put his grappling skills to use.
Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke vs. Danial Williams (Strawweight)
Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke (12-6) is the former strawweight champion and had a very successful career as a Muay Thai fighter. He still kicks hard but the 43 year old has been on the receiving end of some one punch KOS in the latter stages of his career.
Danial Williams (3-1) also comes from a Muay Thai background although he never enjoyed quite as much success in the sport as Dejdamrong.
Yodkaikaew Fairtex vs. Woo Sung Hoon (Flyweight)
Yodkaikaew Fairtex (7-3-1) comes from a Muay Thai background but has been an MMA fighter since 2015. He has some devastating leg kicks and is more than competent on the ground.
Woo Sung Hoon (8-2) will be making his ONE Championship debut and he hasn’t exactly been facing top tier opponents in Korea. But he is coming off a very impressive win against fellow prospect Joo Hwan Kim in which he used his right leg kicks like he was chopping down a tree.
Mei Yamaguchi vs. Jihin Radzuan (Atomweight)
Mei Yamaguchi (21-13-1) is primarily a grappler and has a limited striking game. She did land some hard right hands against Angela Lee though, dropping her a couple of times in their second title fight.
Jihin Radzuan (6-2) is a submission specialist. The Malaysian southpaw does not look particularly confident with her striking and will want to get this down as soon as possible.
Chen Rui vs. Mark Abelardo (Bantamweight)
Chen Rui (10-3) has won four out of his six ONE Championship fights. He is best known for the war with Won Il Kwon in January which is one of the best MMA fights to have taken place anywhere this year.
Mark Abelardo (20-8) has been a pro for 12 years and is coming off the best performance of his career. He finished Emilio Urrutia with a tomahawk elbow, one of the best KOs of 2021 and a clear indication that he has picked up some tricks training at the Fairtex camp in Pattaya.
Anatoly Malykhin vs. Kirill Grishenko (For interim heavyweight title)
Anatoly Malykhin (10-0) didn’t need a takedown to beat Amir Aliakbari, he used his boxing to pick apart the Iranian. The Russian does come from a wrestling background and it will be interesting to see what strategy he employs against an opponent who is four inches taller.
Kirill Grishenko (5-0) has been relentless with his takedown attempts in his two ONE Championship fights to date. He looks to be at a disadvantage in striking terms so that will surely be the strategy here.
The entire ONE: “Bad Blood” fight card will be available to view free in some territories using the newly launched app which you can download here.