TOKYO: The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship (ONE), recently announced the first six bouts scheduled for ONE: A NEW ERA, which is set to take place on Sunday, March 31, 2019 at the Ryogoku Kokugikan indoor sporting arena in Tokyo, Japan.
Reigning ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion, “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan of China, will get the chance to defend her title against ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion, “Unstoppable” Angela Lee of Singapore. “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan and “Unstoppable” Angela Lee have been on a collision course ever since the Chinese hero entered the organisation in December 2017.
The two martial artists sit at the top of their weight classes, each one having dominated their respective divisions. But with Lee moving up in weight to challenge Xiong for the Strawweight crown, it effectively means that the Singaporean has the chance to become the first two-division women’s World Champion in ONE Championship history. It certainly won’t be easy as “The Panda” represents the toughest challenge in Lee’s career.
Meanwhile, ONE Middleweight World Champion and Light Heavyweight World Champion Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang of Myanmar will defend his title against Ken Hasegawa of Japan. The iconic Burmese fighter first encountered Hasegawa in June 2018, in what turned out to be a five-round thriller of epic proportions. It was the “Burmese Python” who emerged triumphant, stamping his mark in the final moments of the heated battle.
The match was considered the “Greatest Bout In ONE Championship History” and was also bestowed “Bout Of The Year” honours at the 2018 Global Martial Arts Awards for its nonstop action and dramatic finish. Aung La N Sang and Hasegawa’s highly-anticipated rematch is guaranteed to be a sizzler.
Reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang of the Philippines is set to get hearts pumping too as he takes to the cage with Japanese martial arts legend and former World Champion, Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki in what’s definitely a long-awaited rematch.
In November 2016, Folayang captured the title from Aoki via third-round TKO, but surrendered the belt to Martin Nguyen a year later. This past November, the Filipino reclaimed the crown with a dominant five-round unanimous decision over Singaporean knockout artist Amir Khan. Meanwhile, Aoki is riding a three-bout win streak, having finished Rasul Yakhyaev and Ev Ting by submission, and stopping Shannon Wiratchai by TKO. These three wins have elevated the Japanese icon to another shot at the ONE Lightweight World Title, as well as a chance to defeat his former conqueror.
Also seeing action on the card are new ONE Championship athletes Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez.
Alvarez joined ONE Championship in October, taking his stellar career back to Asia where he first made a name for himself. A multiple-time lightweight World Champion, Alvarez seeks to become a ONE World Champion but will have to go through a bevy of top lightweight contenders in order to achieve his goal. In what will be his first outing for the promotion, Alvarez faces Russia’s top lightweight contender Timofey Nastyukhin.
Johnson, meanwhile, is widely considered the pound-for-pound best mixed martial artist in the sport’s history. He joined ONE Championship in late October and, alongside Alvarez, appeared in Singapore the following week for the Global Martial Arts Summit, Global Martial Arts Awards, and ONE: HEART OF THE LION showcase. Johnson’s opponent for his first ONE Championship bout will be Japan’s Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu.
The ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix will commence at ONE: A NEW ERA. Initial bouts for the tournament will also be announced at a later date.
Also on the card is a ONE Super Series showdown between Muay Thai legend, Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex and Dutch World Champion kickboxer, Andy Souwer.
Yodsanklai is coming off a stunning performance in Kuala Lumpur at the recent ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS showcase. The martial arts veteran finished off opponent Luis Regis with an impressive three rapid-fire uppercuts.
Meanwhile, Souwer is one of the most internationally-renowned striking superstars ever to emerge from the Netherlands and is a two-time K1 World MAX World Champion and It’s Showtime 70MAX World Champion.
For more updates on ONE Championship, visit www.onefc.com, or them on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship. Tickets for ONE: A NEW ERA is available at https://ticket.line.me/sp/ONEChampionship, Kyodo Tokyo, Ticket Pia, Lawson Ticket, and E-plus from Jan 27, 2019.