ONE: ‘Masters of Fate’ Preview (Pt. 1)
ONE: “Masters of Fate” is set for Manila on Friday night. In the main event Johua Pacio puts his 115-pound title on the line against Rene Catalan in a strawweight clash. The card also features Filipino star Eduard Folayang.
There is also an intriguing atomweight bout between Bi Nguyen and Stamp Fairtex. The former was beaten by a Burmese fighter on her promotional debut while the latter is the reigning kickboxing and Muay Thai champion.
Here’s my preview of the first seven fights:
Roshan Mainam vs. Khon Sichan (Flyweight)
Roshan Mainam (3-2) has fought five times in India and his record is not overly impressive. But he is a decorated wrestler and Evolve MMA obviously see potential in him, one takedown could be all he needs here.
Khon Sichan (3-4) comes from a Kun Khmer background and is a veteran of four ONE Championship fights. He’s been a professional mixed martial artist for six years and will need his takedown defence to be on point here
Kim Kyu Sung vs. Akihiro Fujisawa (Flyweight)
ONE Championship has a show in Korea booked for 2020 and Kim Kyu Sung (9-3) will be looking to prove he can be a force to be reckoned with on the roster. He was picked to join Evolve MMA after a tryout but dropped a decision to Geje Eustaquio on his promotional debut.
Akihiro Fujisawa (5-2) turned 40 last month and is coming off back to back submission losses. He made his debut as an amateur in 2008 so brings plenty of experience into this flyweight contest.
Muay Thai: Tukkatatong Petpayathai vs. Hiroaki Suzuki (Bantamweight)
Tukkatatong Petpayathai fought out of one of Thailand’s top Muay Thai camps and picked up a Channel 7 title during his heyday, which means he was an elite fighter. He’s a southpaw with a solid left kick.
Hiroaki Suzuki had his the left side of his body absolutely destroyed by Nong-O Gaiyanghadao. He was powerless to prevent the Thai landing right kicks to the body although he might be better equipped to defend against a fellow southpaw.
Jae Woong Kim vs. Rafael Nunes (Featherweight)
Jae Woong Kim (9-3) is another Korean who will be looking to make a name for himself ahead of ONE Championship’s Seoul debut. He’s a former Top FC 145lbs champion who signed for the promotion on the back of a three fight winning streak.
The ONE Championship career of Rafael Nunes (11-2) has been badly interrupted by injury. He is a BJJ black belt who doesn’t have much of a striking game and will be going after the submission here.
Robin Catalan vs. Gustavo Balart (Strawweight)
Robin Catalan (8-6) was well ahead of Rene at one stage, and considered the best prospect in the family. He’s been stopped four times, but only against elite level opponents and his wushu based striking will give most strawweights problems.
Gustavo Balart (8-3) is a decorated wrestler and was unlucky to drop a split decision in his ONE Championship debut. But he took a beating at the hands of Chan Rothana last time out and if he can’t get the takedown Catalan could inflict similar punishment.
Muay Thai: Han Zi Hao vs. Kongsak PKSaenchaigym (Bantamweight)
Han Zi Hao has spent a lot of time training in Thailand and mixes the western style with the Thai style. He can attack with straight punches and low kicks but also knows how to use his knees and elbows at close quarters.
Kongsak PKSaenchaigym won the Sports Writer’s ‘Fighter of the Year’ which means he was the best Muay Thai fighter on the planet at the time. His stock has fallen in recent years but he’s a southpaw with a lightning fast left kick and is good with his elbows.
Yoshitaka Naito vs. Pongsiri Mitsatit (Strawweight)
Yoshitaka Naito (14-3) is the former strawweight champion and an elite grappler. Striking isn’t his specialty and he probably won’t waste any time getting this one to the ground.
Pongsiri Mitsatit (10-3) comes from a Muay Thai background. These days he is based at Tiger Muay Thai so his wrestling and grappling will be constantly improving but the odds are against him here.
The entire ONE: “Masters of Fate” fight card will be available to view live and free in some territories using the newly launched app which you can download here.