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ONE: A New Era - Mar 31 🇯🇵


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Don’t usually bother doing these for non-UFC or Bellator shows but this is a pretty significant card. One of the biggest of the year from a promotion that are starting to make big moves now. 

This Sunday in Tokyo. 


Eduard Folayang vs Shinya Aoki - Lightweight Title

Xiong Jing Nan vs Angela Lee - Strawweight Title

Aung La Nsang vs Ken Hasegawa - Middleweight Title

Kevin Belingon vs Bibiano Fernandes - Bantamweight Title

Demetrious Johnson vs Yuya Wakamatsu - Flyweight Grand Prix Quarter Final

Eddie Alvarez vs Timofey Nastyukhin - Lightweight Grand Prix Quarter Final

Yodsanklai Fairtex vs Andy Souwer - Kickboxing

Danny Kingad vs Senzo Ikeda - Flyweight Grand Prix Quarter Final

Tatsumitsu Wada vs Ivanildo Delfino - Flyweight Grand Prix Quarter Final

Kairat Akhmetov vs Reece McLaren - Flyweight Grand Prix Quarter Final

Mei Yamaguchi vs Kseniya Lachkova

Garry Tonon vs Anthony Engelen 

Rodtang Jitmuangnon vs Hakim Hamech - Muay Thai

Panicos Yusuf vs Mohammed Bin Mahmoud - Muay Thai

Hiroki Akimoto vs Joseph Lasiri - Kickboxing

Yoon Chang Min vs Bala Shetty - Kickboxing


Not going to pretend I’m familiar with all the names there but I know enough about enough of them that I’m really looking forward to this. Four title fights plus the ONE debuts of Mighty Mouse and Eddie Alvarez plus Garry Tonon plus some Kickboxing goodness. I’m in. 


Eduard Folayang vs Shinya Aoki 2 tops this one then. Folayang is the reigning champion at 155 over in ONE. I think I’ve only seen little clips of him, don’t recall seeing a full fight but I might’ve back when ONE was being shown on that Freesports channel for a bit. This will be his first defence. He won the title in November by beating Amir Khan (no, not that one). He’s Filipino, 34 years old and holds a 21-6. He’s gone to points in 13 of those 27 fights, so not been much of a finisher so far. Aoki I’m much more familiar with. He’s been about. He’s 35 years old now and his has career spanned Shooto, Pride, DREAM, Strikeforce, Bellator, Rizin and more. He’s basically fought everywhere but the UFC. I haven’t seen much of him recently. Last fight of his I watched was the Askren one in 2017, and that didn’t go well for him. But he’s rattled off 3 wins since then. Aoki is definitely a finisher. He’s got a 42-8-1 record, 30 finishes, 27 by submission. He’s had some bad losses but he has wins over names such as Kazushi Sakuraba, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Eddie Alvarez, Joachim Hansen, Caol Uno, Gesias Cavalcante and Shaolin Ribeiro. He’s had quite a career. 

You’ll notice the ‘2’ there. This is a rematch. They met in 2016 and Folayang was a finisher on that night and got the win via third round TKO. 


They meet again. I’m not going to bullshit you and claim I’m all giddy about this but I’m into it. It’s a cool rematch. I haven’t seen enough of Folayang to be genuinely excited but he must have something about him to be given top billing on a stacked card like this, and he is 1-0 over Aoki and Aoki only really loses to top level guys.

These short trailer thingys ONE put on their YouTube channel are good. Short little bite sized bits of hype that are just the trick to get you in the mood and familiarise yourself with some of the lesser known fighters and the histories and backstories in these fights. 

Folayang vs Aoki promo; 

Could be a good one. 



Xiong Jing Nan vs Angela Lee is a champ vs champ battle. Jing Nan is the strawweight champion and this is for her belt. Lee is the atomweight queen. She’s coming up from 105lbs for this challenge. Jing Nan is Chinese, 31 years old, 13-1 with 10 finishes. She’s more of a striker and has won 8 in a row. She’s China’s first fighter to win a major MMA world title and she’s successfully defended it twice already. Lee is Singaporean/Canadian. She’s 22 years old, undefeated at 9-0 with 7 submissions and is one of ONE’s most promising and marketable young fighters. She won the ONE atomweight belt at 5-0 when she was just 19 years old (making her the youngest ever MMA world champion in a major promotion) and has defended it 3 times since. She’s a black-belt in both BJJ and Taekwondo. 


Again, only seen highlights and bits and pieces of these two but I like the sound of this.

Jing Nan vs Lee promo;

Nice clash of Jing Nan’s striking vs Lee’s grappling. There’s also the intrigue of Lee coming up in weight and putting her undefeated record on the line against a dangerous, bigger striker. From bits I have seen of Lee I think she could be a genuine big star one day if she keeps winning. She’s got skills, she’s a finisher, she’s marketable and has the Asian and Canadian and Hawaiian roots, she’s pretty, she speaks English and she’s still only 22 years old. This could be a tough one though. 



Aung La Nsang vs Ken Hasegawa 2 for the strap at 185. OK, I don’t think I’ve seen anything of either of these two before. Looking them up now Nsang is Burmese, 33 years old with a 24-10-1 record. Not the best win-loss ratio there but of his 24 wins, 22 were finishes so he might be fun to watch. Looking at his record he’s fought a lot in America actually. Has fights in King Of The Cage, Ring Of Combat and even a cup of coffee in Bellator. Has losses to names UFC watchers will know like Uriah Hall and Costas Philippou. Hasegawa is Japanese, 16-3-1. Has a points win over ex Pride jobber to the stars Kazuhiro Nakamura and a loss to Brennan Ward on his record. Not much else of note really. 

Again, this is another rematch. Nsang stopped Hasegawa in the 5th round in June to retain his belt. Apparently it was a crazy war. Here’s Michael Schiavello raving about it with highlights of the fight...

OK, now I’m amped up. That looked like a hell of a fight and the knockout was proper brutal video game stuff. Hasegawa hasn’t fought since so this is an immediate rematch, for him at least. Went from not really giving a fuck about this to really hyped up just off the back of that video.



Kevin Belingon vs Bibiano Fernandes 3 in yet another rematch of a fight I didn’t see. This is a trilogy decider and an immediate rematch. They last met in November and Belingon took a split decision to win the title. Fernandes had been champion since 2013 and successfully defended it 7 times. Including a first round submission via kimura over Belingon in their first fight in 2016. So they’re 1-1 now and this will settle it. I’ve always really liked Fernandes going back to his DREAM days. Little badass. Check his record. The man fought Urijah Faber in his second pro fight, for fuck’s sake! And then faced KID Yamamoto in his third fight. 

Belingon vs Fernandes 3 promo;

These little trailers ONE put out are doing the job on me. Really starting to feel the buzz for some of these fights in a way I wasn’t so much when I started this post. 




Demetrious Johnson vs Yuya Wakamatsu then. Do I really need to go into detail with DJ? Easily one of the very best fighters on the planet. Aside from a close decision loss to Lego Henry in his last fight, he fucking ran the flyweight scene for years. Broke the record for most consecutive UFC title defences. Won a fight with a seamless German suplex into a fucking armbar. The man is a ninja. I still think it’s a bit shit that he’s not in the UFC anymore but at the same time I think it’ll be fun to see him in a different setting. There really weren’t that many appealing fights left for him in the UFC anyway, to be fair. Don’t know anything of this Wakamatsu jabroni. He’s 24 with a 10-3 record. That’s it. Mighty Mouse is where my interest is here.

DJ vs Wakamatsu promo; 

It’ll probably be a total squash and I’m fine with that. 



Eddie Alvarez vs Timofey Nastyukhin is very much like the above. Couldn’t give much of a fuck about this Nastyukhin bastard. It’s the ONE debut of Eddie Alvarez! One of my favourite fighters to watch over the years and it all started in Japan with those incredible fights against Joachim Hansen and Tatsuya Kawajiri in the early DREAM days. Long before he was having FOTY classics with Michael Chandler in Bellator or Justin Gaethje in the UFC, he was blowing people away with those wild fights with Hansen and Kawajiri. He’s won the title pretty much everywhere he’s fought so it’s cool to see him kind of go back to the roots of where his career really took off. To touch on Nastyukhin, he’s Russian, 29 with a 12-4 record. He does have a flying knee stoppage over current ONE champ Eduard Folayang back in 2014 though. 

Alvarez vs Nastyukhin promo;

Got a feeling this might be another Alvarez slobberknocker. I think people are expecting him to blow through this guy and he might. But I don’t know. I’m not sure all the wars aren’t catching up to him. Nothing really concrete to base that on, more of a gut feeling. He’ll probably win but I can see it being more of a war than he’d probably want at this point. 



Yodsanklai Fairtex vs Andy Souwer 2 is going to be a great way to kick the main card off. And yeah, another rematch. Two proper veterans of the Kickboxing world. Yodsanklai has a record of...wait for it...201-71-4! Yes that’s right. And 78 wins by knockout. And Souwer is at 160-21-1 with 98 knockouts. They have 458 fucking fights combined!

Fairtex vs Souwer promo; 

This will be good. You know roughly what you’re getting when you get two strikers of this calibre and experience pitted against each other. 


Even the prelims have the stakes of the tournament matches and some more Muay Thai bouts. And you should probably make a conscious effort to track down the Garry Tonon fight. One of the best grapplers in the world. Beat the likes of AJ Agazarm, Vinny Magalhaes, Dillon Danis (HA!) and submitted Ralek Gracie and Shinya Aoki in grappling competition. He made the jump over to MMA in March 2018 and has gone 3-0 with 3 finishes so far. Keep an eye on him. 


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Great work Wand. I'll be doing my best to catch some of this card. The four title fights all look worth going out of our way to see, especially after watching those little trailers. 

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I can't quite wrap my head around One FC. They've signed a couple of big names, but they don't actually make any money from the shows themselves. I went to one a few years ago and it was fine - decent production, cheap tickets (about 30 quid to be pretty much cageside), the mental ring announcer from Pride, Bob Sapp being a nancy, - but they don't seem like they have a successful business model. They don't even announce the card until just before it happens, which is kind of rinky-dink. Looking forward to this show now, though, thanks for the heads up.

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I've had the impression for a while that ONE is a fancy money laundering scheme. They have next to no income, lose ten's of millions per year and yet still manage to attract substantial financial investment. The kind of money that dwarfs what PFL had invested in them, and an awful lot more than what Bellator where given by spend happy DAZN. There's something wrong with the whole operation. 

Forgetting that all though, here's that N Sang Vs Hagesawa fight in full. I've no idea how either man made it past the third round. Go to about 5:30. The first five minutes is the first Belington Vs Fernandes fight. 


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Probably. Maybe I'm just being cynical. It wouldn't be the first time that people made a bad investment in MMA for the right reasons. It also wouldn't be the first time that a promotion has had the tentacles of organised crime running through it. 

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Im all in for this, im looking forward to it. It feels like One has been MMA's best open secret for a few years, everyone knows about it but it still gets little love outside of a small section die hards, id imagine if One was around when the UFC schedule was much lighter it would have Pride FC levels of love. This card could be the one to get people on board. The big names will draw people in but One really seem to have established its own stars which people (including me) will be seeing for the first time so its exciting shit.

I watched a couple of shows Askren fought on a few years ago but only really catch highlights now and now a show goes past that doesn't have some insane finish or fight of the year type stuff happening, its gonna be a barnburner.

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Same boat Egg. With the rammed UFC and Boxing schedules these days, plus just having less free time now, I don’t get around to watching much else. Even with Bellator I have to dip in and out. This ONE show looks class though. There’s no way I’d miss a show like this.

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I'll definitely try and give this a watch whenever it crops up online somewhere. It's going to be really interesting seeing Alvarez and DJ in a non-UFC environment, and even though they should run through their respective opponents, it's going to be fun watch. Some good stuff littered all around the card too, they've clearly gone for bounds of variety, which is what you want to attract potential new viewers when you have a show like this with lots of new eyes watching your product.

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