ONE Championship makes its U.S. television debut this Sunday (Oct. 13, 2019) courtesy of TNT with a mixed martial arts (MMA) fight card that on paper, is a stronger offering than most of the recent Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) pay per view (PPV) events.
Former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and E̶d̶d̶i̶e̶ ̶A̶l̶v̶a̶r̶e̶z̶ ONE Championship lightweight titleholder Christian Lee will both be in grand prix action alongside ONE Championship atomweight queenpin Angela Lee.
It promises to be the biggest day in the promotion’s history and below is a preview of the top half of the ONE: “Century” doubleheader (part one), set for the historic Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan.
Yuya Wakamatsu vs. Dae Hwan Kim (Flyweight)
Yuya Wakamatsu (11-4) likes an overhand right. Geje Eustaquio discovered this to his cost recently and the Japanese fighter also tagged Demetrious Johnson a few times.
Dae Hwan Kim (15-5-1) comes from a Muay Thai background but was comprehensively outwrestled by Yusup Saadulaev last time out. It will be interesting to see whether he tries to keep this one standing, as the Korean is also very dangerous with rear naked chokes.
Muay Thai: Janet Todd vs. Ekaterina Vandaryeva (Atomweight)
Janet Todd came up short against Stamp Fairtex but was far too good for every other opponent she’s faced in the ONE Super Series. The Australian is aggressive and mixes up punches, low kicks and high kicks to very good effect.
Ekaterina Vandaryeva is perhaps best known for beating former UFC 115-pound champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk in a kickboxing fight. She has a lot of amateur experience and has fought for K-1 and Kunlun.
Christian Lee vs. Saygid Arslanaliev (Lightweight Grand Prix Final)
Having accepted a lightweight title fight with Shinya Aoki on his divisional debut Christian Lee (12-3) now fights the hottest prospect in the division on three week’s notice. He’s an underdog here, but the 21 year old is clearly not afraid to test himself.
Saygid Arslanaliev (8-1) is, to all intents and purposes, undefeated. He is a devastating wrestler but doesn’t just take fighters down and keep them down, he is always in a hurry to finish the fight.
Demetrious Johnson vs. Danny Kingad (Flyweight Grand Prix Final)
Demetrious Johnson (29-3-1) is widely regarded as the greatest flyweight of all time and was many people’s choice as the pound-for-pound king. He is well rounded and does everything well, but what makes him exceptional is how he can flow from wrestling to striking to submissions.
Danny Kingad (13-1) has only ever lost once, and that was against reigning flyweight champion Adriano Moraes. He has the traditional Team Lakay style but is more prone to shooting for takedowns then some of his teammates.
Angela Lee (c) vs. Xiong Jing Nan (For Atomweight Title)
Angela Lee (9-2) is staring down the barrel of a three-fight losing streak. She came very close to winning the first fight by submission but faded down the stretch and ultimately ended up suffering the first defeat of her career.
Xiong Jing Nan (14-1) comes from a boxing background and ultimately wore Lee down with punches to the body. The weight could be a factor, she’s dropping down a division, but this probably comes down to the striking of the Chinese fighter against the grappling of the champion.
The entire ONE: “Century” part one fight card will be available to view live and free in some territories using the newly launched app which you can download here. In the U.S. it will be broadcast live on TNT.