ONE Championship is about to begin their 2018 with another blockbuster night of martial arts action.
The organization will hold its first card of the near year, ONE: KINGS OF COURAGE, at the Jakarta Convention Center on Saturday, 20 January. Featuring a clash for the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship and contests betweens some of the world’s best martial artists, fireworks are bound to set off in Indonesia.
As always, the ONE cage is where heroes are born and legends are made. Before they take the stage, let’s take a look four athletes who could become the next big martial arts superstars on the global stage, should they stand victorious.
Undefeated at 7-0 and bursting with confidence, Singapore’s Tiffany “No Chill” Teo has all she needs to realize her dreams. By defeating Xiong, she would become the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion, and add the greatest accolade of her career to an impressive trophy cabinet.
The Team Highlight Reel product has been busy honing her all-round game. Besides training under BJJ black belt and former ONE athlete Major Overall to polish her submission skills, she is spending half of her camp at Thailand’s famous Tiger Muay Thai & MMA, where she is sharpening her stand-up repertoire under world champion Thai kickboxers.
By the time she steps into the cage, Teo will be ready to face any challenge presented to her. A victory for “No Chill” would produce Singapore’s second world champion next to ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee, and undoubtedly send Teo’s stock through the roof.
Xiong Jing Nan
Considered among the top three female martial arts talents in mainland China, “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan is already a hot property in the ONE cage.
A former professional boxer, Xiong is known for her aggressive style and powerful hands, but a gold medal at the 2017 China Open BJJ Tournament proves she is just as capable on the ground.
The 30-year-old from Beijing sports a near-flawless record at 13-1, and just one more win will clinch her the inaugural belt, and a place in history as China’s first-ever world champion in the cage. Becoming champion is a dream “The Panda” has had since she first discovered martial arts, and now she has the chance to realize it.
Xiong’s attack-first mentality is sure to produce fireworks, as she goes head-to-head with Teo in the center of the cage. It has all the hallmarks of an epic matchup that is sure to keep fans on the edge of their seats.
Stefer Rahardian has emerged over the past year as Indonesia’s biggest martial arts star. The 31-year-old made his promotional debut in August 2016, becoming the ONE Indonesia Flyweight Tournament Champion by defeating both Yotha Hutagulang and Hendrick Wijaya in a single evening. He has not looked back since.
Rahardian remains undefeated with a perfect professional record of 7-0, and has claimed notable victories over the Philippines’ Eugene Toquero and Cambodia’s Sim Bunsrun. What’s more, four of Rahardian’s wins have come by spectacular finish, proving his potential to thrill.
Training alongside world-class talent at Bali MMA, where he is guided by head coach Don Carlo-Clauss and brothers Anthony and Andrew Leone, the Carlson Gracie brown belt has evolved into a complete martial artist.
Rahardian faces Pakistan’s Muhammad “The Spider” Imran in the co-main event of ONE: KINGS OF COURAGE, and is on the verge of a shot at the ONE Flyweight World Championship.
Miao Jie nicknamed herself “Supermom” to honor her role as a single mother to her three-year-old son, while at the same time nurturing a professional martial arts career that has seen her reach the global stage.
The 30-year-old from Shanghai is one of the promotion’s top women’s strawweight talents. While no doubt nurturing her skills on her feet, her strength lies in her grappling, which she credits to an immense passion for BJJ. In fact, early last year, Miao captured a bronze medal at the 2017 IBJJF World Championships in Long Beach, California.
Miao has also used those immaculate skills inside the cage, as four of her six victories have come by submission. Two of those were in her maiden ONE Championship bouts, and led to the two fastest submissions – and overall finishes – in ONE women’s history. That includes her most recent bout, where she forced Australia’s Amira Hafizovic to tap from an armbar just 45 seconds into the very first round.
Miao puts her grappling to the test against Iryna Kyselova of Ukraine in Jakarta.