The ONE Championship cage has become a platform to showcase incredible bravery and tenacity in the face of adversity. Here, legends are made with displays of heart and skill.
The last three months have been absolutely epic, with several of our ONE Championship athletes rising to the occasion on the global stage.
Here are five of the best and most memorable fights of the past quarter.
#1 Aung La N Sang Made History With Championship Win Over Vitaly Bigdash at ONE: LIGHT OF A NATION
If you’re wondering who in ONE Championship has the most passionate fanbase, look no further than newly-crowned ONE Middleweight World Champion, the “Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang.
When Aung La N Sang walks out to the ONE Championship cage, the roof is blown off the stadium with some of the loudest cheers ever heard in an arena anywhere in Asia. That’s the level of fanaticism Aung La N Sang has to deal with, and he is as gracious in defeat as he is in victory.
Taking on one of the toughest and most fearsome men in the promotion, Aung La N Sang knew he had to perform to near-perfection against a man of Vitaly Bigdash’s caliber.
That proved to be true right in the first round, when the Myanmar hero had his Russian foe reeling from a combination. Bigdash, known for his incredible toughness and durability, somehow survived the first round, despite being inches from a TKO loss.
The rest of the bout was a closely-contested, back-and-forth affair. In the end, it was Aung La N Sang who reigned supreme, and was crowned the new ONE Middleweight World Champion. With that feat, Aung La N Sang became Myanmar’s first-ever world champion in known history, and claimed the nation’s foremost sporting achievement.
#2 Eduard Folayang Weathers Ev Ting’s Onslaught At ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY
After delivering the performance of a lifetime against Japanese martial arts legend Shinya Aoki, capturing the ONE Lightweight World Championship, it was time for Eduard “Landslide” Folayang to return home, and defend his new title for the first time in front of a passionate hometown crowd.
Up for the challenge was Malaysia’s Ev Ting, who gave the champion all that he could handle. It takes a lot to go toe-to-toe with an athlete of Folayang’s caliber, but Ting stood right in front of the champion every step of the way. What resulted was a truly memorable showdown between the lightweight division’s very best talents.
Ting took the fight to the champion, scoring on multiple combinations, while Folayang countered with his furious strikes. When matters hit the ground however, it was Folayang who showcased his well-rounded wrestling. But the contest didn’t stay on the mat for very long, and fans were treated to an evening filled with intense action on the feet.
Folayang overcame a spirited performance from Ting to retain his title via unanimous decision, but we will most likely see these two inside the cage again at some point in their careers.
#3 Danny Kingad And Muhammad Aiman’s Tense Encounter At ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY
Top prospects Danny “The King” Kingad of the Philippines and Muhammad Aiman of Malaysia went head-to-head this past April, and the bout produced some world-class action, as well as a glimpse of a promising future for both youngsters.
Kingad and Aiman are their country’s top young talents, torch-bearers ready to take martial arts to the next level in the near future. However, an encounter early in their careers means one of them had to take a loss.
After three grueling rounds of back-and-forth action, it was Kingad who emerged with the victory in front of his hometown crowd.
Breezing through competition in his first four bouts as a professional, Kingad finally met his match in Aiman, who kept the Filipino’s hands full for 15 whole minutes. It was Kingad’s toughest test to date, as evidenced in round three when he had to dig deep to survive a tight submission attempt by the Malaysian.
#4 Zebaztian Kadestam’s Comeback Knockout Of Luis Santos At ONE: DYNASTY OF HEROES
Swedish newcomer Zebaztian Kadestam had the odds stacked greatly against him. Taking on one of the welterweight division’s most dangerous strikers in Luis Santos, on just a few days’ notice at that, was a monumental task, to say the least. “The Bandit”, however, knew exactly what he needed to do to shock the world.
Doing his research and knowing full well that Santos tends to tire in the second half of his bouts, Kadestam weathered an early storm from the Brazilian, who unloaded his gas tank in the first and second frames. By the start of the third round, Kadestam knew Santos was running on empty, and proceeded to get to work as the tide shifted in momentum.
That was precisely what happened, and Kadestam capitalized with a series of hard knees that put Santos’ lights out, completing a shocking comeback upset. The third-round stoppage was a plan Kadestam had developed before the first bell even rang, and he executed it to perfection.