There are several world-class knockout artists in ONE Championship who have immense power in their strikes. It is no surprise, given how so many of them were already multiple-time champions in their respective disciplines before seeking the fabled ONE cage.
Without a doubt, they are the most-decorated strikers in Asia, if not the world. Here are the six most celebrated stand-up specialists plying their trade in ONE Championship today.
ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang used martial arts to escape poverty and build a tremendously better life for both himself and his family.
The Baguio City, Philippines native first practiced kickboxing when he was 16, because he was tired of being bullied. He excelled at it, eventually earning a wushu scholarship to the University of the Cordilleras, and then becoming a highly-decorated athlete.
Of the many awards Folayang has claimed 11 major medals, including three golds at the SEA Games (2003, 2005 and 2012), a bronze at the 2002 Busan Asian Games, a silver at the 2004 Asian Wushu Championships, a bronze at the 2005 World Wushu Championships, and a silver at the 2006 Doha Asian Games.
In 2007, he kicked off his professional cage career and garnered even more accolades. He won a Filipino Martial Arts Championship in his debut match, captured the Martial Combat Superfight Lightweight Championship three years later, and ultimately claimed the ONE Lightweight World Championship in November 2016 by defeating Shinya Aoki via TKO.
Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke
Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke has reached the pinnacle in both the ring and the cage. The 38-year-old Singapore-based Thai competed in Muay Thai for a solid 25 years, amassing an incredible record of 282-65 and winning eight major titles in the process. Some of those include being a Muay Thai World Champion, a Thailand National Champion, an Omnoi Stadium Champion, and a three-time Lumpinee World Champion in two different weight classes.
In 2014, after a long and successful Muay Thai career, Amnuaysirichoke, known as “Kru Rong” by his Evolve MMA students, made the jump to the ONE Championship cage. He debuted in the promotion in June, and won his first five bouts en route to capturing the inaugural ONE Strawweight World Championship.
A bout with childhood bullying in the school cafeteria led Hong Kong-based Cameroonian Alain “The Panther” Ngalani on a path to martial arts greatness.
What started out as a simple judo class turned into a lifelong study in several different styles, where he eventually discovered an affinity for the striking arts.
To date, The hulking heavyweight has captured an assortment of 16 major titles, such as four consecutive Heavyweight Kickboxing Championships of Africa (1998-2001), a WMC Muay Thai Heavyweight Championship in 2002, a Muay Thai World Championship in 2004, and the IKA Super Heavyweight World Championship in 2011. In addition to that, he has also won a plethora of provincial and tournament titles in Muay Thai, karate, and sanda.
Ngalani currently has an eye on Brandon Vera’s ONE Heavyweight World Championship, but before he can challenge for the biggest prize in Asia, he has a open weight super bout with ONE Middleweight World Champion Aung La N Sang at ONE: HERO’S DREAM on Friday, 3 Novemberm in Yangon, Myanmar.
Sagetdao Petpayathai may be the most decorated competitor in modern Muay Thai. The North Thailand-bred knockout artist known as “Deadly Star” has racked up a staggering 162-62 record in the sport, and captured every major title in the discipline. His 12 titles include the WBC Diamond Super Lightweight Title, the Rajadamnern World Championship, the WPMF World Lightweight Title, and four Lumpinee World Championships in multiple weight classes.
Still only 30 years old, he has since changed his focus, and brought those marvellous striking skills to the cage. Now coaching and training at Evolve MMA in Singapore, the featherweight Petpayathai is 2-0 in ONE, and most recently defeated Mahmoud “El Deep” Mohamed via TKO at ONE CHAMPIONSHIP: SHANGHAI.
Yodsanan “Little Tyson” Sityodtong originally wanted to be a Muay Thai competitor. But after the legendary Kru Yodtong Senanan of the famed Sityodtong camp in Thailand noticed his immense punching power, he converted to boxing, where he became one of the most celebrated boxers in Asia.
Since making his professional boxing debut in 1993, the 43-year-old southpaw has accumulated an astonishing record of 58-3-1, with 47 of those wins coming by way of knockout. In fact, he once went undefeated for an entire decade in his career.
He claimed the PABA Super Featherweight Title in 1997, and then won the WBA World Super Featherweight Title in 2002. Sityodtong held the championship for three years straight before losing it in 2005 via unanimous decision. “Little Tyson” would not lose again in his career, and promptly retired upon capturing the IBF Australasian Super Lightweight Title in 2009.
The Thai, who is now based in Singapore, transitioned into martial arts competition in 2011. He has now amassed a 3-1 record, last defeating Ramon Gonzales at ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM in his native Bangkok back in March, and does not plan to rest until he gets ONE gold.
Irina Mazepa is one of the most talented kickboxing and wushu practitioners in the world. The 34-year-old St. Petersburg, Russia native has been training in wushu for 26 years, and has amassed a plethora of honors in her career. She is a five-time wushu world champion, winning the first of those titles in Poland in 2004. She followed that up with the Grand Champion US Capitol Classic in 2006, and finally earned three gold medals at the Italy-hosted WTKA World Championship & Martial Marathon in 2008.
Four years later in 2012, she claimed yet another prize. She competed against Veronica Vernocchi in a kickboxing match, and overwhelmed her opponent so convincingly in the first round, her coaches threw in the towel. Consequently, Mazepa was awarded with the WTKA Pro K-1 Super Featherweight World Championship.
While Mazepa is still transitioning to the ONE cage, she brings world-class credentials into the ONE cage. She demonstrated her immaculate striking ability in her debut against Ann Osman in October 2015, and Ana Julaton two months later. Despite falling to eight-time BJJ World Champion Michelle Nicolini, the Russian is intent on getting another belt in ONE, and tirelessly continues her campaign to do so.
Rene Catalan: two-time Wushu World Champion, two-time Wushu World Cup winner, Asian Games wushu gold medalist
Istela Nunes: two-time Muay Thai World Champion
Narantungalag Jadambaa: Former ONE Featherweight World Champion; Mongolian national champion in kyokushin karate, kickboxing, combat sabo, and MMA; former Legend FC Champion
Gina Iniong: Six-time national wushu gold medallist in the Philippines