ONE Championship is ready to make some unforgettable memories with its first Philippines event of 2018.
World-class martial arts action returns to Manila’s Mall Of Asia Arena in the Philippines on Friday, 26 January, with ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES.
In the main event, former ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov will square off against Filipino fan favorite Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio for the ONE Interim Flyweight World Championship.
The headlining tilt serves as a rematch of their action-packed encounter four months earlier, where Akhmetov defeated Eustaquio via split decision. But now, with five rounds to duel and ONE gold on the line, both warriors are sure to bring more intensity to the cage.
“Kairat is a tricky opponent,” Eustaquio says. “After three rounds with him, I have gotten to know him a little bit better. I am able to understand what makes him a great martial artist.”
Akhmetov feels the same, but he is also quick to realize things might not turn out the same way this time around.
“He did not showcase everything he can do our last match. Neither have I,” the Kazakhstani states.
Pacio, who trains alongside Eustaquio with Team Lakay in Baguio City, Philippines, is a former world title challenger who owns victories over the likes of former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke and Thai Wrestling Champion Kritsada Kongsrichai. Most recently, the wushu standout impressed last November, when he knocked out fellow countryman Roy Doliguez with a sensational spinning back fist.
Mitsatit has looked equally impressive. Currently training at Tiger Muay Thai & MMA in Phuket, Thailand, the undefeated warrior has seven knockout stoppages to his name. In his last outing in November, he decimated the Philippines’ Jeremy Miado with strikes. Against Pacio, he gets a massive step up in competition, and could make a statement by defeating a former world title challenger in his home nation.
Elsewhere on the card, Rafael Nunes (10-1) makes his long awaited ONE return against Baguio City’s Eric “The Natural” Kelly (12-4), Chinese wrestling champion Ma Hao Bin (9-1) looks to continue his hot streak against Bulgarian flyweight Sotir Kichukov (13-6), and Japan’s Hayato Suzuki (17-1-2) attempts to bounce back from his first career loss against Brazilian threat Yago Bryan (3-3).
Also being featured is a Muay Thai bout between two of the sport’s very best, as multiple-time Lumpinee Muay Thai world champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao (364-46-9) battles WBA Muay Thai Super Bantamweight World Champion Joseph “Hurricane” Lasiri (34-4).
Here is the full bout card for the show in its entirety.