If martial arts fans thought they have seen it all with ONE Championship and expected something greater this year, then their wish was granted.
On 27 December, ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced that the organization will hold a ONE Super Series Featherweight World Grand Prix.
“I’m thrilled to announce the 2019 ONE Super Series Featherweight World Grand Prix with eight of the greatest strikers on the planet! In this tournament, every single fight is World Champion vs World Champion,” he posted on his Facebook page.
The post also read: “In my humble opinion, this star-studded, slugfest fiesta will go down as one of the greatest world championship tournaments in history. BOOM!!! #WeAreONE.”
If that was not enough, here are three additional reasons why you should keep a close eye on this mouth-watering tournament.
#1 Action Is Guaranteed
Featuring eight of the best World Champion stand-up martial artists, action is guaranteed.
Italy’s Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan, the Netherlands’ Andy “Souwer Power” Souwer, France’s Samy “AK-47” Sana, Russia’s Dzhabar Askerov, the UK’s Charlie “Boy” Peters, and the Thailand trio of Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex, “Smokin’” Jo Nattawut, and Petchmorrakot Petchyindee Academy are scheduled to participate in the grand prix.
Throughout the past 12 months, ONE Super Series has drawn in many fans from different martial arts backgrounds, and these athletes have always put in a heart-warming performance.
From stunning kicks to brilliant punching combinations, fans will be not only inspired to watch, but also pick up kickboxing, Muay Thai, or any of the other striking disciplines.
#2 A Possible Petrosyan VS Souwer Trilogy
If you are a fan of kickboxing, then you would know the previous battles between Petrosyan and Souwer have been quite an explosive affair.
The pair first met in Petrosyan’s native Milan, Italy in March 2009, and the contest went further than anyone had expected. Originally declared a tie, the bout went to an extension round, and “The Doctor” did just enough to seal the victory.
Later that October, the two squared off once again — this time, at the K-1 World Championship Tournament Final in Japan. In their second meeting, the Italian dominated all three rounds to secure a unanimous decision win.
Will the pair meet again at some point in the grand prix? Only time will tell.
#3 Will Yodsanklai Continue His Domination?
Yodsanklai joined ONE Championship with the intention of displaying his world-class kickboxing and legendary Muay Thai. So far, he has achieved that. What’s more, he has been dominant.
This past May, at ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS, the 33-year-old icon recorded a unanimous decision victory over Dutch-Congolese competitor Chris Ngimbi. Then, in December at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS, he delighted the Malaysian faithful with a spectacular uppercut combo to knock out Australia’s Luis Regis.
Now, he looks to continue his dominant run in the grand prix and could potentially meet some familiar faces along the way.
In 2013, he defeated Sana before recording a unanimous decision victory against Askerov two years later. Yodsanklai will be watching Souwer closely, however.
He is scheduled to face the Dutchman at ONE: A NEW ERA on 31 March in Tokyo, Japan. It has not been declared a grand prix bout, but the Thai will still want to score some redemption against the European who ended his three-year undefeated streak a decade ago.