Later this year, ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera will drop down to light heavyweight to challenge Aung La N Sang for his title in that weight class.
The challenge was officially made at ONE: A NEW ERA on 31 March in Japan. On the same card, we saw ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee take on ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion Xiong Jing Nan in an epic champion-vs-champion bout.
ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin Nguyen once held the lightweight title while also challenging for the ONE Bantamweight World Title.
It’s easy to see, ONE Championship encourages its athletes to strive for greatness without bounds and limits within the organization. Because of those past bouts and the one on the way between Aung La and Vera, let’s take a look at more cross-weight battles that would theoretically be amazing matches within ONE Championship.
Martin Nguyen vs. Christian Lee
As stated above, The “Situ-Asian” is no stranger to going up or down in weight to hunt championship belts. He has already held the lightweight title once, and he’s clashed with many of the top martial artists in his weight region under ONE Championship’s umbrella.
Although he has already beaten him twice, Nguyen could potentially Christian Lee once more, this time at lightweight.
Lee captured the ONE Lightweight World Title when he defeated teammate Shinya Aoki this month at ONE: ENTER THE DRAGON, becoming the youngest male mixed martial arts world champion in history.
A third bout is possible, and it could come at lightweight.
Joshua Pacio vs. Demetrious Johnson
We might have to pump our breaks a bit here because Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson hasn’t even made it out of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix. However, win or lose, you have to figure Johnson remains amongst the top athletes in his weight region.
With Pacio regaining his ONE Strawweight World Title in the Philippines earlier this month with a stunning KO of Yosuke Saruta, it seems he may be ready to move on to the next challenge in his career. It’s possible he could match up with Rene Catalan in his next bout, which is fine for this feasible what-if scenario.
If Johnson is able to complete the Grand Prix and go on to defeat Adriano Moraes to become the ONE Flyweight World Champion, a match between him and Pacio would be incredibly appealing.
Johnson is facing guys who are naturally bigger than him in ONE’s flyweight division. Battling an opponent coming up from strawweight could be a matchup that matches Johnson with an opponent whom he’s similar to in stature.
“Mighty Mouse” would likely be a huge favorite over “The Passion”, but imagine this scrap taking place in the Philippines. The atmosphere would be amazing.
Mei Yamaguchi vs. Xiong Jing Nan
Lee had her chance to dethrone Xiong but came up short at ONE: A NEW ERA. Perhaps one of Lee’s fiercest rivals Mei Yamaguchi can succeed where the atomweight champion failed.
Styles still make fights, and while Yamaguchi could not defeat Lee in two chances, her brawling style, and immense toughness might be the formula to uproot Xiong. Yamaguchi is small in stature for the atomweight division, but she is powerfully built and she excels in stand-up as well as on the ground in scrambles.
Yamaguchi’s gas tank has also been one of her best attributes. Can those things give her a chance to win against a champion as strong and resilient as Xiong? Fans would surely love to watch and found out.