ONE Championshp’s final event of 2018, ONE: Destiny of Champions, is slated to take place this Friday inside the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
It has been a banner year for the Singapore-based promotion. Star signings, the success of the Super Series and a rapidly expanding fanbase have helped set the scene for what promises be an exciting period in the company’s history.
ONE: Destiny of Champions may not have any titles on the line, but the 13 bout card contains plenty of exciting matchups whose outcomes could shape the course of several divisions in 2019.
A Muay Thai Legend Returns
The main event sees Thailand’s Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex taking on Australia’s Luis Regis. The two will clash in a Super Series Featherweight Muay Thai bout. The bout will be contested in MMA gloves. The odds of the fight ending via stoppage will be increased as a result.
Yodsanklai is a two time Lion Fight Middleweight World Champion and a three-time Lumpinee Stadium World Champion. As one of the elites of the sport, the Thai will enter the cage an overwhelming favorite.
This will be his second ONE Super Series bout after dismantling Chris Ngimbi back in May. Yodsanklai came into the contest with Ngimbi after a layoff due to injury and exhibited what for him were signs of ring rust.
Yodsanklai has made it clear that he will be chasing a stoppage victory over Regis due to being fully fit.
The 33-year Australian may not have as large a trophy cabinet as Yodsanklai. However, he has claimed multiple titles throughout his career and will bring to the cage a sizable height advantage.
If Regis can get his knees and elbows going, he could make things difficult for Yodsanklai. However, having competed in over 200 professional bouts, there are few challenges that the Thai has not faced and overcome.
A Welterweight Co-Main Event
Agilan Thani will be carrying the hopes of the home nation on his shoulders when he squares off against Kyrgyzstan’s Kiamrian Abbasov.
The Malaysian last fought in July in a title eliminator that saw him lose to Zebaztian Kadestam via third-round TKO. It was the second loss of Thani’s career. His first came in 2017 at the hands of former welterweight champion Ben Askren.
It could be a few more years before Thani reaches his athletic potential, but as it stands he is one of the top-tier welterweights in ONE Championship.
Thani will have his hands full on Friday night with Abbasov. The Kyrgyz athlete has a solid ground and pound game and has fought in over 20 professional MMA bouts. The 25-year-old’s last ONE fight was his promotional debut. He lost a unanimous decision to Luis Santos.
There is a lot on the line for both men on Friday. This bout is Thani’s second co-main event of 2018. If he starts racking up consecutive losses he may find himself dropping down the pecking order. As for Abbasov, he has still yet to notch his first win in ONE. A second straight loss will not be good if he seeks to be taken seriously as a title contender.
Takenaka Looks To Stay Undefeated
Japan’s Daichi Takenaka has yet to taste defeat in his 12-bout career. The former Shooto Featherweight Champion made his ONE debut in February and took home the win after his opponent, Dae Hwan Kim was disqualified for an illegal spike.
The 28-year-old Osaka native will square off against Korean- American Kevin Chung in a bout that should put the winner into the mix of possible future title contenders. Takenaka is a talented grappler who also the owns of a pair of knockout victories. In Chung, he will face an opponent who has been out of action for the past year due to injuries.
The 25-year old’s last outing was a unanimous decision loss to recently crowned bantamweight champion Kevin Belingon. Chung was outclassed on his feet but had his moments during the bout, notably when he was able to get Belingon to the ground.
Takenaka’s striking is not on the same level as the current bantamweight champion so it will be interesting to see how Chung fares if the fight remains standing. The Virginia native believes he has improved considerably since his bout with Belingon and will be looking to showcase his improvements against the highly-rated Takenaka.
Check out the full lineup here.
ONE: Destiny Of Champions Lineup
Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex vs Luis Regis
Agilan Thani vs Kiamrian Abbasov
Daichi Takenaka vs Kevin Chung
Jihin Radzuan vs Jenny Huang
Petchmorrakot Petchyindee Academy vs Liam Harrison
Gianni Subba vs Ma Hao Bin
Yuki Niimura vs Vitaly Bigdash
Yosuke Saruta vs Alex Silva
Mohammed Bin Mahmoud vs Stergos Mikkios
Mei Yamaguchi vs Jomary Torres
Panpayak Jitmuangnon vs Rui Botelho
Abro Fernandes vs Chan Rothana
Sovannahry Em vs Iryna Kyselova