ONE Championship returns this week with ONE: Masters of Destiny. The event takes place Friday, 12 July 2019 inside the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The main card starts at 8:30am EST/5:30am PST while the prelims begin at 6:00am EST/3:00am PST.
In a somewhat rare occurrence, a non-title clash headlines the show. The main-event sees Thailand’s Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy renewing his rivalry with Armenian-Italian Giorgio Petrosyan in a rematch of their earlier encounter at ONE: Enter The Dragon.
Petchmorakot was initially declared the winner of their previous meeting. The bout formed part of the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix quarter-finals. However, a dispute surrounding the Thai’s use of clinching saw the fight ruled a no-contest.
The co-main event features ONE Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee, competing in her second strawweight bout against Brazil’s Michelle Nicolini. Lee’s first outing at strawweight saw her challenge reigning champion Xiong Jing Nan for the title. It ended in disappointment for Lee with Xiong handing the Singaporean her first career loss.
The 15-bout card contains several intriguing matchups. Former survivor contest Bi Nguyen will contest her second bout under the ONE banner as does former UFC welterweight Daichi Abe.
Here is our pick of the bouts to keep an eye out for.
An Anticipated Rematch
When Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy had his hand raised after his bout with Giorgio Petrosyan, it appeared the world had turned upside down. As good a fighter as Petchmorakot is, and the two-division Lumpinee Stadium World Champion is very good, no one expected the Muay Thai fighter to defeat one of the world’s greatest kickboxers.
The Thai’s unexpected triumph proved short-lived. After an official review, it was deemed his use of clinching was illegal under kickboxing rules. One could argue that this should have been picked up by the referee, but whether you agree with the ruling or not, all that matters is that the two men will square off once more with the winner going on to the Grand Prix semi-finals.
Petrosyan will enter this bout as the favorite. Petchmorakot’s gameplan in their previous fight was to negate Petrosyan attacks by the constant use of the clinch. This time around, he will not have that luxury. Still, the Thai feels that after having gone three-rounds with Petrosyan, he has downloaded enough information about what makes the 33-year-old tick to get his hand raised a second time.
There is little doubt that Petchmorakot and his team were unhappy with the initial result being overturned. Expect the Thai to produce fireworks in this fight as he looks to prove his doubters wrong.
The Return Of Angela Lee
It would have been little consolation to Angela Lee that her first career loss was in a bout universally considered the greatest women’s title contest in ONE history. However, the 23-year-old’s disappointment has not quenched her thirst to become a two-division champion and her road back to a strawweight title shot starts with Michelle Nicolini.
For the first time in her career, Lee will face a fighter who will hold no fear of her much-vaunted ground game. Nicolini is an eight-time BJJ World Champion and defeated Lee in a grappling bout back in 2016.
The 37-year-old Brazilian lost her last fight to Lee’s compatriot Tiffany Teo. Nicolini struggled with Teo’s superior striking but believes that during her time away she has fixed the holes in her game. She feels going into Friday’s clash she has the blueprint to hand Lee a second straight loss.
Lee is likely to keep the fight standing, at least in the earlier stages of the contest. If it does make it to the ground, fans should not be surprised if it is Nicolini who gains the upper hand.
The Debut Of Troy Worthen
Troy “Pretty Boy” Worthen is not a name widely known amongst MMA fans. However, that could soon all change for the 26-year-old American.
Last November, after attending an open tryout, Worthen was selected to join the highly regarded Evolve Fight Team. A decorated college wrestler, Worthen was an NCWA All-American and NCWA Southeastern Conference Champion at the University Of Central Florida.
Worthen will take on another highly touted talent in China’s Chen Rui. The clash will see one of them lose their undefeated status. It will be interesting to see how Worthen has developed since leaving the US and moving to Singapore. Multiple world-class strikers, and BJJ specialists train at Evolve MMA and Worthen’s game should only have gotten stronger since his arrival in ‘The Lion City.’
- Giorgio Petrosyan Vs. Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy (ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix)
- Angela Lee Vs. Michelle Nicolini (mixed martial arts — women’s strawweight)
- Ev Ting Vs. Daichi Abe (mixed martial arts — lightweight)
- Abro Fernandes Vs. Gurdarshan Mangat (mixed martial arts — flyweight)
- Jihin Radzuan Vs. Jomary Torres (mixed martial arts — women’s atomweight)
- Troy Worthen Vs. Chen Rui (mixed martial arts — bantamweight)
- Hiroki Akimoto Vs. Kenny Tse (ONE Super Series kickboxing — flyweight)
- Chuang Kai Ting Vs. Janet Todd (ONE Super Series kickboxing — women’s atomweight)
- Dae Sung Park Vs. Eto Kimihiro (mixed martial arts — lightweight)
- Aleksi Toivonen Vs. Akihiro Fujisawa (mixed martial arts — flyweight)
- Saiful Merican Vs. Mohammed Bin Mahmoud (ONE Super Series Muay Thai — bantamweight)
- Adrian Mattheis Vs. Li Zhe (mixed martial arts — strawweight)
- Bozhena Antoniyar Vs. Bi Nguyen (mixed martial arts — women’s atomweight)
- Sorgraw Petchyindee Academy Vs. George Mann (ONE Super Series Muay Thai — featherweight)
- Josh Tonna Vs. Yoshihisa Morimoto (ONE Super Series kickboxing — flyweight)
The full card can be watched for free via the ONE Super app. If you enjoyed this story, please share it on social media!