Giorgio Petrosyan, Jo Nattawut
ONE Championship is fresh off the debut of its highly-anticipated ONE Super Series on April 20, 2018 at “ONE: Heroes of Honor” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines. The organization offered fans a taste of what is to expect with its latest innovation, an all-striking league showcasing the best of the world’s striking martial arts.
The premise is simple. ONE Championship wants to provide a proving ground for the world’s best strikers to face each other under a single banner, a prestigious global platform to showcase the beauty of striking arts such as Muay Thai, kickboxing, Karate, Taekwondo, Kung Fu, Wushu, Sanda, Silat and Lethwei, among others.
At “ONE: Heroes of Honor,” ONE Championship showed fans a glimpse of the sort of action that they can look forward to with ONE Super Series, and it was legendary. Gracing the promotion’s all-new five-rope ring was kickboxing superstar Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan, who put on an absolute clinic against opponent Jo Nattawut of Thailand.
Petrosyan and Gaiyanghadao are two of the most famous legends in the world of striking martial arts. If ONE Championship’s aim is to introduce these striking legends to the world, it has certainly achieved its goal early on.
Both Petrosyan and Gaiyanghadao lived up to their billing and turned in inspiring performances. For the first time in history, an audience with the magnitude of ONE Championship’s 1.7 billion potential viewers in over 136 countries worldwide was able to witness the greatness of these athletes.
Also in action was Muay Thai legend and four-time Lumpinee Stadium champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao. He defeated France’s Fabio Pinca in a three-round Muay Thai bout.
After the ONE Super Series debut at “ONE: Heroes of Honor,” there is much more to come. Names such as Lerdsila, Yodsaenklai Fairtex, Sam-A Gaiyanghadao, and Singtongnoi Por Telakun have also been announced as having joined ONE Super Series.
By having these monumental figures of striking martial arts and encompassing multiple styles of martial arts, ONE Championship has effectively become the largest stand-up organization in the world. Other organizations such as Glory Kickboxing or K-1 offer a similar product.
But by having more than one flavor of martial arts on its menu, ONE Championship emerges as the undisputed pack leader. With bigger names to boot, ONE Super Series will continue to draw massive audiences.
The next event to feature ONE Super Series bouts will be “ONE: Grit and Glory,” which will take place in Jakarta, Indonesia on May 12, 2018. A week later, this will be followed by “ONE: Unstoppable Dreams” in Singapore.
Both “ONE: Grit and Glory” and “ONE: Unstoppable Dreams” cards offer a handful of compelling ONE Super Series contests. In particular, Singapore will see the first ONE Super Series world champion crowned when Sam-A Gaiyanghadao takes on Sergio “Little One” Wielzen of the Netherlands for the inaugural ONE Super Series Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship.
ONE Championship aims to gradually assimilate ONE Super Series bouts into its cards, and athletes will be able to select from a series of ring and cage rule sets where they wish to compete. This means that kickboxers could move into Muay Thai, Lethwei or Sanda if they wanted to.
The flexibility opens up a myriad of possible combinations that should have martial arts enthusiasts salivating. The invitation is also open to its current roster of mixed martial artists. So it wouldn’t be far-fetched to think of maybe someone like ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera competing under Muay Thai rules against one of these striking legends.
It is a bold step forward in the right direction for ONE Championship, who prides itself in being the home of martial arts. With ONE Super Series, the promotion certainly lives up to its reputation.
Eventually, the promotion envisions staging standalone ONE Super Series cards in the future. It is an ambitious project that will take the combined efforts of ONE Championship’s elite team of professionals working behind the scenes to make sure each event is a smashing success.
At its core, ONE Super Series is a celebration of the purity of striking. For fans who crave the sort of classic action and excitement that will leave them on the edge of their seats, they need look no further than the new league of ONE Championship.