ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong promised martial arts fans he’d deliver a spectacular event before the year ended — and come Friday, he will have made good on his word.
One of the biggest cards in the history of the promotion — ONE: Inside The Matrix — takes place October 30 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. This time, four World Titles are on the line.
Two-division World Champion Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang defends his ONE Middleweight strap against Reinier “The Dutch Knight” De Ridder in the main event. Meanwhile, Christian “The Warrior” Lee and #1-ranked contender Iuri Lapicus dispute the ONE Lightweight World Title in a clash between two of the best young athletes in the promotion.
Also, ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen defends his strap against #1-ranked contender Thanh Le in a battle between two knockout artists. Divisional queen “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan and #1-ranked contender Tiffany “No Chill” Teo then dispute the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title in a long-awaited rematch.
“I want to do something special for the fans, something special that everyone can really enjoy. And you know we’ve never done four World Title fights other than last year at our 100th event, and so we thought it’ll be a treat for fans,” Sityodtong said.
“At the same time, I want to get all of our biggest stars back in action as quickly as possible.”
The card is so stacked that even Sityodtong had a tough time pinpointing which match he’s most excited for.
It boiled down to two, however — the main event between Aung La N Sang and De Ridder, and the slobberknocker between Nguyen and Le.
“That’s a tough question. I would say Martin Nguyen and Thanh Le and Aung La and De Ridder, those are the two fights that I’m looking forward to as a fight fan,” Sityodtong said. “If you look at the finish rate of both the challengers and the World Champions, [they have] super high finish rates. Thanh Le obviously is an incredible striker, and so is Martin, and they both have KO power. So this will be really, really short, but it will be fun.
“[It’s the same with] Aung La N Sang and Reinier De Ridder. Aung La has 24 finishes in his career, and Reinier De Ridder has finished 11 out of his 12 opponents.”
But for Sityodtong, it’s only a matter of preference, as any match on the card could steal the show.
“If you’re a fight fan, this is the card to watch. It doesn’t matter what organization, this is the biggest card of the year,” Sityodtong said.
“There’s just so much anticipation because anyone can get KO’d or finished in a minute. The stakes are super high for all the athletes.”
Watch ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX next Friday, 30 October, live on One Sports+ or the ONE Super App at 8:30 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT). One Sports will air the event on a same-day delay at 9 p.m. PHT.
Additionally, TV5 will air the event on a next-day delay at 11 p.m. PHT on Saturday, October 31.
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