ONE Championship will stream Full Blast at 8:30 AM EST on Friday, May 28th, featuring a ferocious Muay Thai headliner. This was previously to be ONE: Empower, but that has been moved to a later date.
For those of you not familiar with ONE Championship, it is one of the premier MMA organizations, based out of Singapore. They feature mixed martial arts events, as well as kickboxing, grappling, and Muay Thai, making them the perfect one stop shop for combat sports fans. In addition to this, ONE does not permit cutting weight, boosting weight divisions by ~10 pounds and testing athletes for water content in their bodies.
Saemapetch Fairtex vs. Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai (BW Muay Thai)
Kantharaj Agasa vs. Xie Wei (FLW MMA)
Santino Verbeek vs. Miles Simson (WW Kickboxing)
Ahmed Faress vs. Edward Kelly (FTW MMA)
Anthony Do vs. Liang Hui (Catchweight MMA)
Saemapetch Fairtex vs. Kulabdam Sor Jor Piek Uthai (BW Muay Thai)
Saemapetch Fairtex (122-17, 2-1 ONE) won the Welterweight Muay Thai Grand Prix, and comes fighting out of the prestigious Fairtex gym. His last bout saw him emerge with a majority decision over Rodlek Jaotalaytong last August. Though just 27 years old, he brings a wealth of Muay Thai experience with him into the ONE Circle.
Saemapetch brings an technical style into the cage, with furious kicks to the body and head, along with snapping leg kicks. He does good work with his hands, but I think he does the most damage at range, though he is not one to shy away from a brawl. He is best when counter-striking and using his superior timing and speed to capitalize on his opponent’s overextension.
Two straight wins in ONE put Kulabdam Sor Jor Piek Uthai (69-19-2, 2-1 ONE) across from Rodlek Joatalaytong, and though he suffered a decision defeat, he gave “The Steel Locomotive” just about all he could handle in an extremely entertaining contest. His prior fight saw him knock out Sangmanee Sor Kafae in the first round.
Kulabdam earned his nickname of “Left Meteorite” for the furious power in his left hand and his penchant to go for the knockout. He is most threatening with his long, straight punches and quick footwork. Kulabdam mixes his attack up well, but the focus is on the one-punch power in his boxing.
Any and all fans of elite striking are in for a treat in this one. Both fighters come to the center of the cage to swing leather, and I expect that to be the course of action. I see Saemapetch having the most success inside the pocket and with his kicks, lighting Kulabdam up with his hand speed and powerful kicks. Kulabdam will try to make the most of those opportunities with his power, but the angle cutting and experience advantages of Saemapetch should be enough for him to win out a decision.
My Pick: Saemapetch Fairtex via Decision
Kantharaj Agasa vs. Xie Wei (FLW)
Kantharaj Agasa (11-2) will make his promotional debut with ONE here. He began his career with a ten fight win streak, and dropped the next two. He comes out of the Brave CF promotion, last winning a decision against Nawras Abzakh. Agasa has stopped six of his wins, with five coming in by submission.
“Kannadiga” has a well-rounded skillset, and is imposing wherever the fight goes. On the feet, he is explosive and finds success with his boxing. However, his true advantage comes when he is able to open up with his wrestling. A second degree black belt in judo, he has powerful judo throws and does real damage from top control. He is entertaining to watch from top control, with powerful ground and pound and various submission threats.
Xie Wei (6-3, 1-1 ONE) made his way onto the ONE roster through the Hero Series, which saw him score four straight knockout victories in 2019 to earn a ONE contract. His first official bout in the organization saw him score a knockout in under a minute. Though he dropped a decision to Danny Kingad in his next outing, Wei rebounded with another knockout over the hyped Chan Rothana.
“The Hunter” is a devastating striker. He utilizes a Muay Thai style with constant forward pressure to force the openings for his power strikes. He has great boxing skills, as well as clinch striking. Every one of his pro victories have come by knockout, with each defeat in decision. His struggles come through his poor defense, both in striking and wrestling.
This fight is a fantastic debut showdown for Agasa, who comes into the circle with a fair bit of hype due to his high level judo and wrestling skills. His dominant top control is always a highlight, and Xie will be in serious danger if he cannot stop the takedown. With that being said, Wei has the upper hand in striking and his vicious power and aggression could quickly put Agasa in a bad position. That said, Wei has a shown weakness to strong grapplers, a weakness that Agasa should be able to exploit for a competitive decision win.
My Pick: Kantharaj Agasa via Decision
Santino Verbeek vs. Miles Simson (WW Kickboxing)
Santino Verbeek (37-14, 1-0 ONE) made his name known by winning the World Fight League Championship twice. Verbeek is a Dutch kickboxer who trains under the legendary Ernesto Hoost, who he credits most of his success too. His lone fight in ONE Championship saw him win a decision over Juan Certvantes over a year and a half ago, though he had to overcome adversity to score the win.
Verbeek moves really well in the ring, and fires off devastating strikes both going forward and backwards. He fights with a balance of punches and kicks and throws his strikes with a lot of variety, as he can work well in either stance. Verbeek packs a lot of KO power, and can shut his opponent’s lights off with one shot, but he manages his pace as well.
Miles Simson (65-14) will be making his ONE Championship debut here. He was scheduled to fight Verbeek in a may Thai bout in March of 2020, but the fight was scrapped due to COVID-19. Simson has a high level background, competing in GLORY Kickboxing where he went 1-2 in the promotion.
Though a native of Suriname, Simson trains in the Netherlands and brings a powerful Dutch Kickboxing style. “The Punisher” fights with a long range, picking his opponent apart with power kicks and lengthy straights. He also capitalizes upon leg kicks, looking to keep a speed advantage later in the bout.
I am excited to see how Simson looks in ONE, as he has had a high level of competition in his career and shown through with his technique. I expect Verbeek to take the center of the cage and chase the knockout, with Simson looking to take advantage of his footwork and maintain range with his kicks and crosses. Though closely contested at range, Verbeek packs much more power and dynamite in his hands from close range. The difference in timing and power see Verbeek score a knockout in the latter half of the fight.
My Pick: Santino Verbeek via Knockout
Ahmed Faress vs. Edward Kelly (FTW)
Ahmed Faress (16-3) will be making his ONE Championship debut following a victory on the Warrior Series, where he secured a first round submission over Alan Philpott. He also competed in the venerated Brave FC promotion. Faress is the most highly anticipated prospect out of Egypt, and he will be looking to make a big showcase on this card.
“The Prince” is a dangerous fighter on all fronts. His striking is best at range as he fires a variety of kicks, but can be found in the pocket. Faress shines on the mat, with sneaky trip takedowns, a dangerous guard, and excellent scrambles. He holds a 100% finishing rate, with thirteen wins coming by submission.
Edward Kelly (12-8, 7-8 ONE) has been a staple of ONE FC since 2013, taking on the likes of Christian Lee, Martin Nguyen, and Herbert Burns. The clear highlight on his record is a victory over current Lightweight champion Christian Lee, granted that was a disqualification win. He is currently on a two-fight losing streak, both by decision.
Kelly lives and dies by the sword and loves to throw himself right in a brawl. He is a consummate finisher, holding nine stoppage wins with six by knockout. “The Ferocious” throws wildly on the feet, but has some wrestling and jiu-jitsu skills to fall back on, with heavy top control. At 37, Kelly’s best days are behind him and it shows in his record, as he has just one win in his last four bouts.
The debut of Faress has been highly awaited for some time now, and it’s clear why. His lightning quick submission skills and explosive striking make all his fights battles, and Kelly has the style to oblige that. On the feet, Kelly should find success with his power hooks and leg kicks. However, he is outmatched on the mat and Faress has the takedown ability to maneuver it to the floor with ease. At Kelly’s best, this would have been a close fight, but those days are clearly gone, as recent form suggests a slower and less explosive Kelly. Faress makes a successful debut with a quick submission.
My Pick: Ahmed Faress via Submission
Anthony Do vs. Liang Hui (Catchweight)
Anthony Do (7-4) made his first showing in the ONE Circle at a Warrior Series event, losing a decision to Lito Adiwang. Do has competed in promotions like Bellator and Pancrase, and has faced challenging opposition. He has stopped all but one of his wins with four coming in by knockout.
“The Antidote” fights out of American Kickboxing Academy, and it shows with his wrestling, both offensive and defensive. He is by no means lost on the feet, as he has slick boxing skills and smooth combination striking. Do’s best weapon is his relentless pace and oppressive top control, and he favors position over submission.
Though a bout on ONE’s Hero Series would not pan out, Liang Hui (5-6-1, 0-1 ONE) made his ONE debut last December, but dropped a decision to Senzo Ikeda. He is currently on a rough skid, losing his last four bouts.
“The Little Monster” finds his most success when striking, utilizing his boxing and footwork. Liang has good feints, and is extremely explosive, winging wide overhands. He has one finish on his record, coming by knockout.
Though Liang is certainly a fun fighter to watch, this stylistic matchup is all wrong for him. He finds success in a brawl when he can unload in the pocket, and can be easily taken down and controlled. In his last match, Ikeda utilized his wrestling to great success, dominating Liang. Do has the wrestling skills to put Liang on his back and the standup to stay competitive on the feet. Do racks up points with top control and distance striking for a decision win.
My Pick: Anthony Do via Decision
The action goes down Friday at 8:30 PM UTC+8, check your local listings for broadcast availability! Tune in to our home page to catch the live breakdown of the card!
Categories: ONE Championship