This coming Friday, 12 April, ONE Championship comes back to the Philippines for another action-packed event.
Merely two weeks following their blockbuster show in Japan, the promotion will hold ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila.
In addition to a pair of World Title bouts, there is an equally fascinating undercard. Here are four matches Singaporeans must watch.
#1 Martin Nguyen VS Narantungalag Jadambaa
After trying to capture gold in three different weight classes, ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen returns to his division and intends to prove why he is the top dog.
He will defend the belt against former titleholder Narantungalag “Tungaa” Jadambaa in the main event of the night.
The Mongolian martial arts pioneer returned in June after stepping away from the sport for a year and a half following his loss to Marat Gafurov in Singapore. He made an immediate statement by defeating Edward Kelly and Kazuki Tokudome in a span of three weeks.
There is no doubt Evolve MMA athletes Christian Lee, Bruno Pucci, and Garry Tonon will be keeping a close eye on this five-round affair.
#2 Joshua Pacio VS Yosuke Saruta
Joshua “The Passion” Pacio has a chance to reclaim the belt he lost in controversial fashion in January.
The Team Lakay martial arts prodigy will challenge the last man who beat him — reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta — for the crown in the co-main event.
While their last match went to a split decision, each man vows to finish the other inside the distance.
Fans can be sure that former ONE Strawweight World Champion Alex “Little Rock” Silva will pay attention to this bout, as he looks to get back into contention later this year.
#3 Niko Soe VS Eko Roni Saputra
Singapore’s own Niko Soe made a strong first impression when he submitted Muhamad Haidar in his promotional debut back in November 2016.
But injuries, life’s responsibilities, and uncontrollable factors got in the way of an immediate follow-up performance.
The Impact MMA product will finally make his return this Friday, as he is set to welcome Eko Roni Saputra to the sport. Saputra is considered the top freestyle wrestler from Indonesia, and he joined Evolve in October to begin transitioning his skills to mixed martial arts competition.
It will be intriguing to see who wins this battle among Singapore-based flyweights and who takes a step forward in their martial arts journey.
#4 Leandro Issa VS Fu Chang Xin
Evolve’s Leandro “Brodinho” Issa will restart his quest for the ONE Bantamweight World Title in Manila.
“Brodinho” was riding a three-bout win streak before his freight train was derailed by Muin Gafurov in October.
The 35-year-old will attempt to rebuild his momentum when he meets China’s Fu Chang Xin, who has yet to lose since joining ONE Championship.
Should the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt be the first athlete to knock off Fu’s winning ways in the promotion, then it would be a good first step back to the World Title picture.