ONE Championship Announces First Event In Surabaya

ONE Championship Announces First Event In Surabaya
PHOTO: ONE Championship Announces First Event In Surabaya

Since 2012, ONE Championship has held multiple successful shows in Jakarta as a mainstay of its busy calendar. However, on 29 July, ONE is adding one more Indonesian destination to its growing list of host cities. 

The Asian giant is headed to Surabaya, the capital of East Java, for the first time to hold ONE: CONQUEST OF KINGS at the GOR Kertajaya Arena, featuring a main event title tilt.

Headlining the card is undefeated ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat Akhmetov (23-0), who will take on Interim Champion Adriano Moraes (15-2) to determine the undisputed king of the division in a title unification bout.

Akhmetov won the title by defeating Moraes in their first encounter back in November 2015, taking home a hard-earned split decision to claim the belt. Since then, however, Akhmetov has had to contend with injuries, and hasn’t stepped into the cage in nearly two years.

Meanwhile, Moraes bounced back to beat two top contenders, and captured the division’s Interim championship in Akhmetov’s absence. Now fully healed, the two Flyweight World Champions are set to pick up right where they left off in their first bout.

If their initial encounter is anything to go by, fans can expect another highly-technical grappling affair, with Akhmetov’s wrestling and Moraes’ Brazilian jiu-jitsu being the main highlights. Akhmetov will have to be at his best once again to be able to defeat Moraes, who has undoubtedly improved on his grappling since their last meeting.

In addition, 33-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Leandro Issa, fresh off a brief stint in the United States, is back in ONE Championship, and ready to face the promotion’s top bantamweights. Issa (13-6) will take on Finnish grappling sensation and former Cage Warriors FC champion Toni “Dynamite” Tauru (11-5-1), in a showdown of elite contenders.

Issa, who has defeated some of the biggest names in ONE Championship, including former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Soo Chul Kim and Russian maestro Yusup Saadulaev, will have his hands full against Tauru, who has proven to be a consistent threat in the division.

Heavy-handed Polish puncher Marcin Prachnio also makes his return to the cage, following rehabilitation from an injury which forced him out of a title fight against reigning ONE Middleweight World Champion Vitaly Bigdash. Prachnio was initially scheduled to take on Bigdash earlier this year.

Now, Prachnio (12-2) is set to make his way back to contention against 35-year-old veteran Gilberto Galvao (29-5-1) of Sao Paulo, Brazil. 

Kicking off ONE: CONQUEST OF KINGS are Jakarta-based martial artists “The Terminator” Sunoto of Indonesia and Jerome S. Paye. Sunoto (6-3) is set to face Filipino boxer Rocky “The Outlaw” Batolbatol (5-3), while Paye (2-3) will do battle against former WBA Boxing World Champion Yodsanan “Little Tyson” Sityodtong (3-1).

In addition to these thrilling matchups, ONE Championship will be paying tribute to Asia’s ancient and celebrated art of Silat. Between all the mixed martial arts action, a Traditional Silat Bout between top practitioners Khamid Wichaksana and Muchamad Fauzi will also take centrestage.

This is similar to the promotion’s earlier efforts in Singapore and Myanmar, where submission grappling and Myanmar Lethwei respectively were given their chance to shine in special showcase bouts.

Additional bouts for the card will be announced at a later date.