ONE Championship will returns to Thailand on Saturday, 9 December, as local hero Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai takes on Russia’s Rasul Yakhyaev in the main event of ONE: WARRIORS OF THE WORLD in Bangkok.
The Impact Arena will play host to the event, as Wiratchai (8-1, 1 NC) returns home to contest a lightweight championship eliminator against Yakhyaev with a shot at the defending champion the prize for the winner.
Currently, the ONE Lightweight World Championship is held by Filipino superstar Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, who takes on ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen in a champion-versus-champion super bout on Friday, 10 November.
Wiratchai, 28, has developed into one of ONE’s biggest stars and a standard-bearer for Thai martial arts. “OneShin” will go into the contest riding a six-bout win streak, with five coming via spectacular stoppage.
He will take on 26-year-old Yakhyaev, who returns to ONE seeking improved fortunes after an unsuccessful first bout with the promotion earlier in his career.
The combatants faced off during a media event at The Sukosol Hotel in Bangkok on Thursday, 28 September, as the bout was made official for the event later this year.
“I am preparing very hard so that I can make Thailand proud,” said Wiratchai. “I know my opponent is incredibly well-rounded and highly-skilled, so I will surely not be taking him lightly.
“It’s going to be an absolute battle from beginning to end.”
Yakhyaev said he was looking forward to showcasing his improved skills as he returns for his second run in ONE.
“I have improved so much as a martial artist in my time away,” he said. “Now, I am confident in all of my skills. I am coming to Thailand to take on its toughest warrior.”
ONE: WARRIORS OF THE WORLD will also feature former ONE Strawweight World Champion Deidamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, women’s atomweight star Rika ‘Tinydoll’ Ishige, Thai wrestling champion Kritsada “Dream Man” Kongsrichai, and multipl-timee Muay Thai world champion Sagetdao “Deadly Star” Petpayatha. The Thai stars are all set for action against opponents to be announced at a later date.
“This main event we have lined up is sure to produce fireworks as Thailand’s biggest martial arts star, Shannon Wiratchai, showcases his skills inside the ONE Championship cage against Russia’s Rasul Yakhyaev,” said ONE Championship’s Chairman and CEO, Chatri Sityodtong.
“Bangkok is one of the most amazing places in the world to hold a live sporting event, because the fans are so passionate and energetic.
“The atmosphere we create at the Impact Arena is unique, and you have to experience it first-hand to understand the kind of electricity that flows through the stadium.“