ONE Championship returned to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Friday, Aug. 18, for ONE Championship: Quest for Greatness. Stadium Negara played host to the company’s 11th event in the country, becoming the second most visited destination for the Singapore-based organization.
Unbeaten ONE featherweight king Marat Gafurov made his much-anticipated return against No. 1 contender Martin Nguyen. Gafurov attempted to defend his belt for the third time following back-to-back submission wins in his previous title defenses against Kazunori Yokota and Narantungalag Jadambaa. Earlier this year, Nguyen knocked out the aforementioned Yokota in the first round to earn his fourth straight win and a shot at the title.
The co-headliner featured a match-up between Malaysian-born Ev Ting and former ONE welterweight champion Nobutatsu Suzuki. Ting hoped the hometown fans would aid in his journey back to the win column following a devastating title defeat against ONE lightweight champ Eduard Folayang. Ting is undefeated inside the promotion when fighting in Malaysia. Six of his seven victories have come in his home country. Suzuki returned to the promotion for the first time since losing his title to Ben Askren at ONE FC 19 in 2014.
The main card also featured a former champions and title challengers, plus a mix of rising prospects and hungry veterans. Former ONE strawweight titleholder Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke returned against Filipino striker Robin Catalan, top bantamweight contenders and former title challengers Reece McLaren and Kevin Belingon clashed, and Malaysian prospect Gianni Subba stepped up against former title challenger Asuka “Riku Shibuya” Mikami.
The preliminary card aired live at 7 a.m. ET on Facebook. The main card was available via pay-per-view on ONE Championship’s streaming service at 8:30 a.m. ET.