ONE Championship is targeting two successes in a row in its Singapore comeback with Friday’s Reign of Dynasties II event. The headliner of the card will showcase accomplished strikers “Muay Thai Boy” Zhang Chenglong and Hiroki Akimoto battling it out in a kickboxing match.
Chenglong wants to keep his high ranking in the bantamweight division of ONE’s kickboxing side intact in the hopes of earning another title shot. He dropped a close decision to reigning ONE bantamweight kickboxing titlist Alaverdi Ramazanov in December. However, he is going to stake his high rank against a formidable opponent. Akimoto is a karate world champion who is raring to make an impressive showing as he jumps up one weight class to join the bantamweight division.
The co-main event marks the ONE Super Series debut of two former Muay Thai world champions, “Bamboo Sword” Zhang Chunyu and Sagetdao “Deadly Star” Petpayathai. Both men should be familiar to ONE fans, though. Chunyu is Chenglong’s older brother, and Sagetdao has already competed in the organization as an MMA fighter. It will be exciting to see how Sagetdao will fare in his first Muay Thai fight since he retired from the sport in 2014.
The remainder of the lineup features an explosive mix of two more Muay Thai fights and two MMA matches. The other Muay Thai battles include Azwan Che Wil of Malaysia exchanging strikes with Wang Wenfeng of China in flyweight action and Mohammed “Jordan Boy” Bin Mahmoud of Malaysia against Han Zi Hao of China in a bantamweight battle to open the card. On the MMA front, Ryuto Sawada of Japan clashes with Miao Li Tao of China in a strawweight contest, while Keanu Subba of Malaysia fights for the first time since breaking his tibia and fibula. Subba goes up against Tang Kai of China, who is on a five-fight winning streak.
Reign of Dynasties II takes place at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand. Fans can see the full event on the ONE app and ONE’s YouTube channel at 6:30 a.m. ET on Friday. American fight fans can find the broadcast on the B/R Live streaming platform.
How will Hiroki Akimoto perform in his move up to bantamweight against former ONE title challenger Zhang Chenglong?
This main event, with two master strikers clashing, promises to be an exciting one.
Akimoto is making his debut in the division, moving up from flyweight. He has an impressive professional record as a fighter, with 22 wins through 23 fights so far. Akimoto is intent on making a good impression in his initial foray into the bantamweight division, but it’s not going to be easy. His opponent, “Muay Thai Boy” Zhang Chenglong, is also determined to make a splash in his first bout since losing a very close decision to ONE bantamweight kickboxing titlist Alaverdi Ramazanov in December. Muay Thai Boy will be motivated to keep his high ranking and even try to improve on it in an effort to lead to a title rematch with Ramazanov.
Both fighters are highly skilled strikers who are known for their technique and aggressiveness. Expect a back-and-forth battle with exciting exchanges that will ultimately end in a close-but-clear victory for Chenglong.
Chenglong’s brother, Zhang Chunyu, is also featured on this card. Chunyu clashes with Sagetdao Petpayathai. Will Chunyu emerge with a victory?
In the card’s co-main event, “Bamboo Sword” Zhang Chunyu and Chenglong’s older brother is going to fight Muay Thai legend Sagetdao “Deadly Star” Petpayathai.
Chunyu is a former WPMF world champion and has been more active as a striker than Sagetdao, who has been competing as a mixed martial artist in recent years after making the switch following his retirement from Muay Thai in 2014.
However, even though “Deadly Star” has been retired from Muay Thai competition for several years, he was a legend in the sport. He won multiple titles in Lumpinee, Rajadamnern, WBC Muay Thai, and WPMF. He was known for his effective knee and clinch-fighting techniques.
This will be another close battle. Sagetdao will likely be a little rusty since he hasn’t fought in a high-level Muay Thai bout in a while. Chunyu is also a very skilled striker, but Sagetdao will get the better of the “Bamboo Sword” in a very hard-fought, razor-thin decision victory that will likely leave both combatants bloodied and exhausted.
Are the MMA bouts on this card worthy of the fans’ attention?
The thing that fans should take a close look at is how Keanu Subba performs in his return bout after recovering from the horrifying injury he suffered in his last fight. Subba broke both his fibula and tibia in his match against Japan’s Ryogo Takahashi in May 2019. How will Subba’s leg feel in actual combat? Will he be tentative and passive instead of being aggressive in his attack?
These are the questions for which fans will excitedly await the answers. The fact that Subba’s opponent, Tang Kai, is on a hot streak with five straight wins isn’t going to help. Tang will likely be on the attack from the opening bell, trying to test Subba as well as the condition of his leg. Kai will probably lead with leg kicks just to test the leg at first, but also with the intention of inflicting as much damage as possible. This is bound to keep fans on the edge of their seats.
Main Card (B/R Live, 6:30 a.m. ET)
Kickboxing (BW): Zhang Chenglong vs. Hiroki Akimoto
Muay Thai (FW): Zhang Chunyu vs. Sagetdao Petpayathai
MMA (FW): Keanu Subba vs. Tang Kai
Muay Thai (FlyW): Azwan Che Wil vs. Wang Wenfeng
MMA (StrawW): Ryuto Sawada vs. Miao Li Tao
Muay Thai (BW): Mohammed Bin Mahmoud vs. Han Zi Hao
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