After being forced to postpone its women’s atomweight grand prix, ONE Championship finds itself with the perfect backup plan. ONE Championship: Full Blast will go down this Friday with a pre-recorded event being streamed at 8:30 a.m. ET. This event will feature a variety of martial arts including one kickboxing bout, one Muay Thai bout and three MMA bouts. Make sure to set a reminder for Friday morning because this is simply an event you do not want to miss!
The main event will feature an explosive ONE Muay Thai bantamweight showdown. Saemapetch Fairtex takes on “Left Meteorite” Kulabdam Sor Jor Piek Uthai in a war between two top contenders. Saemapetch comes in as the No. 1-ranked contender and Kulabdam comes in as the No. 3-ranked contender. This fight was originally supposed to happen in August of 2020, but Saemapetch was forced to withdraw with an injury. They will now meet with the hopes of taking the next step towards a shot at beating the champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao.
In the co-main event, Kantharaj “Kannadiga” Agasa takes on “The Hunter” Wei Xie in a flyweight MMA bout. Agasa will make his promotional debut against the always dangerous Xie. Both fighters have the potential to do damage in this division, but only one will come out victorious on Friday.
This fight card will also feature a kickboxing “fight of the year” candidate, the debut of Egypt’s most promising prospect Ahmed Faress, and an America vs. China scrap to start the card. You never know what will happen during a ONE Championship event, but you can be ensured that these fights will be must-see action.
Saemapetch failed in his prior conquest for ONE gold. Can a victory over Kulabdam get him back in the title picture? Or will Kulabdam play spoiler and move closer to contention?
Saemapetch comes into Friday night with a 4-1 ONE Championship Muay Thai record. After joining ONE Championship in 2018, Saemapetch won four straight fights before getting a chance at becoming champion. Unfortunately, Nong-O Gaiyanghadao was the better man that night and sent Saemapetch back down the rankings. Saemapetch went back to the drawing board and came back stronger than ever. He returned last year to pull out a split decision win against fellow top contender Rodlek P.K. Saenchai. Saemapetch now finds himself with the need to beat Kulabdam Sor Jor Piek Uthai to get back into the title picture.
With a win against Kulabdam, Saemapetch should find himself right back in the discussion for the next title shot. Saemapetch will have this opportunity because of the lack of contenders in the division. He previously beat Rodlek and finds himself against Rodlek’s last win, Kulabdam. Anyone who can beat two of the top fighters in the division with a No. 1-ranking should get a title shot. Not only would Saemapetch have the wins needed to get the rematch, but also the idea of how much has changed between the two fighters creates excitement. Saemapetch has the path set up for another title shot, but he will first have to get through the extremely motivated Kulabdam.
Kulabdam has continued to go underrated in this division. He was previously only one fight away from a title shot before losing to Rodlek at the end of 2020. With a win against Saemapetch, Kulabdam will take the next step in his journey to a title shot. Kulabdam has all of the tools needed to win but finds himself against the more experienced Saemapetch. Luckily for Kulabdam, Saemapetch’s injury has given both fighters more time to prepare for each other. This fight will be a high-stakes war between two fighters ready to do whatever it takes to win.
There are three MMA contests on this card. Which one should fight fans pay the most attention to?
All three MMA fights are intriguing, but one has separated itself from the rest. Egypt’s most promising prospect Ahmed Faress takes on the gritty veteran Edward Kelly. Faress enters Friday with the hopes of starting his ONE Championship career off right. The 29-year old Egyptian has built up a solid record of 16-3 with every single win coming by finish. With massive hype around him, Faress looks to make Egypt proud with a win in his ONE Championship debut. Faress will not have to get through one of his toughest opponents yet in Kelly.
On the other side of the cage, Kelly is known for two things; fighting for ONE Championship and not going to the judges’ decision. Kelly comes in with a kill-or-be-killed mindset that has resulted in many finishes in the past. Since joining ONE in 2013, only three of Kelly’s fifteen fights have gone to decision. His newest opponent Faress may have more hype around him, but Kelly comes in with more ONE experience than most fighters in the world. If he wants to win, Kelly needs to fight smart and find a way to weather the early storm. Once Faress potentially starts to slow down, Kelly can use his experience and cardio to go for the finish. With unbelievable finish rates from both fighters, this is the type of event that you can not blink!
The lone kickboxing affair features two promising welterweights in Santino Verbeek and Miles Simson. Which prospect comes out on top?
ONE Championship is the go-to spot when it comes to seeing a variety of martial arts. Its latest addition to this display is a thrilling kickboxing bout between Santino Verbeek and Miles Simson. This bout has the chance to be a “fight of the year” contender. Two deadly strikers will go toe-to-toe to determine the frontrunner of the ONE Super Series kickboxing welterweight division.
Verbeek enters the cage with his first ONE Championship win under his belt. After building up a 36-14-3 kickboxing record, Verbeek beat Juan Cervantes in his promotional debut back in 2019. Since winning his first ONE fight, Verbeek has had nearly two years to heal up and improve. Verbeek comes into this fight at 26 years old with the potential to dominate the welterweight division. He will now continue his journey to ONE gold with a matchup against one of the most durable and talented fighters in the division in Simson.
Simson is ready to make a statement in his promotional debut. He enters this fight with a 65-14 record between kickboxing and Muay Thai. The 29-year old last fought at Glory 62 back in December of 2018. With two years off, Simson should return healthy and ready to show his improvements. Both fighters come in ready to make a name for themselves in the division, but only one can come out victorious.
This fight is hard to pick because of the long layoff of both fighters. You never know how ring rust will affect a fighter’s ability to let their hands go. The last we saw of Simson he was on the wrong end of a brutal head-kick knockout. Simson decided to take several years off to fix the holes in his game. Unfortunately, Simson will be welcomed back by one of the division’s most promising fighters.
The last time we saw Verbeek he was pulling out a majority decision in his ONE Championship debut. Despite not seeing either fighter in two years, we can predict based on their last performances. Simson was durable and powerful but lacked the speed and defense to stay out of trouble. On the other hand, Verbeek uses his speed and aggression to put intense pressure on his opponent. Verbeek should be able to apply pressure throughout the fight and ultimately beat Simson with an electrifying war that goes to a decision. With that being said, anything is possible when two high-level kickboxers step into the cage together.
Main Card (B/R Live, 8:30 a.m. ET)
Muay Thai (Bantamweight): Saemapetch Fairtex vs. Kulabdam Sor Jor Piek Uthai
MMA (Flyweight): Kantharaj Shankar Agasa vs. Wei Xie
Kickboxing (Welterweight): Santino Verbeek vs. Miles Simson
MMA (Featherweight): Ahmed Faress vs. Edward Kelly
MMA (57.7-kilogram Catchweight): Anthony Do vs. Hui Liang
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