ONE Championship kicks off the month of June with a fight card that is sure to be full of action, packed fights, and a Muay Thai contest sitting atop the card in the main event. The featherweight Muay Thai main event will pit one of the world’s top pound-for-pound fighters, Tawanchai PK.Saenchai, against a Danish star making his ONE debut in Niclas Larsen. Leading up to the fight, Larsen has been quoted multiple times saying that while he is feeling the pressure of taking on a legend he enjoys the feeling and thinks that the emotions will bring the best out of him as he takes on the biggest challenge of his career.
In the co-main event, bantamweight contenders clash, with a potential title shot on the line, as Kwon Won Il meets Fabricio Andrade. Kwon has won three straight fights heading into this showdown, getting knockout victories in all three of those contests. His opponent, Andrade, has been on a winning streak of his own, rattling off six-straight en route to this clash with Kwon. An impressive performance by either fighter could lead them into a bout against newly crowned bantamweight champion John Lineker in the near future.
ONE 158 will air live and free on ONE’s website at 5:30 a.m. ET on Friday, Jun. 3. Let’s take a look at some previews and predictions.
Niclas Larsen makes his ONE debut in a Muay Thai contest against Tawanchai PK.Saenchai; does the Danish striker seize the moment against one of the world’s best kickboxers?
Niclas Larsen has admitted that he has never faced someone of Tawanchai PK.Saenchai’s caliber. Despite having a world title on his resume, this is still a step up in competition for the Danish fighter. Unfortunately, this fight will be too much to handle in his promotional debut, as Tawanchai notches his 127th professional victory. The night won’t be a huge blemish on the former GLORY standout’s record, as Larsen will make a good account of himself in his debut wearing four-ounce gloves.
The two biggest takeaways from this fight for Larsen will be that he is talented enough to go the distance with one of the greatest kickboxers in the world, and that he is physically- and mentally-tough enough to withstand a great deal of punishment in smaller gloves. This will be a good first showing for Larsen in the organizatio,n and he will have his fair share of victories inside ONE before he hangs up the four-ounce gloves.
Both Kwon Won Il and Fabricio Andrade enter their showdown with a great deal of momentum; which one of these bantamweights keeps his winning streak intact?
This fight is going to come down to whether or not Andrade can avoid the fight-ending power of Kwon. Nine of his eleven victories have come by knockout, including body-shot knockouts in his two most recent bouts. If he connects flush, he can close the show in an instant. However, in a horrible play on the Spider Man catchphrase, “with great power comes great responsibility.” If Kwon doesn’t pay careful attention to his defense, as he leaps into potential show stopping punches, he will wind up dazed and confused early-on in the fight and will struggle to make it the distance.
Expect Kwon’s power to be the difference early on in the fight, but it will fade as Andrade proves to be more durable than other recent opponents. Out of all his knockout wins, only one came in the third round. Six have come in the opening round, and two came in round two. In this fight, after the opening round, the judges will have Kwon in the lead, but the tide will turn in the second frame. As Kwon begins to slow down, Andrade will start landing with more regularity and score a takedown late in the second, or early in the third round. From there, Andrade will take full control of the fight and earn his seventh-straight win, this time, by way of unanimous decision.
Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida has notched two first-round submission wins in his two mixed martial arts bouts; does the jiu-jitsu legend make it three-straight finishes against Australia’s Simon Carson?
Yes. This will be, yet, another fight where Buchecha is able to quickly get the fight to the canvas and make his opponent look like a fish out of water. Carson is just 2-1 as a professional mixed martial artist, and that one loss on his record came by a foot-lock submission. He will have to be extra careful this time out, because, if Almeida gets a hold of one of Carson’s limbs, he might just take it home with him.
Don’t expect this fight to make it past the first round. It will not only be three-straight finishes for Buchecha, it will be three consecutive first-round submissions. After this win, the ONE matchmakers will be forced to give the 32-year-old Brazilian star a step-up in competition, who can test him more by stuffing a few takedowns and forcing him to engage in an extended striking exchange.
Which fight is the sleeper match-up on this card?
The atomweight clash on the lead card between Jenelyn Olsim and Julie Mezabarba should not be overlooked. Mezabarba is coming off a loss in her last bout to Stamp Fairtex, but, prior to that, she had won six-straight fights, dating back to her 2018 draw against Andressa Romero. Olsim is no pushover, and she poses a significant threat in the submission world. Mezabarba will have her hands full, as she looks to avoid getting submitted for the first time, but she will, ultimately, come away victorious and restart her march towards a title shot.
Main Card (ONE website, 8:30 a.m. ET)
FW Muay Thai: Tawanchai PK.Saenchai vs. Niclas Larsen
BW: Kwon Won Il vs. Fabricio Andrade
FlyW: Reece McLaren vs. Xie Wei
HW: Marcus Almeida vs. Simon Carson
FlyW: Kairat Akhmetov vs. Tatsumitsu Wada
HW Kickboxing: Rade Opacic vs. Guto Inocente
Lead Card (ONE website, 5:30 a.m. ET)
StrawW: Alex Silva vs. Adrian Mattheis
FlyW: Yodkaikaew Fairtex vs. Gurdarshan Mangat
LW Kickboxing: Marouan Toutouh vs. Constantin Rusu
HW: Odie Delaney vs. Mehdi Barghi
HW: Duke Didier vs. Jasur Mirzamukhamedov
AtomW: Jenelyn Olsim vs. Julie Mezabarba
LW: Kim Kyung Lock vs. Edson Marques
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