ONE Championship thrilled audiences when it featured a mixed-rules superfight between Demetrious Johnson and Rodtang Jitmuangnon at ONE X earlier this year, and on Monday the promotion announced its next mixed-rules bout will take place in January at ONE on Prime Video 6 in Bangkok.
This time, the matchup will feature Stamp Fairtex and Anissa Meksen – two of the most dazzling striking stars of recent years.
As ONE dips back into the mixed-rules pool, fans around the world have begun to discuss what other interesting matchups could be presented to them.
The selection of competitors is almost as fascinating as the rules that could be featured, so let’s get right to it and take a look at five mixed-rules superfights we’d like to see in ONE.
Anissa Meksen vs. Stamp Fairtex
Fans are getting a superfight they didn’t know they needed to see, but after it was announced at the ONE Lumpinee press conference, it jumped to the front of everyone’s mind.
Stamp Fairtex is a former two-sport world champion in kickboxing and Muay Thai, both titles that Anissa Meksen is currently seeking. However, Stamp has transitioned into mixed martial arts since then, so this matchup is sure to be a captivating litmus test for both women.
Both Meksen and Stamp will be competing on Sep. 30 at ONE on Prime Video 2: Xiong vs. Lee III, and their performances will help set the stage for their tussle inside the Circle in January.
While the specific rule set has not yet been announced, we know that any striking battle between the two will be scintillating. Stamp is a world-class striker and has a chance to prove that against the pound-for-pound queen.
As both women chase greatness, this is a spectacular way to bring eyes to two of martial art’s most unheralded female stars.
Demetrious Johnson vs. Mikey Musumeci
Fans have already seen Demetrious Johnson successfully compete in a Muay Thai/MMA mixed-rules bout with Rodtang Jitmuangnon, so his ability to switch it up inside the Circle has been proven.
But it would be fascinating to see him throw down in another mixed-rules contest, perhaps with submission grappling being included.
If that were to be an option, Mikey Musumeci is most likely the opponent of choice. However, there has been no indication that “Darth Rigatoni” has any interest in mixed martial arts.
And then there’s the question of whether or not the newly crowned flyweight king would even be able to survive a five-minute round with the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu phenom.
This particular matchup seems more like a dream than a reality, but perhaps a full-on submission grappling match is more realistic. Regardless, seeing these two stars compete would be close to the top of the wishlist.
Angela Lee vs. Danielle Kelly
The hypothetical matchup between Angela Lee and Danielle Kelly has a bit of spice to it already. The two have exchanged words through interviews, and Kelly does have aspirations to transition into mixed martial arts at some point. So it is possible that this battle could come to fruition at some point.
Kelly has said that she is focused on “real grapplers” and isn’t too interested in a grappling match with Lee, to which the ONE atomweight champion responded by saying that Kelly seemed “a little bit so into herself.”
Though they have not said it, a match between these two stars may present itself as somewhat of a grudge match, and if it went into a mixed martial arts round, both would undoubtedly enjoy trying to trade heavy leather.
Lee and Kelly are not quite rivals right now, but the thermostat between them has definitely been turned up a notch or two. Perhaps in 2023, more seeds could be planted for this possible superfight.
Rodtang Jitmuangnon vs. Xie Wei
A meeting between Rodtang Jitmuangnon and Xie Wei is only on this list for the pure mayhem that it would bring into the Circle. Nothing more, nothing less.
The ONE flyweight Muay Thai champion has teased some mixed martial arts training, and this would be a fun mixed-rules bout that could test this better than trying to battle the single greatest MMA athlete in history, Demetrious Johnson.
But those first three minutes would be incredible to watch as well. “The Hunter” has 12 career finishes by KO/TKO and is fearless on the feet.
As most fans know, the Thai superstar loves putting on a striking show and has an iron chin that he loves to show off. And if it went into MMA, Xie Wei is not the explosive chain wrestling that Johnson is, meaning Rodtang may be able to defend his shots.
There is enough intrigue surrounding this matchup that it may draw some interest toward seeing how Rodtang’s MMA skills have grown. And the action would speak for itself.
Wondergirl vs. Xiong Jing Nan
Perhaps the sleeper of all potential mixed-rules bouts is Nat “Wondergirl” Jaroonsak vs. Xiong Jing Nan.
Wondergirl is transitioning into mixed martial arts herself and has eyes on Xiong’s ONE strawweight championship, but she still needs a bit more experience before making her way up to the top of the mountain. However, Xiong has never really gotten to face a striker that has the caliber of Wondergirl.
The first round would most certainly give everyone a chance to see “The Panda” truly tested on the feet. This would give Wondergirl an early chance to score a shock stoppage, while also presenting Xiong with the opportunity to surprise the Thai with her thudding power.
If Xiong successfully defends her crown against Angela Lee again at ONE on Prime Video 2, this mixed-rules bout should get a look from ONE. It would tell us a lot about Wondergirl and allow everybody to see Xiong in another stand-up firefight.