The capstone of this weekend’s doubleheader is ONE on Prime Video 3, complete with three world championship bouts sitting at the top of the fight card.
In the main event, UFC veteran John Lineker looks to make his first defense of his ONE bantamweight title that he won by knocking out Bibiano Fernandes back in March. He scored a second-round finish in that fight, making it three straight finishes for the hard-hitting Brazilian. His opponent, fellow Brazilian Fabricio Andrade, is also riding a hot streak coming into this title showdown, as he has won his last two bouts by knockout and both by attacking his opponents’ bodies. This one isn’t likely to go the distance as these two sluggers duke it out.
In the co-main event, ONE Championship introduces a new belt to the organization as Regian Eersel tries to add a Muay Thai world title to his resume where he is already the promotion’s lightweight kickboxing champion. His opponent is Sinsamut Klinmee, who has fought twice inside ONE Championship and has won both of those fights by knockout. He has devastating power and will prove to be a real tough test for Eersel in this five-round showdown.
The third title bout is also going to introduce a new belt to the organization, as Kade Ruotolo meets Uali Kurzhev for the inaugural lightweight submission grappling championship. Ruotolo is riding high coming into this match, as he just became the youngest man to win a gold medal at the Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Grappling World Championships last month. Kurzhev’s grappling background is robust, as he came up the ranks in Sambo and Judo and has scarcely competed under strict submission-grappling rules.
John Lineker finally claimed a world title in his last bout; does the hard-hitting Brazilian successfully defend his belt against his countryman Fabricio Andrade?
They say there are only two guarantees in life: death and taxes. A third thing needs to be added to that list: if you fight John Lineker, he is going to hurt you. Win, lose, or draw, Lineker is going to land something heavy that makes his opponents remember him. I’m on record saying that I hate when fighters dust off old nicknames from legendary fighters and take them as their own. The lone exception I have to that hatred is John Lineker taking Roberto Duran’s “Hands of Stone,” because it couldn’t be more accurate. Perhaps the heaviest hands in his division across any promotion, Lineker has made a career out of knocking people out with devastating punches.
This fight between two Brazilians is going to, basically, be a kickboxing match. Despite both men being competent grapplers, their confidence comes from their respective abilities to finish fights on the feet. While Lineker uses his fists to get the job done on most occasions, Andrade has notched his last two knockouts via a body kick and knees to the body. He is going to try and punish the body of Lineker as the champion moves forward lunging into big looping punches. While Andrade may have some success, when push comes to shove, Lineker will take a glancing knee to the body to deliver a huge punch, and, in doing so, he will put Andrade on his butt and follow up with one or two more big punches on the ground to retain his title by first-round TKO.
Will Regian Eersel add another belt to his mantle by beating Sinsamut Klinmee for the inaugural lightweight Muay Thai championship?
This might be the contest I’m most excited for across all combat sports in the packed month of October. Regian Eersel is just an incredible fighter, and he is currently the number-one ranked welterweight by Combat Press for good reason. The Surinamese-Dutch fighter hasn’t lost since 2016, which doesn’t seem like that long ago, but it was six years and 19 fights ago. Since then, he has looked unbeatable, and his recent stretch of decision victories is perhaps more impressive than if he had knocked out everyone early, because he has avoided the big power of guys like Nieky Holzken and Islam Murtazaev over five rounds.
Eersel won’t skate by Sinsamut Klinmee with ease, because Sinsamut is a beast himself. Sinsamut knocked out Holzken earlier this year, and then followed it up by knocking out Liam Nolan just three months ago. At the end of the day, Sinsamut will land a few clean shots and avoid being stopped by Eersel, but, over the bulk of the five rounds, it will be Eersel picking apart his opponent and putting on an absolute clinic on how to fight technically and avoid big counter shots without being what some fans might call a boring fighter. This is going to be good.
The second submission grappling world champion will be crowned; will it be Kade Ruotolo or Uali Kurzhev who goes home with the title?
19. That is how old Kade Ruotolo is, and he is, without a doubt, one of the best grapplers on the planet. He became the youngest person to win the ADCC world championships last month, and he will add the ONE world title to his resume by defeating Uali Kurzhev via submission in their showdown. This match is kind of tailor-made for Ruotolo, because he is much more familiar with the traditional world of submission grappling than his counterpart.
Kurzhev comes from a Sambo and Judo background, so he certainly is well-versed as a grappler, but this is only his second match under these rules. Kurzhev has promised to bring a lot of surprises to this contest, but that won’t amount to any real success. Any tricks that he has up his sleeve will be easily foiled by Ruotolo, who will play a defensive game early, but, after quickly figuring out Kurzhev’s game, he will go on the offensive and look to snatch a submission win after winning a decision over veteran Shinya Aoki in his ONE debut. Ruotolo is certainly the future of submission grappling inside ONE Championship and the future starts this weekend.
Which fight is the sleeper match-up on this card?
Probably the atomweight bout between Lea Bivins and Noelle Grandjean. Originally, Bivins was slated to make her ONE debut back in July, but her opponent missed weight and then withdrew from the fight altogether. Now, she is finally able to make her debut, and so is her opponent Noelle Grandjean. These two debutants will both be looking to make a statement, and this Lead Card bout will be one to watch as these two keep a pace that leaves fans at home exhausted trying to keep up with their level of activity.
Main Card (Amazon Prime Video, 10 p.m. ET)
BW World Championship: John Lineker vs. Fabricio Andrade
LW Muay Thai World Championship: Regian Eersel vs. Sinsamut Klinmee
LW Submission Grappling Championship: Kade Ruotolo vs. Uali Kurzhev
FW Kickboxing: Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong vs. Mohammed Boutasaa
FW: Kim Jae Woong vs. Shamil Gasanov
Lead Card (ONE Championship website, 8 p.m. ET)
StrawW: Jeremy Miado vs. Danial Williams
FlyW Muay Thai: Amir Naseri vs. Taiki Naito
BW Muay Thai: Asa Ten Pow vs. Mehdi Zatout
AtomW: Lea Bivins vs. Noelle Grandjean
In Stadium After Main Event (ONE Championship website, TBD)
FW: Keanu Subba vs. Yoon Chang Min
WW: Agilan Thani vs. Ilja Stojanov
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