The new calendar year is upon us, and ONE Championship will kick off their 2024 MMA action with an event on Friday, Jan. 8.
ONE Fight Night 18 was initially scheduled to be headlined by Superlek Kiatmoo9 defending his ONE flyweight kickboxing world title against Elias Mahmoudi. Unfortunately, a hand injury suffered by Rodtang led to Superlek replacing him in the ONE 166 main event against Takeru Segawa later this month.
The main event switch gave ONE limited time to book a world title matchup for the ONE Fight Night 18 main event. As a result, Friday’s event inside Lumpinee Stadium will be headlined by a featherweight contender matchup between Shamil Gasanov and Oh Ho Taek.
ONE Fight Night 18 won’t feature a world title bout. With that said, there are several matchups to look forward to, including Kwon Won Il vs. Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg (bantamweight MMA) and Suablack Tor Pran49 vs. Stefan Korodi (bantamweight Muay Thai).
The event airs live on Amazon Prime Video starting at 8 p.m. ET. Let’s take a look at the preview and predictions for ONE Fight Night 18, which takes place inside the legendary Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
The event is headlined with a featherweight MMA contest between Shamil Gasanov and Oh Ho Taek; will it be the Russian or the Korean fighter who earns a victory?
Shamil Gasanov was seen as a potential featherweight MMA title contender when he signed with ONE. Those expectations were quickly validated when he defeated Kim Jae Woong by a first-round submission in his promotional debut.
In Jul. 2023, Gasanov suffered a significant setback when he faced Garry Tonon at ONE Fight Night 12. Tonon utilized his superior grappling skills to secure a second-round submission to hand the Russian his first professional MMA loss.
Gasanovs now looks to bounce back against Oh Ho Taek. The South Korean featherweight holds a 1-1 promotional record, including a devastating 44-second knockout loss against Akbar Abdullaev in Mar. 2023.
Oh should not be overlooked, as the 30-year-old has the tools to pull off an upset on Friday. With that said, Gasanov’s striking is improving to complement his top-tier grappling skills. Therefore, ‘The Cobra’ should be able to weather Oh’s early pressure before winning by second-round submission.
Suablack Tor Pran49 makes his official ONE debut after excelling in the ONE Friday Fight Series; how does he fare against Stefan Korodi?
In 2023, Muay Thai was rampant in ONE Championship due to the ONE Friday Fight Series. The weekly production led to several fighters finding tremendous success to earn a contract on ONE’s primary roster, which is showcased during their Amazon Prime Video events.
Suablack Tor Pran49 was a primary example of a fighter who capitalized on the opportunities presented by the ONE Friday Fight events. The 27-year-old fought four times in 2023 and won all by knockout, leading to a six-figure contract.
The Thai fighter’s first test since earning his contract will be against promotional newcomer Stefan Korodi. The 29-year-old Irish fighter plans to spoil Suablack’s moment by stealing the show inside the legendary Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.
Unfortunately for Korodi, Suablack is riding a significant wave of momentum, which won’t be slowed down at ONE Fight Night 18 after he leaves with a first-round knockout win.
Kwon Won Il looks to extend his winning streak to three this weekend by defeating Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg; can the South Korean get the job done?
Kwon Won Il had a three-fight losing streak after suffering a first-round knockout loss in June 2022 against the now-reigning ONE bantamweight MMA world champion Fabricio Andrade. Since then, Kwon has bounced back with back-to-back knockout wins against Mark Abelardo and Artem Belakh.
Kwon looks to continue his winning ways by taking out Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg at ONE Fight Night 18. Zoltsetseg holds a promotional record of 6-3, including four wins by knockout. The Mongolian last fought in September 2023, defeating Chen Rui by split decision.
Zoltsetseg has the power and striking skills to knock out anyone in the division. Unfortunately for him, Kwon is also a phenomenal striker with the grappling skills needed to mix things up and keep his opponents guessing. ‘Pretty Boy’ should emerge victorious by second or third-round knockout.
Which fight is the sleeper matchup on this card?
The ONE Fight Night 18 sleeper matchup is a lightweight Muay Thai fight between Rungrawee Sitsongpeenong and Shakir Al-Tekreti.
Rungrawee burst onto the ONE Muay Thai scene with three consecutive unanimous decision wins. In September 2023, he endured a setback due to a first-round knockout loss against Dmitry Menshikov.
Meanwhile, Al-Tekreeti made his ONE debut in October 2023, defeating Bampara Kouyate by unanimous decision. Al-Tekreeti now looks to make a statement in the ONE lightweight Muay Thai division by defeating Rungrawee, who is extra motivated to get back on track.
Main Card (Amazon Prime Video, 8 p.m. ET)
FW: Shamil Gasanov vs. Oh Ho Taek
BW Muay Thai: Suablack Tor Pran49 vs. Stefan Korodi
BW: Kwon Won Il vs. Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg
LW Muay Thai: Rungrawee Sitsongpeenong vs. Shakir Al-Tekreeti
BW: Artem Belakh vs. Enkh-Orgil Baatarkhuu
LW Muay Thai: Liam Nolan vs. Ali Aliev
HW: Kang Ji Won vs. Mikhail Jamal Abdul-Latif
LHW KB: Beybulat Isaev vs. Yuri Farcas
BW: Mark Abelardo vs. Ibragim Dauev
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