Tawanchai PK.Saenchai (ONE Championship)

ONE 167: Tawanchai vs. Nattawut II Preview and Predictions

On Friday, Jun. 7, ONE Championship will return to the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand for ONE 167. The event shouldn’t be overlooked by any combat sports fans, as several matchups have the potential to be Fight of the Year contenders.

In the main event, Stamp Fairtex was scheduled to defend her women’s atomweight MMA throne for the first time. Things dramatically changed when the fan-favorite suffered a torn meniscus and pulled out of the fight, leading to Denice Zamboanga losing her opportunity to claim ONE gold.

As a result, the ONE 167 co-main event featuring Tawanchai defending his featherweight Muay Thai throne strap was upgraded to the main event. The 25-year-old phenom will face Jo Nattawut in a rematch after they battled in a short-notice kickboxing bout in October 2023.


The new co-main event for Friday’s card is a flyweight kickboxing matchup between Rodtang and Denis Puric. ‘The Iron Man’ looks to extend his promotional kickboxing record to 3-0, while Puric plans to pull off an upset and potentially a flyweight Muay Thai title shot.

ONE 167 is stacked with entertaining fights for diehard fans of the promotion, including Mikey Musumeci vs Gabriel Sousa in submission grappling, Kade Ruotolo’s MMA debut, the promotional debuts of Adrian Lee and Masaaki Noiri, the return of Liam Harrison, and Johan Ghazali in action.

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 167.

Tawanchai picked up a unanimous decision win the first time he fought Jo Nattawut; can he replicate that fight and successfully defend his Muay Thai world title?

In October 2023, Tawanchai was scheduled to defend his featherweight Muay Thai throne against Superbon. Instead, the 25-year-old was matched up in a short-notice kickboxing bout against Jo Nattawut after Superbon was forced to pull out with a leg injury.

Tawanchai may have emerged victorious at ONE Fight Night 15, but Nattawut made a massive statement by helping to produce a Fight of the Year contender. Next time out, Nattawut won another Fight of the Year contender against Luke Lessei, leading to the Tawanchai rematch.

The primary difference in the rematch between Tawanchai and Nattawut is they will fight in four-ounce Muay Thai gloves. Tawanchai has competed at a much higher level than Nattawut in “The Art of Eight Limbs” and both fighters had plenty of notice for this matchup.

Nattawut has become a fan favorite for ONE Championship diehards, but he’s likely going to struggle at ONE 167. Tawanchai’s ability to fight at various ranges and angles makes him a world-class striker. He should retain his featherweight throne by knockout in the early rounds.

Denis Puric has fought his last five fights under Muay Thai rules; can he adapt and pick up a win over the legend Rodtang in a kickboxing contest?

Denis Puric is coming off a unanimous decision Muay Thai win against Jacob Smith on Apr. 5. “The Bosnian Menace” used the solid performance to call out Rodtang for a flyweight title shot in “The Art of Eight Limbs.”

ONE decided to partially grant his wish by booking him against ‘The Iron Man’ in a kickboxing bout at ONE 167.

Anyone who’s seen Puric fight knows what to expect. The 39-year-old will bite down on his mouthpiece, move forward, and throw powerful bombs. He’s found success throughout his promotional tenure in the flyweight Muay Thai division, but how will he fare in kickboxing?

Rodtang shares similarities with Puric’s entertaining fighting style, but he tends to be more calculated. Therefore, the flyweight Muay Thai king should be able to maintain his composure and secure a close unanimous decision in this must-see kickboxing bout on Friday.

Mikey Musemeci is a grappling phenom; can he continue his hot streak by defeating Joao Gabriel Sousa and head into his September showdown with Kade Ruotolo with even more momentum?

Mikey Musumeci is undoubtedly the biggest superstar in ONE Championship’s expansion into submission grappling. With that said, the grappling phenom hasn’t faced many world-level jiu-jitsu competitors in their prime, which he will do at ONE 167.

At 27 years old, Sousa has secured gold in many tournaments worldwide. The Brazilian will have added confidence in his promotional debut later this week as he holds a win over Musumeci from a Who’s Number One event in 2021.

There are varying rulesets and regulations for submission grappling competitions. ONE Championship rewards submission attempts and Musumeci has a massive experience advantage. Therefore, ‘Darth Rigatoni’ should take the win by unanimous decision.

Which fight is the sleeper matchup on this card?

The sleeper matchup of ONE 167 is a featherweight kickboxing bout between Sitthichai and Masaaki Noiri.
Before signing with ONE, Noiri established himself as a world-class kickboxer during his time with K-1, winning multiple Grand Prixs and titles. The Japanese phenom now looks to extend his legacy by becoming a world champion in the Chatri Sityodtong-run promotion.

Noiri won’t waste time as he’s been matched up against the number three-ranked Sitthichai. The all-action Thai fighter holds several high-level wins in ONE, including Tawanchai in Muay Thai. At ONE 167, Sitthichai looks to spoil Noiri’s debut in an action-packed battle.

Fight Pick
Full Card (Prime Video, 8 p.m. ET)
FW Muay Thai Championship: Tawanchai PK Saenchai vs. Jo Nattawut Tawanchai
FlyW Kickboxing: Rodtang Jitmuangnon vs. Denis Puric Rodtang
BW Submission Grappling: Mikey Musemeci vs. Joao Gabriel Sousa Musumeci
BW Muay Thai: Liam Harrison vs. Katsuki Kitano Harrison
LW: Kade Ruotolo vs. Blake Cooper Ruotolo
FW Kickboxing: Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong vs. Masaaki Noiri Noiri
Women’s AtomW: Denise Zamboanga vs. Noelle Grandjean Zamboanga
LW: Adrian Lee vs. Antonio Mammarella Lee
FlyW Muay Thai: Johan Ghazali vs. Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat Ghazali
Women’s AtomW: Itsuki Hirata vs. Victoria Souza Hirata
BW Muay Thai: Johan Estupinan vs. Zafer Sayik Estupinan