COMPLETE CARD ANNOUNCED FOR ONE: REIGN OF VALOR ON 8 MARCH IN YANGON
ZEBAZTIAN KADESTAM TO DEFEND ONE WELTERWEIGHT WORLD TITLE AGAINST GEORGIY KICHIGIN
27 February 2019 – Yangon, Myanmar: The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), has just announced the complete card for ONE: REIGN OF VALOR, set for the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium on Friday, 8 March. In the main event, reigning ONE Welterweight World Champion Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam of Sweden will make the first defense of his ONE World Title against Georgiy “Knight” Kichigin of Kazakhstan.
Ticket information for ONE: REIGN OF VALOR is available at www.onefc.com.
Kadestam captured the vacant ONE Welterweight World Championship with a stunning fifth-round knockout of previously unbeaten American Tyler McGuire last November. “The Bandit” took the welterweight throne by showcasing his dynamic striking skills, and now he looks to make his first ONE World Title defense against the veteran Kichigin.
Kichigin is a grappling specialist and a Fight Nights Global Welterweight Champion who hails from Almaty, Kazakhstan. He has amassed a stellar 20-5 professional mixed martial arts record, of which 16 victories have come by submission. “Knight” is currently riding an impressive 14-bout win streak, having not lost a match since November 2014. Now, he makes his way to ONE Championship to challenge Kadestam for the ONE Welterweight World Title.
In the co-main event, rising star Phoe “Bushido” Thaw of Myanmar returns to action to face veteran “The Iceman” Yohan Mulia Legowo of Indonesia.
Phoe Thaw, a Lethwei practitioner, burst onto the scene in 2015 in impressive fashion. He won his first six mixed martial arts contests, five of which by knockout in the first round. Last October, he suffered the first setback of his career and now, he is looking to get back on track with a win over a veteran martial artist.
Legowo, on the other hand, is a pioneer of Indonesia’s mixed martial arts scene, having competed extensively in a local promotion before making his way to the global stage of ONE Championship. “The Iceman” aims to prove that his veteran experience will reign supreme against one of Myanmar’s favorite athletes.
In a battle of hard-hitting heavyweights, former Muay Thai and kickboxing World Champion Alain “The Panther” Ngalani of Cameroon faces former ONE World Title challenger Mauro “The Hammer” Cerilli of Italy.
Ngalani, a Cameroon-born martial artist who trains out of Impakt MMA in his home of Hong Kong, boasts of a terrifying combination of power and speed, and is always looking to end matches early. Ngalani is a four-time Muay Thai and kickboxing heavyweight World Champion. After a short stint in ONE Super Series, Ngalani makes his return to mixed martial arts to take on Mauro Cerilli.
Cerilli is a Cage Warriors Heavyweight Champion and a certified finisher known for his knockout power and submission skills. Prior to his ONE debut, Cerilli was on an impressive five-bout win streak, with four of those wins ending with emphatic knockouts. Cerilli looks to capture his first win under the ONE banner when he meets Ngalani.
In an exciting strawweight contest, former ONE Strawweight World Champion Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito of Japan takes on surging Filipino contender Rene “The Challenger” Catalan.
Naito is one of the most successful martial artists to ever emerge from Japan, with a remarkable run as the Shooto Flyweight Champion. Since making his ONE Championship debut in 2016, Naito has captured the ONE Strawweight World Championship on two occasions, defeating former titleholders Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke and Alex Silva. Now, the former two-time World Champion looks to climb back up the ladder as he faces Catalan.
Catalan is one of the most decorated wushu practitioners ever to make the transition to mixed martial arts, with podium finishes in the Wushu World Championships, the Wushu World Cup, the Asian Games, and SEA Games. The veteran is currently riding an impressive five-bout win streak, two of which have ended in exciting finishes. The Filipino looks to notch the biggest win of his career when he faces former ONE World Champion Naito.
Former ONE World Title challenger Toni “Dynamite” Tauru is making his return to the ONE cage, following a short break from competition. The Finnish athlete, who is the former Cage Warriors Bantamweight Champion, has been competing in ONE Championship since July 2015. Eight of Tauru’s 11 career victories have come by submission, proving his craftiness on the mat.
Tauru is set to face Gurdarshan “Saint Lion” Mangat of Williams Lake, British Columbia, Canada who is making his promotional debut after having competed in regional promotions. Mangat is a well-rounded striker and grappler, and is a 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu product. He is widely-considered the top pound-for-pound mixed martial artist from India. A winner of his last three bouts, Mangat steps into the ONE cage and looks to extend his win streak against Tauru on the global stage of martial arts.
In a ONE Super Series Kickboxing contest, Japanese star Kenta Yamada faces Muay Thai icon Petchmorrakot Petchyindee Academy. Yamada is a former WBC Muay Thai Japan Champion who hails from Tokyo. Petchmorrakot is one of the top Muay Thai practitioners from Thailand.
Making his professional mixed martial arts debut is four-time Chin State Wrestling Champion Tial Thang, who squares off with Cambodian Kun Khmer practitioner Rin Saroth, a former KWC 3 Featherweight Tournament Finalist with a 110-22 record in Kun Khmer. Saroth made his ONE Championship debut in 2015 and has since posted victories over Mission Ali and Mario Satya Wirawan. Tial Thang and Saroth will face each other in a 68-kilogram catch weight bout.
Also sharing the cage in a ONE Super Series Kickboxing bout will be English Muay Thai star Liam Nolan and German former K-1 World Max Tournament Champion Enriko “The Hurricane” Kehl. Nolan is a Roar Combat League World Champion, while Kehl is a K-1 World Champion. The two veteran strikers look to light up the highlight reel at ONE: REIGN OF VALOR with their fan-friendly styles.
The heavyweights will also be throwing leather, as Romanian SUPERKOMBAT Super Cruiserweight World Champion Andrei “Mister KO” Stoica makes his ONE Super Series Kickboxing debut against Moroccan striker Tarik Khbabez. Khbabez is also a two-time SUPERKOMBAT Heavyweight World Champion. The matchup between the two colossal punchers promises to bring the excitement from beginning to end.
The Philippines’ Jomary “The Zamboanginian Fighter” Torres is looking to get 2019 off to a hot start when she faces promotional newcomer Lin “Fighting Sister” Heqin.
After kicking off her ONE Championship career with three straight victories, Torres stumbled in 2018, dropping her last two contests. “The Zamboanginian Fighter,” who trains under head coach and veteran mixed martial artist Rene Catalan at Catalan Fighting System, seeks to return to her winning ways this year. But in order to do that, she will have to get past Heqin.
Heqin is a 25-year-old Chinese martial arts star who is currently on a five-bout win streak. She possesses incredible power in her strikes and has registered multiple knockouts in her mixed martial arts career. “Fighting Sister” aims to make a statement in her ONE Championship debut by taking out the highly-regarded Torres.
In a bantamweight bout, Chinese standout Chen “The Ghost” Rui battles former Trench Warz Featherweight Champion Roman “Sonic Boom” Alvarez.
Rui is the ONE Jakarta Tournament Champion, and is undefeated in his professional mixed martial arts career. Alvarez, who hails from Saipan in Northern Mariana Islands, is a promising athlete with solid striking and grappling skills. The two aim to make a lasting impression in a battle of tough young prospects.
Bozhena Antoniyar grew up in Loikaw, the capital city of Myanmar’s Kayah State. She began training in martial arts at the age of 16, and ultimately became a two-time National Boxing Champion. In February 2018, she made her ONE Championship debut and set a record for the fastest finish in ONE women’s history with a 24-second technical knockout victory over Shwe Sin.
Stepping up to face Bozhena Antoniyar is Malaysia’s Audreylaura “Ice Comet” Boniface. Boniface trains out of Sabah’s renowned Borneo Tribal Squad under veteran coach AJ “Pyro” Lias Mansor. A Taekwondo black belt, Boniface seeks her first victory in the ONE cage against Bozhena Antoniyar.
Kicking things off on the preliminary card will be a pair of ONE Super Series Flyweight Kickboxing contests, with Japan’s Yuta Watanabe taking on Portugal’s Rui Botelho and Japanese star Kohei “Momotaro” Kodera facing Chinese kickboxer Kenny “The Pitbull” Tse.
ONE: REIGN OF VALOR