ONE Championship: Warrior Kingdom: Preview and fights to look out for

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An explosive main event awaits tomorrow, as ONE: Warrior Kingdom emanates from the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand. There has been much fanfare and anticipation surrounding the event, due to the stacked card and the amount of local talent on display. It has been a busy week for one Angela Lee, who defends her atomweight title against an undefeated prospect, Jenny Huang.

Angela Lee last defeated the veteran Yamaguchi, but faces arguably her toughest test till date against Jenny Huang. While Jenny isn’t relatively known for her striking, the judoka certainly possesses the grappling chops needed to cause a big upset. So how does Jenny match up against Angela?

Angela Lee caused quite a stir when she trapped Natalie in her twister submission nearly two years ago. Time and again, Angela has emphasised on the amount of work she has put into her grappling game, and how she feels comfortable on the ground against any opponent. Going into the fight, Angela boasts of a perfect 6 – 0 win – loss record, and while she might have beaten Mei to capture the atomweight title, she has a tough test ahead of her in Jenny.

Huang is a decorated judoka, and has finished her previous three fights via submission, but none more impressive than her last fight, where she won via gogoplata. Huang’s grappling chops saw her dispose “Jeet” Toshi off with ease, and she will undoubtedly give Angela a run for her money. However, Angela is far more well rounded than her opponent, and while she might not have an easy night, she is still a heavy favourite to walk out of the Impact Arena with the title.

Shannon Wiratchai has had a successful run so far in ONE Championship, with a professional record of 6 – 1- 0 – 1. His opponent however is a promotional new comer, and has never faced anyone of Wiratchai’s caliber. Can Richard overcome the odds and defeat Shannon?

Wiratchai is one of the most exciting fighters in the 155 pound division, and has been stretched to the decisions just once in his previous four fights. Shannon is also on a four fight win streak, with his last loss coming against Bashir Ahmad almost four years ago – a fight Shannon looked comfortable in, but lost the plot once he started taunting his opponent.

Shannon possesses impressive power, and is known as an RNC specialist in his own right. Meanwhile, his opponent, Richard Corminal will be making his ONE Championship debut, and while Richard has faced some tough opponents, he has never faced someone of Shannon’s pedigree. It won’t be a stroll in the park for Wiratchai either, as Richard is known for his effective striking. However, with Shannon’s experience, he should be able to walk out with the victory.

Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke hasn’t fought in nearly a year, as the 38 year old returns to the cage this weekend against the up and coming Joshua Pacio. Dejdamrong however is the former ONE Strawweight Champion, and has over two decades of experience in Muay Thai. However, he faces Joshua, who has slick submission skills; will it be a perennial striker versus grappler matchup?

The former ONE Strawweight Champion returns to the cage this weekend, and would want to get back into the win column, and climb his way back to the top of the food chain. Dejdamrong is one of the most experienced fighters in Asia, with an extensive background in Muay Thai – and was even a 2 division Lumpinee Champion.

His return to the cage will be anything but easy however, as he faces someone whose bread and butter are his submission skills. While Joshua isn’t a pushover on the feet given his Wushu background, he is a high caliber submission specialist, and is coming off a loss himself. With an impressive 8 – 1 win – loss record, Joshua would be looking to get his hand raised against the former champion, and get his grudge match against Naito for the title.

With so many Thai fighters on the card, what is the sleeper fight?

One of the most intriguing fights on the card is the one between Yodsanan Sityodtong and Ramon Gonzales. Yodsanan is one of the most elite strikers in Asia, and was a boxing world champion. He has since transitioned to Muay Thai, and quickly became one of the most versatile strikers in the sport. Like most of the Asian fighters, Yodsanan is extremely skilled on his feet, with grappling being his biggest weakness.

That will not put him at a massive disadvantage however, as his opponent, Ramon Gonzales is also primarily a striker. A first degree black belt in Karate, Ramon is still relatively new to the sport, boasting of a 1 – 1 win – loss record. The fight is expected to play out on the feet, with Yodsanan walking in as a heavy favourite to pick up the victory.

One other intriguing fight on the card is between China’s Ma Jia Wen and Indonesia’s Yohan Mulia Legowo. While the rest of the fights on the card are expected to be stand up affairs, this will primarily be a grappling encounter, with Jia Wen’s biggest strength being his wrestling. Legowo is much more experienced than his counterpart, and has a purple belt in BJJ. While there isn’t much of a difference in their stand up game, it will ultimately come down to who the better grappler is on the night.

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