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ONE: ‘Quest for Power’ preview (Pt. 1)

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ONE: “Quest for Power” is the promotion’s first card of 2017 and is headlined by a middleweight title match between undefeated champion Vitaly Bigdash and late replacement Aung La Nsang. The Burmese fighter accepted the fight less than three weeks ago after original challenger Marcin Prachnio had pulled out with an injury.

While the middleweight title will be on the line, a new featherweight challenger could potentially be crowned when Martin Nguyen face Kazunori Yokota. Both men have fought for the belt before and the Australian will feel he is just one win away from a second shot at undefeated incumbent Marat Gafurov.

Here’s my preview of the first half of the card. As always with ONE Championship weights listed are walking weights.

125 lbs.: Adrien Matheis vs Rene Catalan

Adrien Matheis (2-0) won a strawweight tournament held by ONE Championship in Jakarta last year after stopping two Indonesian opponents in the opening round. He possibly has some pro or amateur bouts from the imaginatively named ONE Pride Indonesia event which doesn’t record or list its results.

Rene Catalan (1-2-0-1) signed for ONE Championship as a flyweight but should be more of a force in his natural division. He’s a multiple time Wushu world champion with some devastating kicks and if he can keep it standing he will have a huge advantage.

135 lbs.: Stefer Rahardian vs Jerome Paye

These two are both purple belts at Niko Hoe’s Synergy Academy (which has multiple branches all over Indonesia) and must have trained together at some point. Stefer Rahardian (3-0) submitted both his opponent to win the the flyweight tournament ONE Championship held in Jakarta recently and he believes he has an advantage on the ground.

Jerome Paye (2-2) put in a somewhat lacklustre performance to drop a decision on his ONE Championship debut. He is a Taekwondo black belt who clearly has an advantage here in striking terms, although he will need to be more aggressive than he was last time out if he wants to make the most of it.

135 lbs.: Sunoto vs Chan Heng

Chan Heng (8-3) is a Kun Khmer veteran but was brutally knocked out just 6 seconds into his last fight by an opponent who doesn’t have much of a striking background. The Cambodian will be looking to bounce back from that disappointing performance and secure his first ONE Championship win at the third attempt.

Sunoto (5-3) is well rounded but will almost certainly look to get this to the ground where he has a clear advantage. He’s a southpaw with a wide stance and Heng, who doesn’t have much foot movement, might struggle to find his range in the striking exchanges.

225 lbs.: Igor Subora vs Sherif Mohamed

Light heavyweight ONE Championship bouts are few and far between but sooner or later someone will need to challenge Roger Gracie for his title so there is an opportunity on the line. Igor Subora (5-3) has been stopped in both his bouts for the promotion and after dominating much smaller men in the Philippines has struggled against bigger opponents.

Sherif Mohamed (8-2) has a good record and will be looking to remove some of the stigma which is currently attached to Egyptian fighters competing in Asia by recording a rare win for his nation. The standard of opposition he has faced to date is not high and Subora will feel this is a very winnable fight.

155 lbs.: Anthony Engelen vs AJ Mansour

AJ Mansour (2-3) returns to the ONE Championship cage after a three year absence which, at the age of 41, is a brave thing to do. He is in excellent shape and is very solid on the ground although his striking game remains a little bit basic.

Anthony Engelen (5-3) fought three times for ONE Championship this year and should be very confident coming into this matchup. He has a background in kickboxing but the majority of his wins have come by way of submission and he will be a strong favourite here.

ONE: ‘Quest for Power’ is set for Saturday night (local time) at the Jakarta Convention Centre and can be purchased for $9.99 from here.

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Source:: mma mania