ONE Championship (formerly ONE FC) make their 2015 return this Friday, March 13, in Kuala Lumpar, Malyasia for Age of Champions, where Adriano Moraes will defend his flyweight world championship against Asuka Mikami.
Moraes (12-1) makes his first title defence after being awarded the belt at ONE FC 17 – Era of Champions when he defeated Kosuke Suzuki by third round arm-triangle choke. The grappling and jiu-jitsu specialist is revered for his deadly ground game, which he has amassed six wins by tapout. “Black Diamond’s” only loss came to Yusup Saadulaevat ONE FC 12 – Warriors Spirit by split decision. It was an extremely close fight and many argue that in fact the Brazilian should have been awarded the win.
25 year-old Moraes is quickly becoming one of the hottest flyweight prospects in the world. There is a case for him going over to North America and fighting in the UFC or Bellator MMA, however a recent partnership with global giants Disney may give the promotion the resources and exposure to keep their top level talent for a long time to come.
The challenger Mikami (11-2-1) has not tasted defeated since May 2009, and makes his ONE FC debut in arguably the biggest test of his career. Representing Wajutsu Keishukai Hearts, he is a testament of old school Japanese MMA, with his grinding style of fighting. Better known to his fans as “Riku Shibuya” the 29-year-old fighter must avoid any early takedowns from Moraes, and the longer the fight goes then the more it favours Shibuya, whose tiring style could be a kyrptonite for Moraes.
The co-main event is a lightweight feature, featuring Peter Davis and Rajinder Singh Meena. India’s “Lights Out” Singh Meena is making his ONE FC debut, but he faces a tough challenge in one of the best 155ers in the promotion. A veteran in the organisation, appearing since ONE FC 2, Davis has only ever lost once in the promotion, and no shame in losing to Eddie Ng, one of the deadliest strikers out of Evolve MMA. This fight is equally a title contenders bout, with the winner likely getting a shot against Shinya Aoki later this year.
Full ONE Championship 25 card
Flyweight world championship: Adriano Moraes (c) (12-1 ) vs Asuka ‘Riku Shibuya’ Mikami (11-2- 1)
Lightweight: Peter Davis (9-3) vs Rajinder ‘Lights Out’ Singh Meena (8-1)
Women’s Flyweight: Ann ‘Athena’ Osman (2-1) vs Walaa Abas Mohamed Kamaly (2-2)
Featherweight: Ev Ting (8-2) vs Cary ‘The Prince’ Bullos (7-2)
Flyweight: Gianni Subba (4-1) vs Thanh ‘Aladdin’ Vu (5-3)
Bantamweight: Chan Rothana (2-1) vs Ramon Gonzales (1-0)
Women’s Atomweight: Kirstie Gannaway (1-0) vs Jujeath ‘Bad Girl’ Nagaowa (2-0)
82kg Catchweight: Agilan ‘Alligator’ Thani (1-0) vs Reant ‘No Mercy’ Febriza Rainir (Pro debut)