03 July 2018 – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), has just announced additional bouts for ONE: PURSUIT OF POWER, set for Friday, 13 July at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The absolute best in local and international martial arts talent are ready to enter the ONE Championship cage once again to showcase their incredible martial arts skill. In the main event, “Smokin’” Jo Nattawut takes on Yohann Fairtex Drai in a ONE Super Series Muay Thai contest.
Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, stated: “ONE Championship returns to the Axiata Arena this 13 July for another blockbuster evening of world-class martial arts action. We have an amazing event planned for fans in Kuala Lumpur, as our ONE Championship athletes get ready to electrify the stadium with dazzling performances. In the main event, Jo Nattawut will face Yohann Fairtex Drai in a ONE Super Series Muay Thai contest. Also, we have four welterweights on the card competing in the ONE Welterweight Grand Prix. Agilan Thani takes on Zebaztian Kadestam, while Luis Santos faces Tyler McGuire.”
Two-division Lion Fight World Champion and WMC Muay Thai World Champion Jo Nattawut is one of the finest attacking talents in the striking world. Right from the opening bell, Nattawut ignites the ring with his trademark intensity, and it has led him to sterling success in his striking career. After a tremendous run of success through Thailand, Nattawut moved to the United States in 2013, and continued racking up impressive wins. A world champion of two different weight classes, Nattawut joined ONE Championship earlier this year where he is one of the biggest marquee names in ONE Super Series. He takes on Yohann Fairtex Drai in the main event of ONE: PURSUIT OF POWER.
Rising star and Super Muay Thai Champion Yohann Fairtex Drai of Marseilles, France is a French martial artist who lives and trains out of Pattaya, Thailand. He has built a reputation over the years as one of the hottest stars in Muay Thai with a 42-6 professional record, competing in promotions such as Kunlun Fight, All Star Fight, Thai Fight, Max Muay Thai, Super Muay Thai and WLF. A proponent of the prestigious Fairtex Training Center in Pattaya, which is home to many world-class martial artists such as the legendary Yodsanklai, Yohann Fairtex Drai will now take his talents to the ONE Super Series, and make his debut against Jo Nattawut.
Former ONE Welterweight World Title Challenger Agilan Thani is one of the most remarkable athletes Malaysia has ever produced. Ever since making his debut as an amateur, “Alligator” has torn through the competition. Undefeated as an amateur, Thani captured a Malaysian national championship before turning professional, winning six bouts in a row on the global stage of ONE Championship to earn a shot at Ben Askren’s coveted world title. Training out of Monarchy MMA in Kuala Lumpur under well-respected Belgian BJJ coach Samir Mrabet and in the United States at the world-famous Team Quest, Thani looks to re-establish himself as one of the top contenders to the ONE welterweight throne. He takes on Zebaztian Kadestam next.
Former PXC Welterweight Champion Zebaztian Kadestam started training in Muay Thai when he was 12 years old and later embarked on a highly successful professional career in the sport. Soon, he explored other disciplines, as he trained at the Pancrase Gym in Stockholm, and also traveled to the Philippines to sharpen his skills at the Legacy Gym in Boracay under famed martial artist Ole Laursen. Kadestam’s biggest victory came when he knocked out veteran Luis Santos in his ONE Championship debut, which earned him a shot at the ONE Welterweight World Championship held by Ben Askren. Though unsuccessful in his world title bid, Kadestam remains one of the top contenders in the division. He will take on Agilan Thani next.
Now a veteran of over 70 professional bouts, Luis Santos made his mixed martial arts debut in 2000, entering an eight-man open weight tournament. Some of the athletes weighed in at over 100kg, but “Sapo” still triumphed, as he stopped all three of his opponents in the opening round to claim the first title of his incredible career. Though Santos holds a black belt in judo, as well as a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the veteran warrior is best known for his fearsome striking prowess. More than half of Santos’ victories have come by knockout, owing to the otherworldly power in his strikes. With the ability to finish opponents in a myriad of ways, Santos is one of the top contenders in ONE Championship’s welterweight division. He takes on newcomer Tyler McGuire next.
Undefeated American mixed martial artist Tyler McGuire of Washington, USA, is a submission specialist who trains out of Sik-Jitsu Fighting Systems in Spokane. With an unblemished 10-0 professional record, the 32-year-old owns seven victories by way of submission. Known for his ability to display creative grappling techniques, McGuire finds himself travelling halfway across the globe to Asia, where he plans to showcase his skills on the global stage of martial arts competition. Making his ONE Championship debut, McGuire will face the always-dangerous Luis Santos.
Sergej Maslobojev is one of the most accomplished strikers to ever emerge from Lithuania. He is a KOK and WKA Kickboxing World Champion with an impressive professional record against international competition. He began training in martial arts at the age of 18, and soon blazed a trail across the local and European kickboxing scene with his skills. He even moved to Lithuania’s capital city of Vilnius in order to have better access to sparring partners and professional trainers. Now training out of Sparta Fight Gym under Andrius Sipaila, Maslobojev has his sights set on a ONE World Championship. After making a successful ONE Super Series debut last May, he returns to face Florent Kaouachi.
Three-time Kickboxing World Champion Florent Kaouachi is a veteran martial artist from Reunion Island, France, who trains out of Mahmoudi Gym. He sports a professional kickboxing record of 35-5, and is considered one of the top middleweight kickboxers to come out of Europe. Kaouachi’s experience has now brought him to the prestigious ONE Super Series, where he aims to compete against the world’s very best in striking martial arts. He makes his much-anticipated debut against Sergej Maslobojev.
Former MIMMA Featherweight Champion Keanu Subba is the younger brother of Gianni Subba, who is one of ONE Championship’s top flyweights. Following in his older brother’s footsteps, Keanu became interested in mixed martial arts in 2005, after watching a reality TV show which centered around the sport. Today, he is one of the most highly-regarded featherweight prospects in ONE Championship. Since making his ONE debut in October of 2015, Subba has stopped several opponents, all in the first round, to stand out as one of the most exciting young talents to watch. He now returns to the ONE Championship cage to face Xie Chao.
Top Chinese featherweight Xie Chao is originally from Qingzhou, in the Shandong province north of Shanghai. At the age of 20, he started training in Jeet Kune Do — a famed martial arts discipline developed and founded by the legendary Bruce Lee — and began preparing to compete in mixed martial arts just four years later. He showcased his burgeoning grappling skills in his very first professional bout, which he won via first-round armbar. Xie made sure to leave a lasting impression in his first appearance in ONE CHAMPIONSHIP: SHANGHAI, where he submitted a game Marc Marcellinus via kimura armlock in just 90 seconds. Next up, he takes on the talented Keanu Subba.
Two-time Costa Rican Brazilian jiu-jitsu National Champion Ariel Sexton grew up in Costa Rica, and was an extremely athletic child who first began training in BJJ back in 2001. He soon fell in love with martial arts, and decided to quit his job to become a full-time professional martial artist. Sexton went on to earn his BJJ black belt under the famed Renzo Gracie, and established himself as the best mixed martial artist Costa Rica has ever produced. In 2013, he beat Malaysian superstar Peter Davis at the MIMMA Season 1 Finale, and since joining ONE Championship, he has also defeated standouts the likes of Eddie Ng and Anvar Alizhanov. Sexton aims for the top of the lightweight division, but will have to face Kota Shimoishi to progress in his career.
30-year-old martial arts veteran Kota Shimoishi of Osaka, Japan is one of his country’s top-ranked lightweight contenders. Representing Shooto Gym Blows, he has a professional mixed martial arts record of 21-5, and is set to join ONE Championship’s deep and talented lightweight division. A winner of five of his last six contests, Shimoishi is known for his well-rounded striking and grappling skills, as well as his ability to deliver victories using his craftiness. He will face Ariel Sexton in his ONE Championship debut.
Wushu World Champion and MIMMA Women’s Champion Jihin Radzuan is one of the finest female martial artists to emerge from Malaysia. She began training in silat briefly when she was just six years old. She then joined Ultimate MMA Academy shortly after, training in various martial arts disciplines. After just three months of training, she competed in Muay Thai for the first time. Driven by a hunger to compete, she followed that up with bouts in wushu, BJJ, kickboxing, and boxing, and captured a wushu world championship along the way. Radzuan made her professional debut in July 2017 with a quick knockout victory, which earned her a spot on the global stage of ONE Championship. Radzuan returns to action now to face Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol.
Former SEA Games Wushu Bronze Medalist Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol began training in wushu at the age of 17, after taking up an opportunity to compete for the Indonesian national team. She was highly successful in this regard, capturing both an Indonesian National Wushu Championship and a local boxing title. She even won a bronze medal in wushu at the Southeast Asian Games, with her striking success spurring her towards a career in mixed martial arts. Lumban Gaol is now set to face Jihin Radzuan in Malaysia.
Former SFC Bantamweight Champion Emilio Urrutia is originally from Miami, Florida, where he earned his purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and embarked on a successful amateur martial arts career. In 2013, Urrutia decided to travel to Thailand to prepare for his professional debut, but ended up falling in love with Asia and making the move permanent. Urrutia currently trains and teaches at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand. In just four years, he has competed all over the region in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines, accumulating an impressive amount of experience in such a short amount of time. Urrutia is now currently one of the top featherweight talents in ONE Championship, and will face the surging Li Kai Wen in his next contest.
ONE Featherweight Beijing Tournament Champion Li Kai Wen was introduced to martial arts by a friend, who had invited him to join a local gym called Tianjin Top Team in Tianjin, China. Li proved himself to be a prodigiously fast learner, and within weeks, he was surprising his teammates with his newfound striking skills. Li would go on to compete in both mixed martial arts and submission grappling, rapidly establishing a reputation for himself as one of the most exciting prospects on the notoriously competitive Chinese scene. Nicknamed “The Underdog”, Li burst onto the global stage in style, winning two bouts in a single night to win the ONE Featherweight Beijing Tournament in December 2014. In his last bout, Li stopped Filipino Rodian Menchavez in just 10 seconds, setting a record for fastest finish in ONE featherweight history. Next up, Li takes on Emilio Urrutia.