Quite possibly, ONE: A NEW ERA is the biggest event in the history of ONE Championship, and it may be the most significant martial arts show in 2019. It takes place 31 March from the iconic Ryogoku Kokugikan in Japan. If we’re looking for significant numbers to describe this mega event, the eight below help to tell the story of the event.
1: A NEW ERA is the first ONE Championship event held in Japan. The promotion has been throughout Asia, but before 31 March, Japan hadn’t been a landing spot. ONE has worked diligently to establish a footprint in the country, and that has included agreeing to partnerships with Shooto and Pancrase allowing both organizations to function as a pipeline for ONE. In fact, a Pancrase athlete (Senzo Ikeda) will be competing on the card.
19 different countries will be represented at ONE: A NEW ERA. From the host country Japan, to the United States, Myanmar, the Philippines, China, Italy, the Netherlands, Thailand and more. ONE has become a true melting pot for martial arts talent. That will never be more apparent than it will be at ONE: A NEW ERA.
3 variations of combat sports will be on display. Obviously, mixed martial arts takes the center stage, but the event will also feature two Muay Thai bouts and a pair of kickboxing matches. This diversity of the disciplines is why ONE Championship is the largest martial arts organization in the world.
4 rematches on the ONE: A NEW ERA card are the biggest draw of the event. Most already know about the championship rematches closer to the top of the card, but many don’t realize the premier kickboxing match between Andy Souwer and Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex is a rematch as well. The two legendary kickboxers met 11 years ago. Souwer won that matchup. This rematch joins the Kevin Belingon-Bibiano Fernandes III, Aung La N Sang-Ken Hasegawa II, and Eduard Folayang-Shinya Aoki II as repeat matches.
4 world titles will be at stake. In addition to the titles on the line the aforementioned rematches, Xiong Jing Nan will stake her ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title against ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee. The latter is looking to become the only woman to hold two ONE world titles simultaneously in separate divisions.
9 athletes will be making their promotional debuts with ONE Championship. Most notably, former UFC world champions, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson and “The Underground King” Eddie Alvarez will climb into a ONE cage for the first time. Johnson and Alvarez will be competing in the ONE Flyweight and Lightweight World Grand Prix, respectively. Johnson draws Yuya Wakamatsu in his quarterfinal bout. Alvarez will tangle with Timofey Nastyukhin in his quarterfinal matchup.
2 women’s mixed martial arts bouts will be featured as well. In addition to the superfight between Xiong and Lee, Japanese women’s mixed martial arts pioneer Mei Yamaguchi will face Russia’s Kseniya Lachkova. With Yamaguchi eyeing a third title shot at atomweight or perhaps an opportunity to face the winner of Xiong-Lee, fans should pay close to attention to how the Yamaguchi bout finishes.