2019 has already very been good to ONE Championship.
Following epic cards in Japan for ONE: A NEW ERA and another in the Philippines with ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR, the promotion is set to put on another blockbuster lineup of matches as ONE heads back to Indonesia for ONE: FOR HONOR at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta on Friday, 3 May.
Once again, a world title will be on the line as Muay Thai superstar Sam-A Gaiyanghadao of Thailand defends his ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship against Jonathan “The General” Haggerty of the United Kingdom.
As with any world-class lineup of martial arts bouts, there are a number of questions on the minds of the martial arts fans worldwide.
Can Yushin Okami still compete at the highest level?
Japanese legend and Judo Black Belt Yushin “Thunder” Okami will be making his debut with ONE after signing with the promotion back in February. His first test will be at ONE: FOR HONOR against the much younger Kiamran Abbasov of Kyrgyzstan.
Can “Thunder” make an immediate impact in the division, or will Abbasov’s youth be too much for the veteran to handle?
Is Kiamrian Abbasov Ready For A Title Shot?
Kiamran Abbasov’s return to ONE Championship was a successful one, with a first round submission win over former title contender Agilan Thani. Now, the 25-year-old faces arguably the toughest test in his career in the form of veteran Yushin Okami.
A win over Okami could certainly propel Abbasov into the title picture and show that he can be a worthy challenger for reigning ONE Welterweight World Champion Zebaztian Kadestam.
Will Jonathan Haggerty Become ONE Championship’s First-Ever UK Born World Champion?
ONE has never had a World Champion from the United Kingdom, and at ONE: FOR HONOR, striker Jonathan Haggerty could become the first.
It won’t be an easy out for Haggerty however, as he meets an absolute legend in ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Sam-A Gaiyanghadao in what is undoubtedly the Englishman’s biggest test yet.
Can Sam-A Gaiyanghadao Prove He Is Worthy Of Holding The Muay Thai Title?
Some might argue that Sam-A Gaiyanghadao’s best days are behind him, especially after over 400 professional contests. With that being said, Sam-A has proven to be a formidable martial artist by becoming the inaugural ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion, even at his advanced age.
Against Jonathan Haggerty, Sam-A faces a young and hungry challenger that has upset firmly on his mind.
Can Marat Gafurov Climb Back Into The Title Picture?
At one point, Russia’s Marat “Cobra” Gafurov was one of the most feared and respected champions in ONE Championship, especially after dominating wins against the likes of Martin Nguyen, Kazunori Yokota, and former champion Narantungalag Jadambaa, twice.
After losing the title in stunning fashion courtesy of a one-punch knockout from Nguyen in their rematch however, Gafurov has struggled to reestablish his footing.
Gafurov is 1-1 since losing the title to Nguyen and hopes to get back on track with a big win over Japanese contender Tetsuya Yamada.
Can Tetsuya Yamada Improve On His Impressive Finish Percentage?
Japan’s Tetsuya Yamada is a bonafide finisher.
He’s already won 19 of his 26 victories by stoppage, and that’s good for a 73-percent finish rate, and ten of those 19 stoppages are by way of knockout or TKO.
If Yamada hopes to add grappler Marat Gafurov to his list of victims, he then must be wary of the Russian’s deadly submission game.
Can Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol Get Back On The Winning Track?
Much is expected of Indonesia’s own Priscilla Hertati “Thathi” Lumban Gaol, but she’s had her fair share of ups and downs in her ONE Championship career.
At ONE: FOR HONOR, Lumban Gaol will take on Cambodia’s Nou Srey Pov with hopes of bouncing back from her most recent setback against India’s Puja Tomar.
Apart from that, Lumban Gaol has the extra pressure of competing at home, and time will tell if the pressure will be too much for “Thathi’.
Can Keanu Subba Keep His Win Streak Alive?
Ever since losing to Christian Lee via submission back in 2017, Malaysia’s Keanu Subba has done nothing but win.
The 24-year old has won back-to-back assignments, with the most recent being a first-round submission win over promising Lethwei practitioner Phoe Thaw of Myanmar.
Subba will look to continue his winning ways against Japanese newcomer Ryogo Takahashi.
Can Yodpanomrung Jitmuangnon Earn his First ONE Championship Win?
The exciting martial art of Muay Thai will take center stage at ONE: FOR HONOR, with three bouts on tap, including of course the main event. Not least of these bouts will feature Thailand’s Yodpanomrung Jitmuangnon facing newcomer Tyler Hardcastle of Australia.
For the highly-touted Yodpanomrung, it is a chance to earn his first win under the ONE Championship banner after coming up short in his promotional debut against Fabrice Fairtex Delannon back in September of 2018.
Will ONE: FOR HONOR Be Another Night of Exciting Martial Arts Action?
ONE: FOR HONOR will feature 28 of the world’s best martial artists, all of them with the ability to come up with highlight reel moments.
From headliners Sam-A Gaiyanghadao and Joseph Haggerty, to veteran Yushin Okami, former World Champion Marat Gafurov, and contenders like Dae Hwan Kim, Keanu Subba, and Tetsuya Yamada, expect the Istora Senayan be the site of exciting back-and-forth battles, slick submissions, and spectacular knockouts.