ONE: “Immortal Pursuit” is set for the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday night and is headlined by a welterweight title bout between Ben Askren and Shinya Aoki.
Angela Lee was forced to pull out of her title defense after a serious car accident but was promptly replaced, meaning that the 10-fight card remains intact. It’s co-headlined by an intriguing lightweight bout between up-and-coming Amir Khan and experienced Adrian Pang.
Here is my preview of the first five fights. As always with ONE, the weights listed are the fighters normal walking weight.
125 lbs.: Miao Li Tao vs Sim Bunsrun
Miao Li Tao (2-1) is making his ONE Championship debut and reportedly has a background in striking. He has fought three times in China and went the distance with an opponent who has solid wins on his resume last time out.
Sim Bunsrun (listed 3-4 but he’s had 20+ fights in Cambodia) got swiftly submitted in his most recent bout but has two hard fought decision wins on his ONE Championship resume.
150 lbs.: Yang Fei vs Muhammad Aiman
Muhammad Aiman (2-2) is a former MIMMA champion who has made a solid start to his ONE Championship career. He’s gone the distance with top flyweight contender Danny Kingad and BJJ black belt Eduardo Novaes and with a 7-1 amateur record has experience beyond his 22 years.
Yang Fei (2-2) is more of an unknown quantity. The Chinese fighter is making his promotional debut but it is worth noting that Aiman was a late replacement who took this fight at just a few week’s notice.
170 lbs.: Arnaud Lepont vs Richard Corminal
Arnaud Lepont ( 11-5) has been away from the cage for over two years and was last seen on the receiving end of some hard soccer kicks. At 37 it will be tough to make a comeback but the BJJ black belt will be confident of victory if he can get this to the ground.
Richard Corminal (4-2) is well rounded but looks more comfortable striking than on the ground. He holds stoppage wins over ONE Championship fighters Thai Rithy and Trestle Tan and is capable of posting Lepont problems, particularly if the Frenchman has issues with cage rust.
115 lbs.: Mei Yamaguchi vs Gina Iniong
This rematch only came about after Angela Lee’s unfortunate car accident but both women will have a point to prove. Mei Yamaguchi (16-10-1) is the #1 contender in the division and needs to win this fight to retain that spot.
Gina Iniong (6-2) has won three out of four fights since her 2014 split decision win over Yamaguchi. The Filipino will want to keep this standing and use her Wushu, but both are well rounded and this should be a very even contest.
125 lbs. Tiffany Teo vs Puja Tomar
Tiffany Teo (6-0) is 20 cms taller than Puja Tomar (3-1), a remarkable size difference. The Singaporean has an impressive record but has yet to put in the type of performance to suggest she can eventually beat the biggest names in the division.
Tomar is a veteran of the presumably defunct SFL in India. She comes from a Wushu background but will need to do something remarkable to beat an opponent who is so much taller.