ONE: “Quest for Greatness” is set for the Jakarta Convention Centre tonight and the top of the card features a big flyweight fight as well as a clash between two huge heavyweights.
This is my preview of the last five fights, to read a preview of the bottom half of the card click here. As always with ONE the weights listed are the fighters normal walking weight.
145 lbs.: Sunoto vs Thai Rithy
Sunoto (6-3) finds himself matched with a Cambodian for the second time in a row. Thai Rithy (5-2) is significantly younger than Chan Heng and started learning MMA very early on in his combat sport career.
The Cambodian is aggressive but can handle himself on the ground. However he’s a fair bit shorter than Sunoto and the Indonesian southpaw knows how to use his reach and s a submission specialist.
125 lbs.: Yago Bryan vs Roy Doliguez
Yago Bryan (3-2) is a Muay Thai specialist who caused Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke plenty of problems in the opening round of their fight. The former Shooto (Brazil) champion is staring down the barrel of a third straight ONE Championship defeat and will be determined to register his first win for the promotion.
Doliguez (6-4) inevitably goes the distance but the Filipino has lost his last three. He started strongly against Dejdamrong before fading badly in the latter rounds and the Brazilian will be confident of claiming that elusive ONE Championship win.
265 lbs: Alain Ngalani vs Hideki Sekine
This is a fun fight. Alain Ngalani (2-3) is built like the proverbial brick sh*thouse and is one of the most explosive and athletic heavyweights you will ever see, he’s scored some devastating knockouts with spinning strikes.
The Camerounian has also tapped to strikes twice and refused to continue after an, admittedly heavy, groin shot so you never quite know what you’re going to get from him. Hideki Sekine (7-1) is much bigger and a much better grappler so Ngalani probably needs an early knockout if he wants to win.
135 lbs.: Stefer Rahardian vs Sim Bunsrun
Stefer Rahardian (5-0) was supposed to feature on ONE Championship’s inaugural event in Jakarta but the Indonesian commission insisted on sending its own fighters, who turned out to not be very good.
He had to wait another four years to get his chance but the Indonesian has seized it with both hands. Rahardian is coming off a very impressive decision win against Eugene Toquero and will be looking to extend his perfect professional record against Sim Bunsrun (3-3), who has something like 20 wins missing from his official record.
135 lbs.: Geje Eusatquio vs Kairat Akhmetov
Kairat Akhmetov (23-1) will be the first to admit that he didn’t look great against Adriano Moraes last time out. The Kazakh was coming off close to a two year layoff and it showed.
With a quick turnaround between fights Akhmetov will hope to be much sharper and to impose his wrestling game on Geje Eustaquio (9-5). This could be a watershed moment in the Filipino’s career, he’s fought ten times for ONE Championship but never won more than two in a row.
A win over Akhmetov would prove that Eustaquio had made the step up from being a litmus test for the top contenders to genuinely being a top contender himself. His striking is superior and he’s very dangerous with kicks but will have to look out for the former champion’s overhand right.
If Eustaquio can stuff the takedowns, keep it standing and maintain his range he could win a decision or even score a KO. If Akhmetov’s wrestling is effective then the Kazakh will expect to spend the entire fight in top position, which is exactly where his opponent doesn’t want to be.