The 11-bout card features a mix of mixed martial arts and ONE Super Series kickboxing action. Each matchup is guaranteed to deliver exciting performances, but a particular few could bring big changes to the divisional rankings and world title shots later in the year. Before the curtain goes up on Jan. 28, we look at three reasons why ONE: Only The Brave can’t be missed.
ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Semifinals
Headlining the evening at ONE Championship: Only The Brave is the semifinals of the ONE featherweight kickboxing grand prix. And, although the lineup has gone through some late changes, it is still an unmissable affair.
Top-ranked featherweight contender Marat Grigorian was removed from his bout against fourth-ranked Chingiz Allazov due to a positive COVID-19 test result, so in stepped Thai sensation “Smokin’” Jo Nattawut to face the Belarusian in the co-main event.
In the main event, third-ranked contender Sitthichai meets Davit Kiria for the third time in their careers and the first time on the global stage. The Thai superstar holds a 2-0 lead, but Georgian slugger Kiria has looked fantastic of late, so this one could end unexpectedly.
In addition, an alternate bout for the grand prix will feature on the evening’s lead card and cannot be left without mention. Russian striker Ivan Kondratev will meet Lithuanian stud Dovydas Rimkus to set the tone before the main card gets underway.
MMA Featherweight Fireworks
Top-ranked featherweight contender Kim Jae Woong forced his way into the World Title picture with a crushing first-round knockout over former titleholder Martin Nguyen last year. Now the South Korean faces an opponent who is hoping to make similar waves in the stacked division.
Fourth-ranked athlete Tang Kai has been on a roll since joining ONE in 2019, and he’s currently enjoying an eight-bout winning streak with an 85-percent finishing rate. The Chinese star’s power can cause anyone problems, so it’ll be interesting to see how Kim handles it.
This bout could have major championship implications, especially given the looming title tilt between Thanh Le and Garry Tonon. But even without the heightened stakes, the action promises to be exceptional.
A Possible Strawweight Title Eliminator
American star Jarred Brooks burst onto the scene in 2021 by taking out Filipino fan-favorite Lito Adiwang in his ONE debut and announcing himself as a challenger to Joshua Pacio’s gold. But to get there, he’ll first need to defeat a man who also has a World Title shot in mind.
Fourth-ranked strawweight Hiroba Minowa has also defeated Adiwang, and he is sitting just below the third-ranked Brooks in the rankings. A win over the outspoken grappler would reinvigorate the Japanese star’s title bid, and he has the tools to be a problem for Brooks inside the Circle.
Given their rankings heading into the bout, as well as their respective form, it appears that this bout will be a title eliminator for these two warriors. A win could put them at the top of the list for Pacio, meaning both men will come out guns blazing as they try to cement their title dreams.
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