ONE Championship will continue its 2022 campaign with its third event of the year. ONE Championship: Bad Blood goes down on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, with 12 bouts currently scheduled. Of the 12 bouts, the event showcases nine MMA fights and one Muay Thai fight leading up to the two MMA title fights at the top of the fight card.
In the main event, ONE Championship legend Bibiano Fernandes looks to defend his belt against someone not named Kevin Belingon for the first time since 2018. The challenger is none other than former UFC fighter John Lineker. Since joining ONE Championship, Lineker has dominated everyone in his path. Both fighters have ridiculous power and aggression, so don’t blink when these two step into the cage.
The co-main event is also a title fight, but not undisputed. With Arjan Bhullar continuing to consider his options, ONE Championship has set up an interim heavyweight championship fight between undefeated fighters Anatoly Malykhin (10-0) and Kirill Grishenko (5-0). ONE has recently had a lackluster heavyweight division, but a title fight and two other heavyweight bouts suggest they are looking to turn the division around.
Also, ONE Championship: Bad Blood features several other intriguing fights, including the gritty former flyweight champion Jonathan Haggerty taking on the dangerous Mongkolpetch Petchyindee in a Muay Thai showdown. As ONE Championship continues to grow, their events become more and more must-see for fight fans.
The ONE Championship: Bad Blood lead card kicks off at 5 a.m. ET on ONE’s Facebook page with the main card following on YouTube at 7:30 a.m. ET. Before the chaos on Friday, let’s take a look at the full preview and predictions below.
This will be bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes’ first fight against someone other than Kevin Belingon since 2018; how does he fare against the hard-hitting John Lineker?
Lineker left the UFC in 2019 and signed with ONE Championship to continue to evolve as a fighter. Safe to say, most MMA fans expected him to find success, but maybe not to this extent. Lineker is known for his superhero power and wild animal aggression. If Lineker lands cleanly, his opponent usually goes to sleep. After winning all three of his fights with ONE Championship – two by knockout – Lineker is ready to win the title and become king of the division.
Meanwhile, Fernandes is the most dominant champion in ONE history. At the age of 41, Fernandes looks to show he has a lot left in the gas tank after a brutal trilogy against Kevin Belingon. At his best, Fernandes is a dangerous finisher who can get the job done anywhere the fight goes. The question is will Fernandes show signs of digression after all these years? Or will the champion silence the haters once again?
The two most important factors are Lineker’s pressure and Fernandes’s jiu-jitsu. Lineker has made a career of forward pressure and powerful hooks. Over the years, Lineker has found patience in his attacks, which helped him evolve as a fighter. Fernandes needs to earn respect early and avoid getting cornered by Lineker, or he might wake up disappointed.
Fernandes has power too, but exchanging with Lineker is not advised. Yet, Fernandes’s death squeeze could be a path to victory. If Fernandes can get Lineker on his backfoot, a potential takedown could open up. Unfortunately for Fernandes, Lineker should be able to get it done. At 31 years old, Lineker looks like he’s still getting better, which could be a nightmare for the division. Lineker becomes champion by KO.
With questions surrounding the future of Arjan Bhullar, ONE has put an interim heavyweight title on the line in the co-main event; will it be Anatoly Malykhin or Kirill Grishenko who remains undefeated and claims the belt?
With Bhullar unable to defend the title, ONE Championship has decided to move forward and crown an interim champion. The matchup will be between undefeated heavyweights Malykhin and Grishenko. Malykhin is an absolute bulldozer who runs through his opponents en route to finishing all of his fights. On the contrary, Grishenko strikes more accurately and creatively. All it takes is one punch for both fighters, but who comes out on top?
If you’ve ever watched Malykhin fight, you know what his game plan is. Malykhin has real knockout power, and he knows it. The problem is that he tends to get too wild, risking the chance of gassing out in the later rounds. This fighting style has worked in the past for Malykhin, but Grishenko could be his kryptonite. Grishenko showed his durability and heart throughout his last two fights. Every second that goes by, Grishenko’s chances of winning will go up.
Despite being the underdog, Grishenko should be able to get the win. Malykhin throws big powerful looping shots but misses a lot more than he lands. All it takes is one, but Grishenko has a lot more going for him. Grishenko continues to improve and beat two tough opponents last time out. The fight should end up in the third round, where Grishenko will get the finish against a tired Malykhin.
The lone Muay Thai fight on the main card is a flyweight showdown between Jonathan Haggerty and Mongkolpetch Petchyindee; who wins and how does he get it done?
Every time Mongkolpetch is fighting, two things come to mind – elbows and killer. Holding an overall record of 116-42-2, Muay Thai sensation Mongkolpetch has been dominant since joining ONE with a promotional record of 4-0. Being a former Lumpinee World Champion and training out of Petchyindee, Mongkolpetch is ready to take the next step towards becoming a worldwide superstar.
On the other side of the cage, one of the grittiest Muay Thai fighters on the planet looks to steal the shine from Mongkolpetch. Haggerty gained most of his popularity from his win over the legendary Sam-A Gaiyanghadao for the ONE flyweight title. After beating Sam-A, Haggerty lost two straight fights to Rodtang before getting a win last time out against Taiki Naito. With a win against Mongkolpetch, Haggerty will have a huge addition to his impressive career, which will move him one step closer to another title shot.
Win or lose, Mongkolpetch always leaves his opponent damaged. One of his key tools is the lower leg kick. It will be interesting to see how his kicks can be effective against a fighter like Haggerty, who does a phenomenal job checking kicks. At the end of the day, Mongkolpetch is on a different level and should be able to get the decision win over Haggerty based on volume and damage.
Which fight is the sleeper matchup on this card?
The sleeper matchup is a heavyweight matchup between prospects Dustin Joynson and Hugo Cunha. As previously stated, the ONE Championship heavyweight division needed prospects to spice it up. Joynson is 6-1 with four finishes and a no-contest on Dana White’s Contender Series. Meanwhile, Cunha is 6-0, with all six wins coming by finish, and five in the first round. The winner of this matchup will solidify themselves as a future contender for the heavyweight title.
Joynson lost last time out to Grishenko in a brutal war. Although, he used his durability and clean kickboxing to stay in the fight and give himself a chance to win. On the contrary, Cunha has only gone past the first round once, because of his ability to pick his shots and get the finish. If this fight stays standing, these fighters have striking styles that could lead to another war for Joynson. Regardless of who wins, Joynson vs. Cunha could be a display of the future of ONE’s heavyweight division.
Main Card (YouTube, 7:30 a.m. ET)
BW World Championship: Bibiano Fernandes vs. John Lineker
HW Interim World Championship: Anatoly Malykhin vs. Kirill Grishenko
FlyW Muay Thai: Jonathan Haggerty vs. Mongkolpetch Petchyindee
StrawW: Yosuke Saruta vs. Gustavo Balart
BW: Chen Rui vs. Mark Abelardo
StrawW: Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke vs. Danial Williams
Lead Card (Facebook, 5 a.m. ET)
FlyW: Yodkaikaew Fairtex vs. Woo Sung Hoon
AtomW: Mei Yamaguchi vs. Jihin Radzuan
HW: Dustin Joynson vs. Hugo Cunha
AtomW: Lin Heqin vs. Bi Nguyen
HW: Thomas Narmo vs. Odie Delaney
BW: Sunoto vs. Tial Thang
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