ONE Championship: Fists of Fury 2 Preview
Check out our breakdown for every fight from ONE Championship's Friday night event.
After the epic kickboxing event that was Fists of Fury I, ONE Championship is back to MMA with a dash of Muay Thai this Friday night with Fists of Fury II. Headlining the card are a pair of heavyweight clashes that are sure to deliver combustible consequences.
Heavyweight: Amir Aliakbari (-235) vs. Kang Ji Won (+230)
The headliner and ONE Championship newcomer Amir Aliakbari (10-1) is coming into this fight on a 5-fight winning streak with 4 coming by way of TKO. His opponent, Kang Ji Won is 4-0 after his recent upset TKO against Mehdi Berghi. Won is undefeated in his professional career and his earned TKO finishes in each of his victories.
Aliakbari wields a 4-inch height advantage over Kang, while Kang is the younger of the 2 by 8 years. The Iranian will hold a massive wrestling advantage over the South Korean and is the heavy favourite to win. Never to be counted out, Kang is no stranger to being the underdog, but I don’t see him getting by Aliakbari.
My pick: Amir Aliakbari by TKO, round 1.
Heavyweight: Alexandre Machado (+400) vs. Anatoly Malykhin (-400)
Undefeated Anatoly Malykhin (8-0) is also makes his ONE Championship debut. He comes up against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Alexandre “Bebezao” Machado (9-3).
The russia is the biggest favourite on the card, and with good reason. His wrestling is sure to give Machado trouble and stifle his BJJ, and Malykhin’s striking is dangerous enough to put the Brazilian away at any point of the fight. Machado’s last win was in 2018 and before that he was 1-3 with all 3 losses coming by TKO. Things don’t look good for Alexandre, and I’m gonna have to pick against him as well.
My pick: Anatoly Malykhin by TKO, round 2.
Featherweight: Ryogo Takahashi (+140) vs. Tang Kai (-140)
Japan's Ryogo Takahashi (14-4) is the underdog once again. Last time Ryogo was in this position, he won by TKO over Chang Min Yoon back in November of 2020. Will he be able to pull off the upset again?
His opponent, Kai Tang (11-2), is riding a 6-fight winning streak into this match, finishing 5 of 6 by KO/TKO. I think the striking of Tang will be too much for Ryogo, who himself has taken a pair of TKO losses.
My pick: Kai Tang by TKO
Featherweight : Yoshiki Nakahara (+400) vs. Ruslan Emilbek (-400)
In what’s expected to be a blowout One Championship debut for the undefeated Kyrgiatani, surging prospect Ruslan Emilbek (12-0) faces Yoshiki Nakahara (13-5). Nakahara is coming off a loss to the undefeated BJJ wiz Gary Tonon. Previous to that, the Japanese fighter was riding an 8-fight win streak before running into “The Lion Killer”, Tonon. Ruslan is expected to run through Nakahara according to the odds, and I’m going to have to agree.
My pick: Ruslan Emilbek by decision.
* Bantamweight Muay Thai: Han Zi Hao (+100) vs. Adam Noi (+100)
ONE treats us to a single Muay Thai match on this Fists of Fury card. Han Zi Hao (59-24-4) vs Adam Noi(44-6) The odds are even in this one, but I see Adam with the advantage. Adam is well disciplined with strong fundamentals and I see him outlasting the early explosions of Hao.
My pick: Adam Noi by decision.
Bantamweight: Mark Abelardo (-190) vs. Emilio Urrutia (+185)
At the bottom of the card, New Zealand’s Mark Abelardo (19-8) takes on American Emilio Urrutia (11-7). Both are coming into this match on rough losing streaks. Abelardo took back to back losses in 2020, one coming by way of submission, while Urrutia has dropped his last 3, two by KO/KO and one by submission. The odds are sitting in Abelardo’s favour currently. Both are coming out of Muay Thai gyms in Thailand (Fairtex Pattaya vs Tiger Muay Thai), so expect this one to take place mostly on the feet.
My pick: Abelardo by TKO.