ONE Championship prides itself on bringing an exciting combat sports brand to the global stage and has the numbers to back it up, with a stunning 70 percent (!) finishing rate on its fight cards. ONE rewards fighters who go above and beyond to put on a show inside the circle by generously handing out a cool $50,000 performance bonus. That said, the bonuses are expected to flow at the upcoming ONE on Fight Night 7 event on February 24.
And as usual, ONE brings a little something for everybody: John Lineker and Fabricio Andrade meet again under MMA rules; the brightest Muay Thai star of his generation, Tawanchai, defends the belt against Jamal Yusupov; and in a submission wrestling bout, we see the Norwegian grappling phenom, Tommy Langaker takes on Uali Kurzhev.
Here is some warm-up talk, the full card, and highlights footage.
UFC veteran John ‘Hands of Stone’ Lineker has been in ONE since 2019, where he secured four straight finishes until he ran into young rising star Fabricio ‘Wonder Boy’ Andrade. It looked like Andrade was about to take the belt, and in the third round, Lineker took a stiff knee to the gut; as he staggered, Andrade accidentally landed a follow-up knee to the groin. The fight was stopped and became ”no contest”. Some viewers felt that Lineker was filming at the level of footballer Neymar and took the opportunity to avoid finishing the fight. You can take a look and decide for yourself here.
John Lineker is the person who has missed weight the most times in UFC history – five times. So, unsurprisingly, ahead of last fall’s meeting with Andrade, Lineker missed weight again and was punished by being stripped of his belt. This weekend’s main event is expected to be a flashpoint; Lineker is known as ”Hands of Stone” for a good reason, while the long Andrade is also a diligent finisher who likes to target the body. If Andrade hadn’t accidentally landed the punch below the belt against Lineker, he would have had three straight finishes by knees and kicks to the torso.
TOP NAMES FROM THE WORLD OF THAI BOXING
Another title is on the line. Young prodigy Tawanchai will defend his Thai boxing title for the first time. He has precision and power, and during the fights, Tawanchai looks as unconcerned as if waiting for a bus. His opponent is Jamal Yusupov of Turkey, who is undefeated in his three ONE fights and has a dangerous left hand.
On the same card, we also see experienced Saemapetch; the last time we saw him, he got revenge against Rittewada. Saemapetch was knocked out in the first meeting, but he thundered in with a left that turned out the lights in their second meeting. This time Saemapetch faces Chinese Zhang Chenglong, who has long lived in Thailand and faced Thai boxing legends but has struggled in ONE. Chenglong has five straight knockout losses, though several evenly matched fights.
Another potential highlight on the main card is Eko Roni Saputra, who has finished his opponents in the first round (!) in the last seven MMA fights. The person tasked with trying to stop the hype train is Danny Kingad, who has long resided at the top of the MMA flyweight ranks.
GRAPPLING PHENOM FROM HAUGESUND
In grappling, ONE loves to more or less mismatch BJJ stars against the old guard from other disciplines, and the young BJJ lions crush the opposition (such as the Ruotolo brothers’ rampage, when Musumeci dominated Imanari or why not when Musumeci made a permanent mash of his opponent’s knee). This time, seasoned BJJ black belt Danielle Kelly will face seasoned judoka and black belt Ayaka Miura.
Grappling viewers get another treat on the undercard. Norway’s pride and joy Tommy Langaker recently secured a decision win over Renato Canuto himself after an eyebrow-raising encounter. This time he faces co-main event world champion Uali Kurzhev; if Tommy has a good day at work, he could be a candidate for a title shot against Kade Ruotolo.
FULL CARD AND BROADCAST TIMES
The gala will be held 25th of February, starting at 2.00 AM CET in the heart of Thai boxing, the Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok, a broadcast time that tries to charm the American audience. The gala can be viewed for free in many regions on ONE’s YouTube channel and the watch.onefc.com site.
MMA, bantamweight, title fight – John Lineker vs Fabricio Andrade
Thai boxing, featherweight, title fight – Tawanchai PK. Saenchai vs. Jamal Yusupov
MMA, featherweight – Martin Nguyen vs Shamil Gasanov
Grappling, catchweight – Danielle Kelly vs Ayaka Miura
MMA, flyweight – Eko Roni Saputra vs Danny Kingad
Kickboxing, bantamweight – Saemapetch Fairtex vs Zhang Chenglong
Kickboxing, light heavyweight – Andrei Stoica vs Francesko Xhaja
MMA, atomweight – Linda Darrow vs Victoria Souza
Grappling, lightweight – Uali Kurzhev vs Tommy Langaker
MMA, strawweight – Adrian Mattheis vs Ze Lang Zha Xi