ONE Championship: Big Bang Preview

Gary Tonon ONE Championship
Anthony Engelen vs Garry Tonon Credit: ONE Championship

ONE Championship is back with an explosive live show this Friday in Kallang, Singapore. That would be ONE: Big Bang, set to go down in front of a limited audience at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

First, the main card starts with undefeated ONE Championship star Ritu Phogat (3-0) taking on Jomary Torres (4-4). Following the card opener, two of the hottest heavyweight prospects go at it with Amir Aliakbari (10-1) matched against Islam Abasov (6-0). Next, the ultra experienced Kairat Akhmetov (26-2) will take on Danny Kingad (14-2) in a pivotal bantamweight affair. Looking to steal the show in a kickboxing feature at ONE Championship: Big Bang is lightweight Marat Grigorian (20-8 Kickboxing), facing Ivan Kondratiev. 

ONE Championship: Big Bang – Top of the Card

Perhaps one of the biggest prospects in mixed martial arts, grappling sensation Gary Tonon (5-0) returns to the cage to face Koyomi Matsushima (12-4). Holding the ADCC submission wrestling championship, IBJJF World and Pan American championships Tonon’s grappling pedigree is of the highest. With a definite focus on leg locks while competing in the grappling world, the American looks to capitalize on the co main event spot at ONE Championship: Big Bang.

Finally, the card will conclude with kickboxing action. Roman Kryklya (8-1 Kickboxing) and Murat Aygun (3-1 Kickboxing) take center stage for the ONE Kickboxing heavyweight championship.

Ritu Phogat vs. Jomary Torres

Fighting out of Evolve MMA, India’s Phogat has developed a nice career in the Asian mixed martial arts scene. A Commonwealth Games gold medalist, and two out of her three fights ending in a finish, fans have a close eye on her potential. Phogat is facing Torres, who has struggled in her run inside the ONE Championship. Since both strawweight athletes have picked up finishes inside the ONE cage, this bout promises to be heavy on action, and may not go the distance.

Amir Aliakbari vs. Islam Abasov

RIZIN veteran Aliakbari will look to halt the undefeated momentum of Abasov. However, that’s a tall order considering the finishing ability of Abasov. Recently, the Russian athlete picked up a nasty TKO win against the experienced Ednaldo Oliveira. With only one loss on his record, to the legendary Mirko Cro-Cop, Aliakbari is a force in the heavyweight division. Additionally, that loss came in 2016, and since then, the Iranian powerhouse has looked near perfect inside the cage.

Abasov withdrew from the bout.

Kairat Akhmetov  vs.  Danny Kingad

Now that Akhmetov is on a win streak, he will need to use the momentum to take out a threat like Kingad. Since both athletes are so well-rounded, an effective game plan is the only path to victory. Kingad has struggled on the ground, provided one of his losses came from a rear naked choke. However it’s not indicative of his ground game completely. There is huge a upside in the exposure that a potential win would garner at ONE Champioship: Big Bang, so the pressure is high for both fighters.

Unfortunately, one of Kingad’s cornermen tested positive for COVID-19, and this bout has been cancelled.

Marat Grigorian  vs.  Ivan Kondratiev

The night shifts to kickboxing, with a fight featuring Grigorian against the marauding, Kondratiev. With terrific right hand counters, Kondratiev maintains solid striking defense. Often adjusting his guard to block and return, his gritty style creates problems for opponents. However, Grigorian brings a unique challenge. It should be noted that Grigorian’s conditioning has carried him to success. Shown in his win at Glory 73, he was able to secure the victory well into the fifth round.

ONE Championship: Big Bang – Co Main Event – Koyomi Matsushima  vs.  Garry Tonon

Looking to ascend up the lightweight ladder, Tonon takes on the more experienced Matsushima. Despite his grappling skills, the fight will of course start on the feet where Matsushima has shown a lot of power. Although Tonon has gotten most of his opponents down, it certainly hasn’t been effortless. Recently defeating Jae Woong Kim by strikes in round three, Matsushima remains dangerous the entire fight. The outcome of this bout could very well produce a lightweight contender.

ONE Championship: Big Bang – Main Event – Roman Kryklya  vs. Murat Aygun

Turkish heavyweight, Aygun competes with finishing machine Krykla in the main event of the evening. Unbeaten since 2015, Kryklya has proven to be too much to handle for most heavyweights. Young for the division, Kryklya finished his last bout in 43 seconds. Now he gets the opportunity to fight for gold at ONE Championship: Big Bang. Conversely, Aygun has not been as active throughout his career. Nevertheless, he carries big power every time he makes his way inside the kickboxing ring. As with most heavyweight bouts, this likely won’t go the distance.

Don’t miss all the action from ONE Championship: Big Bang on Friday, December 4, starting at 7:30AM ET.