ONE Championship’s Empower card went down on Friday, a historic all-female event that kicked off the promotion’s atomweight grand prix.
A first for a major promotion outside of Invicta, putting the focus on the women’s side worked supremely well for ONE, whose atomweight roster is the deepest out of any promotion sporting the division (yes, with their weight rules, it’s not technically atomweight, but the bulk of the fighters were true atomweights). The grand prix featured names like Seo Hee Ham, Itsuki Hirata, Ritu Phogat, Stamp Fairtex, Alyse Anderson, Aloyna Rassohyna and more, and while there were no major upsets, there was a fair bit of controversy.
In the final bout out of the four quarterfinals, Seo Hee Ham won a close split decision against Denice Zamboanga, with many surprised at the outcome, given that Filipino fighter Zamboanga had appeared to control most of the fight. A tearful Zamboanga expressed hope following the fight that ONE would review the outcome. As it stands, however, the “Lycan Queen” is out of the grand prix, suffering the first loss of her career in the process.
Stamp Fairtex, Itsuki Hirata, and Ritu Phogat, meanwhile, join Seo Hee Ham in the semifinals, with match-ups voted on by fans.
In the Empower main event, strawweight champion Xiong Jing Nan made a fifth defense of her title, successfully avoiding the dangerous ground game of Brazil’s Michelle Nicolini en route to a lopsided unanimous decision win.
Full results and a gallery of highlights from ONE: Empower can be found below.
ONE Championship: Empower Results
Xiong Jing Nan def. Michelle Nicolini by unanimous decision – for the ONE strawweight world championship
Seo Hee Ham def. Denice Zamboanga by split decision – atomweight grand prix quarterfinal
Stamp Fairtex def. Aloyna Rassohyna by split decision – atomweight grand prix quarterfinal
Ritu Phogat def. Meng Bo by unanimous decision – atomweight grand prix quarterfinal
Itsuki Hirata def. Alyse Anderson by unanimous decision – atomweight grand prix quarterfinal
Anissa Meksen def. Cristina Morales by TKO, Round 2, 2:27 – kickboxing
Jackie Buntan def. Daniela Lopez by unanimous decision – Muay Thai
Julie Mezabarba def. Mei Yamaguchi by unanimous decision – atomweight grand prix alternate bout