ONE Championship’s MMA stars are coming back in a big way.
The promotion announced four championship bouts for its upcoming “ONE Championship: Inside The Matrix” event set to take place on Oct. 30 with a location still to be announced. While the promotion has sporadically held shows since the COVID-19 outbreak in March, they have primarily focused on their Super Series, which is comprised of muay Thai and kickboxing competitions.
At Inside The Matrix, MMA champions Aung La N Sang, Christian Lee, Martin Nguyen, and Jingnan Xiong will defend their titles.
N Sang (26-10, 1 NC), who also holds ONE’s 185-pound title, defends his 205-pound title against undefeated Dutchman Reinier de Ridder (12-0). “The Dutch Knight” seeks to not only become a ONE champion, but to snap N Sang’s seven-fight win streak that dates back to January 2017.
Competing for the first time since October of last year, Lee (13-3) goes for his first defense of the 170-pound title when he meets undefeated Molodovan Iuri Lapicus (14-0). Lee and Lapicus were scheduled to fight on May 29 before that event was canceled due to coronavirus precautions.
In 2019, Lee went 3-0, knocking out Shinya Aoki to capture ONE gold and also winning the ONE Lightweight (170-pound) Grand Prix by stepping in as an alternate and defeating Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev.
Nguyen (13-3) defends his 155-pound belt against former LFA standout Thanh Le (11-2). A former two-division champion, Nguyen has never lost competing at 155 pounds while Thanh is 3-0 since joining ONE Championship in May 2019.
Strawweight (125-pound) champion Xiong goes for her fourth consecutive title defense when she rematches Tiffany Teo (9-1). Xiong fell short in her attempt to add the 115-pound title to her collection, losing by fifth-round submission to Angela Lee in October 2019, after successfully defending her own title against Lee seven months prior.
Teo’s lone loss came at the hands of Xiong in a fight for the vacant strawweight title in January 2018. Since then, she’s scored consecutive wins over Ayaka Miura and Michelle Nicolini.
At a conference call on Monday, ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong also confirmed that the previously announced “Reign of Dynasties” event will take place in Singapore. Sityodtong said that event will take place in an empty arena and that he expects that will be the case going forward for other upcoming ONE events for at least 12 months.