MMA Latest Asia raided the One Championship roster to find out their thoughts on the UFC 194 main event and we managed to speak to 25 of them. Find out who is the favourite at the end of the page.
Kairat Akhmetov – Flyweight Champion
Aldo, I’m a big fan of him. Conor has no chance. God will punish Conor.
Jimmy Yabo – Featherweight
Conor. Because he knows what he gets in to and he knows what he is doing. He has the heart for fighting and has the knockout power.
Melvin Yeoh – Featherweight
Aldo. In terms of skills sets, Aldo is more capable and Conor has never fought anyone like him.
Adriano Moraes – Flyweight
Aldo. Because he is a true champion and have more weapons for this fight.
Alain Ngalani – Heavyweight
My heart goes with Aldo but my money with Conor! Fact is, at this stage anything can happen. It is clear that Conor is leading with his trash talking but closing down on fight day, I think the pressure is finally sinking in and he is realising that a win is not a “given”! Conor has to earn the victory! Aldo will have to show that he still has the heart and is still the “baddest” man in the division.
Edward Kelly – Featherweight
Aldo. He has accurate striking. I’m hoping that Aldo trains his footwork to counter Conor.
Stephen Langdown – Bantamweight
Aldo, easy. He’s “gonna” kick the living hell out of Conor. His striking is much better and so is his grappling.
Agilan Thani – Welterweight
Conor. Because I like him and I think Conor trains both as a mixed martial artist as well as a professional athlete. He is very well rounded, flexible, strong, accurate and most of all, durable. He got the attitude to be a fighter who doesn’t fear his opponents and that will get him the gold.
Trestle Tan – Welterweight
I’m still Aldo! I really believe Aldo can win. He got focus and powerful striking and grappling.
Adrian Pang – Lightweight
I never like to pick fights but Jose Aldo because he is one of the greatest champions ever and has faced and defeated all challengers.
Nathan Ng – Featherweight
Conor Mcgregor has it. Jose Aldo is like Dieago Brandao 2.0 and Conor cleaned him easily. They have very similar styles and skill sets that I see this fight looking similar to the Conor vs Brandao fight except for the fact that Aldo won’t break. It won’t be easy for Conor but don’t count on Aldo throwing leg kicks. He doesn’t when he fights southpaws, which would have been his best weapon. Look out for Conor’s showboating and getting into Aldo’s head. McGregor with a 2nd round TKO.
Ev Ting – Featherweight
Aldo. Because he is a true champion in and outside the cage.
Eric Kelly – Featherweight
I like Conor’s fight style but he does too much talking and not being humble. I really hope Aldo will kick and punch his mouth to teach him some respect… Aldo has held the world title for the longest time. I always desire to be like Aldo and hold a title for a long time. Aldo has always been himself and has always been humble. I really hope Jose Aldo wins.
Vincent Latoel – Lightweight
I hope Aldo but I think Conor will win. Conor knows what he is doing. He is mentally and physically in balance. May the best man wins.
Arnaud Lepont – Lightweight
The fight is the most awaited fight of the year. The pound for pound king is putting his hands on the biggest tickets seller the UFC ever created. On top of that, Conor can back it up….and I am thankful for the attention he brings to MMA. Aldo is known for his experience, battled proven and crazy low kicks. McGregor is a big dude in the division with good cage control and a heavy left. I see it going with McGregor pressuring Aldo during the two first rounds and Aldo breaking him during the last three.
Mc Gregor should use his range, avoid the brawl and try to hurt Aldo with his spinning body kicks and counter left. Aldo have to close the distance and hit him hard with combo. I guess we will see later in the fight the advantage of those Aldo trademarked killer low kicks. It will be a tough battle but Jose will bring the heat and the unanimous decision back to Brazil.
Igor Subora – Heavyweight
I think Conor will get the win. This is a huge fight for the MMA fans and I am so excited to watch this fight. I think Conor was tested with tough guys and I think he is going to be more dynamic with his style. Aldo is direct and just brutal with his kicks. I think this is the first time Aldo is pissed by his opponent’s trash talking. Who knows how it will reflect on fight day.
Bryan Yago – Strawweight
Aldo. He is an athlete with more weaponry. He is much more aggressive and dangerous that Conor.
Sunoto – Bantamweight
Aldo will win. McGregor may have the edge on fight IQ, and both have strong stand up. The key will be their ground game and takedown defence, which Aldo has the edge. We’ve seen both fighters fought Chad Mendes and Mendes took down Conor easier compared to Aldo.
Robert Lisita – Featherweight
Aldo. Because he’s got that technique and although Conor is an awesome fighter, Jose has never looked like losing. So I can’t go against the king until Conor makes me a believer. And I’ll beat them both. Conor says the other featherweights hits like flyweights. If I’d hit him, I’d break his face.
Bashir Ahmad – Featherweight
McGregor. I’ll tell you why. Because I trained at Ryan Hall’s gym and Ryan is a martial arts genius and McGregor’s approach to training is Ryan Hall approved.
Stefer Rahardian – Flyweight
Aldo is still the best. He’s more well equipped on stand-up and on the ground and is also very powerful.
Martin Nguyen – Featherweight
Aldo. Because the king always wins against a joker.
Casey Suire – Bantamweight
Aldo. Aldo is a beast. I’m not jumping on the Conor bandwagon just because he talks a good game. He has beaten some decent fighters, but let’s see what he can do with one of the pound for pound best fighters in the world. He gets his chance on December 12 to prove what he is made of. Aldo by KO.
Fransino Tirta – Bantamweight
On paper, Aldo is a much better-rounded fighter. I can see Aldo being dominate Conor with his combination striking and takedowns. But the x factor of Conor’s mind games can be the key. If Aldo gets emotional, Conor can win this.
Major Overall – Featherweight
John Cena by RKO….Out of nowhere!
Highest Ranked Strawweight Outside of the UFC challenged Angela Lee to a title fight in One Championship
28 Years Old, Zhang Weili(16-1) from China has challenged Strawweight champion Angela Lee for her strap in One Championship according to a source close to the Chinese fighter. Zhang who is the champion and fighting for Chinese based promotion Kunlun FC is currently negotiating on a one fight deal to face Angela. According to the source, they would like to determine who is the best women fighter in Asia in a one-off match and would have no problems to fight under the One Championship banner.
Since her pro debut loss in 2013, Zhang has racked up 16 wins in 3 years with a total of 15 finishes. She is the number #6 ranked women strawweight in the World according to Fightmatrix.com, just behind Rose Namajunas who will be facing UFC champion and number #1 ranked strawweight Joanna Jedrzejczyk for the title next month. Angela, on the other hand, is 9 rungs below Zhang at number 15.
While ONE was very eager to have a cross-promotion fight between Angela Lee and Joanna Jedrzejczyk to determine who has the better strawweight, they seem less eager to have a Kunlun FC champion on board for a one fight deal. The source states that ONE would need for Zhang to sign a 2-year exclusive contract first before discussing further for a fight with Angela.
If the source is accurate, ONE seems to be covering their bases this time and would not like for their champion to lose the belt to another promotion without securing Zhang on an exclusive contract. Kunlun, on the other hand, would also not want to lose their best fighter to another Asian promotion. Zhang would be a huge asset to ONE for their expansion in China but it would be tough for them to pry off the Chinese fighter as the source states that Zhang is being paid handsomely on Kunlun FC.
While things are looking bleak for a match between Angela Lee and Zhang Weili to happen in the ONE Championship cage, the fans will be keeping their fingers crossed and hope that they could witness a fight between two of the best women Strawweights in Asia.
Martin Nguyen to challenge Eduard Folayang’s title in Manila for the first champion vs champion fight in ONE Championship
After speculations on who Martin Nguyen’s next opponent when he signed a fight contract, ONE Championship have confirmed that Martin Nguyen is set to challenge Eduard Folayang’s lightweight title in Manila on ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD on 10 November.
The fight is the latest in a series of cross-division fights announced after Shinya Aoki vs Ben Askren and Aung La NSang vs Alain Ngalani, but this will be the first time the reigning ONE Championship titleholders from two weight divisions will clash.
Nguyen’s coach, Fari Salievski, did tease on the idea of Nguyen fighting for the title in different weight divisions , but he teased on a bantamweight division since Martin was underweight for his featherweight title fight against Marat Gafurov.
Despite being on the lighter side of a featherweight division, the new champion decided to challenge the title against a fighter a weight class above him, and opens the possibility of the first fighter in ONE Championship to challenge the title in 3 weight divisions.
“I’m not out only to make a statement, but to go down in history as the best to ever compete under the ONE Championship banner” – Martin Nguyen
ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD will be held in Malls of Asia Arena in Manila on 10 November 2017
Bashir Ahmad embraces new role in ONE Championship
Bashir Ahmad is appointed as the Senior Manager of Industry Partnerships, the role made to develop and strengthen the relationships between ONE Championship and various MMA gyms and promotions.
“Essentially, I see myself doing what I did in Pakistan and working to accelerate the growth of MMA in Asia with other players in the MMA scene,” Ahmad explained.
As the pioneer of Pakistani MMA, Bashir Ahmad has worked to promote MMA in Pakistan, most notably the Shaheen Gym project, a non-profit gym which serves to take at-risk youth off the street with the appeal and focus of MMA. With his new position in ONE, Ahmad believes he will be better positioned to develop MMA in Asia, particularly in his hometown Pakistan.
“I think it’s a win-win. I’ve learned about developing MMA in a really difficult market – Pakistan, and I bring that experience with me.”
“On the flip side, I get work with one of the world’s most professional martial arts brands and bring those lessons to my mission in Pakistan.”
4-3 on his professional MMA career, Ahmad has been fighting for ONE Championship since April 2013 and became the first ONE Championship athlete to make the transition from into the management role in the promotion. Despite this additional role, Ahmad is adamant that his new role in ONE Championship does not take him away from active competition.
“100% not retired. I can certainly train. If Martin can beat Gafurov while being a full-time mechanic, I can certainly train when I work in the MMA industry for a living. It’s about time management and training smart.”
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