ONE Championship holds a historic event next month which will feature an all-female fight card involving the promotion’s top fighters.
Set for Sept. 3, “ONE: Empower” will mark the first time that women fighters will take full court in a show by Asia’s largest sports media property.
The landmark show is headlined by five-time ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion Xiong Jing Nan, who will defend her belt against number two-ranked contender Michelle Nicolini, a 13-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion and BJJ Hall of Famer.
Ms. Xiong has been champion since January 2018 and has had four successful title defenses to date.
Her opponent, Ms. Nicolini, meanwhile, sports a 4-1 record in ONE, including a unanimous decision victory in her last fight in July 2019 over reigning ONE atomweight champion Angela Lee in a strawweight contest.
Empower will also kick off the pandemic-delayed Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix, which will see eight fighters vie in win-or-go-home fights to be the last woman on top.
Filipino Denice Zamboanga, ranked number one, is part of the competition and will take on Seo Hee Ham of South Korea in the initial bracket.
Also set to action in the grand prix are Meng Bo of China against Ritu Phogat of India; Stamp Fairtex of Thailand versus Alyona Rassohyna of Ukraine; and undefeated judoka Itsuki Hirata of Japan against ONE newcomer Alyse Anderson of the United States.
Part of the main card as well is the clash between kickboxing star Anissa Meksen of France against Cristina Morales of Spain.
In the featured lead card bout, Filipino-American striker Jackie Buntan welcomes Daniela Lopez of Argentina to ONE Super Series Muay Thai.
Also, in a pair of World Grand Prix alternate bouts, former ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title challenger Mei Yamaguchi of Japan goes up against Julie Mezabarba of Brazil, while Grace Cleveland of the United States battles the winner of Bi Nguyen versus Jenelyn Olsim from the tape-delayed ONE: Battleground III event on Aug. 27.
ONE Championship events are shown live in the Philippines over One Sports. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo