ONE Championship pulled out all the stops for ONE on Prime Video I: Moraes vs. Johnson II, with the 10-fight card guaranteed to feature non-stop action and high-stakes drama.
The promotion’s debut on the massive streaming platform will air live in prime time across the United States this Friday, August 26, and the showcase is packed with some of the biggest names and most intriguing matches possible.
But how will things go when the athletes enter the indoor stadium in Singapore and throw themselves into the circle?
Here we ask five of the biggest questions ahead of this historic event on Prime Video.
#1 Can Johnson even the score with Moraes?
The combat sports world was in shock after Adriano Moraes became the first man to knock out Demetrious Johnson when they faced off for the ONE Flyweight World Title in April 2021.
Now Johnson is back and hungry to settle the score, but can the American icon get revenge, or will ‘Mikinho’ stop him once again – either with his strike or his grappling hook ?
After the Brazilian’s stunning performance, many fans believe he can strike lightning twice, although ‘Mighty Mouse’ has proven he can beat anyone in a storied career that includes 12 wins at the world MMA title.
Moraes will be more confident after his first win and subsequent world title defense against Yuya Wakamatsu last March.
However, Johnson is known for his fighting IQ and well-balanced game. Can he find a way to equalize “Mikinho” in the main event of the night?
#2 Can anyone beat Nong-O?
Nong-O Gaiyanghadao has looked unstoppable in ONE, going 8-0 with three straight knockouts in his last three defenses of the ONE World Bantamweight Muay Thai title.
The Thai hero has grown stronger inside the circle and seems to be more dangerous with each outing. But is Liam Harrison the man who can stop the juggernaut in its tracks?
One thing is certain, “Hitman” will not take a step back. And should Nong-O decide to go neck and neck, the Englishman has the kind of firepower that can act as an equalizer against any rival.
The key will be whether the battle-tested Briton can find a gap that others haven’t been able to exploit. If he fails to do so, the reigning world champion will retain his stranglehold on the division.
#3 Will Rodtang and Superlek dominate the Grand Prix semi-finals?
Two of the best Thai attackers on the planet will face off on opposite sides of the group in the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai Word Grand Prix Semi-Finals.
Dominant king of the division Rodtang Jitmuangnon and No. 1 ranked contender Superlek Kiatmoo9 are certainly the favorites to defeat Savvas Michael and Walter Goncalves respectively, although their opponents are armed with huge motivation.
Michael, fourth, is desperate to overthrow Rodtang. The rising Cypriot star knows a win would boost his stock immediately, as ‘The Iron Man’ is 11-0 in ONE and has rarely looked troubled during his tenure on the throne.
Meanwhile, Goncalves, ranked No. 5, is a former world title challenger who is eager to keep rolling after a first-round stoppage in the quarter-finals. But the Brazilian will be tough against ‘The Kicking Machine’, who has looked amazing in his recent outings.
There is no doubt that Thai athletes dominate the top levels of Muay Thai in their home country, but Michael and Goncalves will be hoping to score points and secure their tickets to the tournament finals.
#4 Will Buchecha become the top contender in heavyweight MMA?
Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida is a 17-time BJJ world champion who has looked flawless since transitioning to mixed martial arts last year.
But after a trio of first-round finishes, the Brazilian icon will step up in class and face former ONE Interim Heavyweight world title challenger Kirill Grishenko in his first MMA bout against an elite-level wrestler.
All eyes will be on ‘Buchecha’ as he looks to prove himself against a man with a formidable skill set. If he can navigate past Grishenko’s struggle, he will instantly become a threat to top dogs.
With Arjan Bhullar and Anatoly Malykhin set to unify the ONE Heavyweight world title belts later this year, now would be a good time for the Brazilian legend to throw his hat in the ring.
#5 Can Hirata bounce back from her first loss?
Rising Japanese star Itsuki Hirata suffered her first MMA loss in a close battle against Jihin Radzuan last March, but she did everything in her power to get back on the winning track.
The former judoka traveled to the United States to train alongside world-class coaches and partners, and she tried to improve her striking before facing China’s Lin Heqin.
However, Lin thinks she can expose the stand-up game “Android 18” and make the case for the atomic weight rating.
It won’t be easy for Hirata to bounce back, and this match will be a true test of his physical and mental toughness.