ONE Championship announced the launch of their new weekly TV series “ONE on TNT” on Wednesday. The show, which is set to air its first episode on April 7th at 10PM EST, will air every Wednesday on U.S. TV channel TNT.
The Singapore-based MMA promotion will hold a two-hour timeslot that will run until midnight in the eastern time zone. It will follow the two-hour live broadcasts of pro wrestling show AEW Dynamite, which the channel has aired since 2019.
“This is a long time coming. When we first announced a partnership [with TNT] this was always the intent, to expand and get on TNT,” said ONE President Chatri Sityodtong at a press conference on Wednesday.
The promotion announced some fights for their upcoming ONE on TNT cards, noting that more will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Debut Episode To Include Two Title Fights
ONE’s first episode of ONE on TNT currently has three fights scheduled for it, including two championship bouts. The matchups for this card were first announced on Friday.
In the main event, former UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson will fight ONE Flyweight Champion Adriano Moraes.
The card will also see former UFC champ Eddie Alvarez fight Iuri Lapicus.
In a Muay Thai title fight, Rodtang Jitmuangnon will battle with Jacob Smith in a 135-pound bout.
The April 7th event will air live on TNT with the prelims on B/R Live, the platform on which previous ONE events have aired live on. While it was noted during the conference call that some events might not air live, ONE President Sityodtong mentioned the plan down the line is to make it a live program.
April 14th: Christian Lee To Defend Belt Against Timofey Nastyukhin
ONE MMA Lightweight Champion Christian Lee will fight at the promotion’s April 14th card, fighting Timofey Nastyukhin.
The fight will be Nastyukhin’s first title shot since joining ONE in 2015. He has won his last two fights, picking up a decision victory over Pieter Buist and a stoppage win against Eddie Alvarez.
Lee will return to action after over a year outside the cage. His last fight saw him hand Iuri Lapicus his first loss as a pro with punches.
April 21st: Aung La N Sang Faces Vitaly Bigdash In Trilogy
ONE’s April 21st event will see former ONE 205-pound MMA champ Aung La N Sang fight Vitaly Bigdash in a trilogy fight. The bout will be a tiebreaker between the two after both taking a win over each other in 2017.
The match is being marketed as a “Middleweight #1 Contender Bout” on promotional material.
The fight will be La N Sang’s first since losing his ONE middleweight belt to Reinier De Ridder in 2020.
Bigdash will be returning after over two years outside the cage. His last win, an inverted triangle-armbar finish against Yuki Niimura, was in December of 2018.
A fight between La N Sang and Bigdash was first scheduled for April of 2020, although it was cancelled after ONE re-arranged their events due to COVID-19.
Here is the schedule for ONE’s debut on TNT.
ONE on TNT 1 – April 7th
Bout 3: Adriano Moraes (18-3) vs. Demetrious Johnson (30-3-1) (135 lbs) (ONE MMA Bantamweight Championship)
Bout 2: Eddie Alvarez (30-7) vs. Iuri Lapicus (14-1) (170 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Bout 1: Rodtang Jitmuangnon vs. Jacob Smith (135 lbs) (ONE Muay Thai Bantamweight Championship)
ONE on TNT 2 – April 14th
Bout 1: Christian Lee (14-3) vs. Timofey Nastyukhin (14-4) (170 lbs) (ONE MMA Lightweight Championship)
ONE on TNT 3 – April 21st
Bout 1: Aung La N Sang (26-11) vs. Vitaly Bigdash (10-2) (205 lbs) (MMA Bout)