ONE Championship will take their biggest step yet into the North American market on Wednesday, starting a weekly series on U.S. TV channel TNT. The new program, “ONE on TNT,” is starting with a strong structure.
The promotion will be given two hours of TV time on Wednesday nights. The program airs after pro wrestling show “AEW Dynamite,” which has consistently been getting viewership above 600,000 since its 2019 launch.
The promotion has a physical hub for doing events amid the pandemic, as they will use the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore. What’s more, their ongoing partnership with the government in Singapore is helping them bring fighters to events.
ONE’s debut event on the TV channel is strong. Former UFC champions Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez will challenge ONE vets Adriano Moraes and Iuri Lapicus in the top two fights of the six-bout card.
Here’s a full preview of the evening.
Lead Card (8:30PM EDT / 8:30AM SGT) (B/R Live / Youtube)
Bout 1: Reug Reug (2-0) vs. Patrick Schmid (0-0) (265 lbs) (MMA Bout)
One of the late storylines for ONE’s first “ONE on TNT” card is the last-minute changes that took place on the undercard. The original plans for the card saw Oumar Kane, better known as Reug Reug, facing Mehdi Barghi in an MMA bout. Also, Patrick Schmid was booked to fight Rade Opacic in a kickboxing fight.
After both Opacic and Barghi were removed from the lineup, Schmid was paired against Reug Reug. While Schmid enters the short-notice matchup with a background in kickboxing, this will be his first time fighting as a pro in MMA.
Reug Reug is returning after winning his ONE debut earlier in the year, stopping Alain Ngalani within a round in January.
Bout 2: Chingiz Allazov vs. Enriko Kehl (155 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)
A kickboxing bout between Chingiz Allazov and Enriko Kehl was a short notice addition to Wednesday’s card. The bout helps maintain the card as six fights in total, as the combination of Reug Reug and Schmid in the previous bout without another new fight would have brought the show down to five bouts as a whole.
Allazov, a former K-1 Japan and Bellator kickboxer will be making his ONE debut on the card. His last bout was in 2019, where he defeated Sudsakorn Sor Klinmee on scorecards in Bellator.
While Kehl has competed in ONE before, he will be returning after a year off just like Allazov. Kehl competed for ONE three times in 2019, earning two wins and one loss when competing under their kickboxing and Muay Thai rules.
Bout 3: Tyler McGuire (12-1) vs. Raimond Magomedaliev (7-1) (185 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Both returning after strong wins late last year, Tyler McGuire and Raimond Magomedaliev will compete in the third and final bout of the prelims.
McGuire made his return to action in December, fighting to a decision win over Agilan Thani. The fight was McGuire’s first since 2018, with that prior appearance being a loss to Zebaztian Kadestam.
Magomedaliev closed out the year strong in 2020, handing Edson Marques his first pro loss with a second-minute stoppage due to strikes. The win was his second in the year, as he scored a submission win against Joey Pierotti in January as well.
Main Card (10:00PM EDT / 10:00AM SGT) (TNT / Youtube)
Bout 4: Rodtang Jitmuangnon vs. Danial Williams (135 lbs) (Muay Thai Bout)
ONE will showcase their Muay Thai talent in the opening bout of the card, as 135-pound Muay Thai Champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon will fight Danial Williams in a non-championship bout. Rodtang has been undefeated in ONE bouts since he joined the roster in 2019. He has defended his ONE belt three times, including a win last year over Petchdam Petchyindee Academy.
Williams stepped in for Jacob Smith, who had to withdraw just weeks before the event. Williams has competed in kickboxing before, having appeared in the past for K-1 Japan. He has fought in MMA in recent years, attaining four wins and one loss since making his pro debut in 2018.
Bout 5: Eddie Alvarez (30-7) vs. Iuri Lapicus (14-1) (170 lbs) (MMA Bout)
Former UFC champ Eddie Alvarez will get his toughest challenge yet in ONE in the co-main event, fighting Iuri Lapicus.
Lapicus’ fight on Wednesday will be his first since losing a title shot to Christian Lee last year. The quick stoppage loss for Lapicus lasted within a round, handing him his first pro loss through 15 bouts. He had previously earned two submission wins in ONE via rear naked choke.
Alvarez has been part of the ONE roster since 2019, although he did not participate in the promotion’s events last year. His first win for the promotion was against veteran Eduard Folayang, who he was able to submit with a rear naked choke. Alvarez was given a loss in his debut ONE bout, as he got caught by punches from Timofey Nastyukhin earlier that year.
Bout 6: Adriano Moraes (18-3) vs. Demetrious Johnson (30-3-1) (ONE MMA Flyweight Championship) (135 lbs)
Former UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson will get his first chance to become a ONE champ on Wednesday night, fighting Adriano Moraes in the main event of “ONE on TNT.”
Johnson has been regarded as one of the top flyweights for a long time now. He is best known for his extensive championship run in UFC which saw him defend his belt 11 times from 2012 to 2018. His run in ONE, which started in 2019, has produced three wins thus far. Johnson earned a tournament win in his last appearance, defeating Danny Kingad in 2019 to claim a grand prix belt. Now after a three-fight win streak, Johnson finds himself in the position to earn a title.
A win for Moraes on Wednesday would be a strong way to start his third run as champ. Moraes has been part of the ONE roster for long now, having fought on cards since 2013. During that time he has been at the top of their 135-pound division, holding the belt numerous times. He last lost the belt in 2018, when Geje Eustaquio picked up a decision win over him in a rematch. Fighting again the next year in a trilogy bout, Moraes was able to regain the bout with a scorecard victory.