ONE Championship: Battleground Preview

After over two months of no events, Singapore-based MMA promotion ONE Championship will return on Friday morning with “Battleground.” The six-fight live event marks the promotion’s first show back after they had to cancel an event in May due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The card sees many notable names in the promotion’s MMA divisions take the stage before a high-profile Muay Thai fight closes the show.

Here’s a preview of all the action.

Main Card (8:30AM EDT / 8:30PM SGT) (B/R App / Youtube)

Bout 1: Victoria Lee (1-0) vs. Wang Luping (3-2) (115 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Returning after a successful pro debut earlier this year, 17-year-old Victoria Lee will return in hopes of a second win when facing Wang Luping on Friday.

Lee, a sibling of ONE Championship fighters Angela and Christian lee, had her first pro fight in February. That bout crossed into the second round, where Lee submitted Sunisa Srisen with a rear naked choke.

She now fights Wang, who will be making her promotional debut. Wang is on a strong upswing recently, having scored three consecutive wins in WLF since 2020.

Bout 2: Chen Rui (9-2) vs. Jeremy Pacatiw (10-4) (145 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Jeremy Pacatiw will get his first ONE Championship fight when facing Chen Rui on Friday.

Pacatiw has been active in notable promotion Brave CF since 2016. He has won four of his past five, although the fight on Friday will be his first since late 2019.

Chen will be looking to bounce back from a stoppage loss he took against Kwon Won Il in January.

Bout 3: Ritu Phogat (4-1) vs. Lin Heqin (14-2-1) (115 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Ritu Phogat has an important fight on Friday, as she will attempt to bounce back from her sole pro loss when facing Lin Heqin.

Phogat was on the losing side of an upset two months back, as Bi Nguyen defeated her via split decision after three rounds. The bout snapped a four-fight winning streak that Phogat had held since turning pro in 2019.

The loss threw a wrench in the plans of a 115-pound tournament that Phogat was set to compete in (that tournament has since been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

Phogat will be returning against an experienced Chinese competitor in Lin. The 27-year-old last fought in 2019, when she defeated Jomary Torres within a round with a triangle choke in her ONE Championship debut.

Bout 4: Ryuto Sawada (14-6-1) vs. Gustavo Balart (8-4) (125 lbs) (MMA Bout)

ONE Championship veterans Ryuto Sawada and Gustavo Balart will compete on Friday’s card. The fight wasn’t originally billed for July 30th, although it was added to the lineup after a Muay Thai fight between Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong and Tayfun Ozcan was removed from the card.

Sawada has already fought twice this year, having submitted Robin Catalan and lost a fight to Miao Li Tao.

Balart will be fighting to snap a three-fight losing streak that he developed in 2019.

Bout 5: Aung La N Sang (26-12) vs. Leandro Ataides (11-4) (205 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Aung La N Sang has fought in title fights for ONE Championship for many years now. However, after losing two belts to Reinier de Ridder recently, he is without any titles anymore. In an attempt to start his climb towards a new title fight, N Sang will fight Leandro Ataides in Friday’s co-main event.

Ataides will be N Sang’s first non-title fight opponent since 2017. Him and N Sang have something in common, as his last loss also came against de Ridder. That loss was in early 2020, and snapped a three-fight winning streak that he held previously.

Bout 6: Sam-A Gaiyanghadao vs. Prajanchai PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym (125 lbs) (ONE Muay Thai Strawweight Championship)

Sam-A Gaiayanghadao will fight to defend his ONE Muay Thai Strawweight Championship for the second time when facing promotional newcomer Prajanchai PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym in the main event of Friday’s card.

Sam-A has fought in ONE Championship since 2018. He has been their 125-pound Muay Thai champion for over a year now, having defeated Rocky Ogden via unanimous decision in early 2020 to first claim the belt.

The champion is returning after a dominant first title defense, scoring three knockdowns against Josh Tonna to stop him within two rounds.

While Sam-A’s new opponent has never competed in ONE Championship before, it wouldn’t be fair to discount him because of that. Prajanchai, 26, has previously claimed belts in the prestigious Lumpinee and Rajadamnern Stadiums.

He trains out of one of the top Muay Thai gyms, PK Saenchai Muay Thai Gym, and has competed as a pro for over a decade.

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