ONE Championship’s first all-women’s MMA card has a new date, now being set to happen on September 3rd. “Empower” will host the start of an eight-woman 115-pound tournament and a championship fight in the main event.
“Empower” was first set to happen in May, although it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the weeks leading up.
ONE Championship 125-pound champion Xiong Jingnan will make her return in the main event, facing Michelle Nicolini.
Xiong has been a ONE titleholder since 2018, where she defeated Tiffany Teo to claim the vacant belt. She has had a successful run in the division thus far, having defended the belt four times.
She last fought in October, where she defeated Teo in a rematch.
Nicolini has competed in ONE since 2016, although this bout will be her first in a title spot. She is being booked for the fight after defeating Angela Lee in 2019.
ONE Re-Books 115-Pound Tournament
The long-awaited eight-woman 115-pound tournament will kick off in September.
The bracket is almost exactly the same way as it was originally set up, although there have been some small changes to the lineup.
Undefeated fighter Grace Cleveland has joined the bracket, filling in the spot that Ritu Phogat previously had in the tournament.
Cleveland is joining ONE Championship after an undefeated four-fight run on the U.S. regional scene. She will face Meng Bo, who has gone undefeated through three appearances in ONE Championship.
The ONE Championship debut of Ham Seo Hee is also set to happen when she takes on Denice Zamboanga.
Ham is making the move to ONE Championship a year-and-a-half after she defeated Ayaka Hamasaki to become the RIZIN Super Atomweight Champion. The former UFC fighter will be moving back up a weight class for this grand prix.
Zamboanga will be wagering her eight-fight undefeated record that includes three appearances in ONE Championship.
Japanese prospect Itsuki Hirata will face American Alyse Anderson in the opening round as well.
Hirata is one of ONE’s homegrown prospects, as all four of her pro MMA bouts have taken place under their banner. On the other hand, Anderson is joining the promotion after a three-fight stint in Invicta FC.
A rematch between former ONE champion Stamp Fairtex and Alona Rassohyna will also take place in the matchup.
Rassohyna scored a stoppage win in her ONE debut earlier this year against Stamp, submitting her late in the third round with a guillotine choke.
“Empower” is also set to feature a kickboxing fight between Anissa Meksen and Christina Morales.
Bout 6: Xiong Jingnan (15-2) vs. Michelle Nicolini (6-2) (ONE MMA Flyweight Championship) (125 lbs)
Bout 5: Denice Zamboanga (8-0) vs. Ham Seo Hee (23-8) (115 lbs) (ONE Atomweight Grand Prix Quarter-Finals)
Bout 4: Alyona Rassohyna (13-4) vs. Stamp Fairtex (5-1) (115 lbs) (ONE Atomweight Grand Prix Quarter-Finals)
Bout 3: Meng Bo (17-5) vs. Grace Cleveland (5-0) (115 lbs) (ONE Atomweight Grand Prix Quarter-Finals)
Bout 2: Itsuki Hirata (4-0) vs. Alyse Anderson (115 lbs) (ONE Atomweight Grand Prix Quarter-Finals)
Bout 1: Anissa Meksen vs. Cristina Morales (115 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)