ONE Championship Reveals Full ‘Empower’ Card, Moves Ritu Phogat Back Into 115-Pound Grand Prix

Ritu Phogat gets her arm raised in the ONE Championship cage.
Ritu Phogat is back in the ONE Championship tournament, taking the place of Grace Cleveland (ONE Championship)

The full lineup is set for ONE Championship’s first all-women event. The promotion’s September 3rd card “Empower” will have nine bouts in total, including fights in the opening round of an eight-woman tournament.

The fights are set to take place live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.

“Empower” was first set for May but had to later be rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been heavily promoted by ONE and is set to be the promotion’s longest live card since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ONE will be bringing back a prelim (also known as “Lead Card”) and main card structure with this event, something that they haven’t done since February of 2020.

Phogat Re-Joins 115-Pound Bracket

It was previously reported that a flyweight title fight and eight-woman 115-pound bracket will happen at the event. More details on that announcement can be read here.

A slight change has been made to the bracket, as Ritu Phogat has been placed back in the tournament.

Phogat was part of the initial lineup of the tournament but was removed from a later iteration of the bracket after losing a fight to Bi Nguyen in May. She has since returned to the win column with a decision win over Lin Heqin.

It is not clear whether Phogat was placed back into the tournament due to that win – the same day as her last fight, it was announced that undefeated promotional newcomer Grace Cleveland would replace her in the bracket.

ONE Reveals Alternate Bouts For Tournament

Cleveland has now been moved to one of the two reserve bouts for the bracket which will happen during the prelims.

The opponent for Cleveland, a promotional newcomer, is not known publicly at the moment. She will either face the aforementioned Nguyen or Filipino fighter Jenelyn Olsim. The strawweights fought last month, but the result of the fight won’t be known until it airs on August 27th.

The other reserve bout will see veteran Mei Yamaguchi return against Julie Mezabarba, who is joining the promotion on a five-fight win streak.

Yamaguchi will be making her first appearance in over a year.

Buntan Returns Against Lopez

The sole Muay Thai bout on the card will see Jackie Buntan face promotional newcomer Daniela Lopez.

Buntan has made a name for herself this year in ONE with two wins. Her promotional run kicked off with an upset in February, defeating prospect Wondergirl Fairtex on scorecards. She has since earned another victory.

Lopez is joining ONE after competing over in Thailand.

Full Lineup

Main Card (8:30AM EDT / 8:30PM SGT) (Youtube / Bleacher Report App)

Bout 9: Xiong Jing Nan (15-2) vs. Michelle Nicolini (6-2) (ONE Strawweight MMA Championship) (125 lbs)

Bout 8: Denice Zamboanga (8-0) vs. Ham Seo Hee (23-8) (ONE Atomweight Grand Prix Opening Round) (115 lbs)

Bout 7: Alyona Rassohyna (13-4) vs. Stamp Fairtex (5-1) (ONE Atomweight Grand Prix Opening Round) (115 lbs)

Bout 6: Meng Bo (17-5) vs. Ritu Phogat (5-1) (ONE Atomweight Grand Prix Opening Round) (115 lbs)

Bout 5: Itsuki Hirata (4-0) vs. Alyse Anderson (5-1) (ONE Atomweight Grand Prix Opening Round) (115 lbs)

Bout 4: Anissa Meksen vs. Cristina Morales (115 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)

Lead Card (7:00AM EDT / 7:00PM SGT) (Youtube / Bleacher Report App)

Bout 3: Jackie Buntan vs. Daniela Lopez (115 lbs) (Muay Thai Bout)

Bout 2: Mei Yamaguchi (21-12-1) vs. Julie Mezabarba (8-2-1) (ONE Atomweight Grand Prix Alternate Bout) (115 lbs)

Bout 1: TBA vs. Grace Cleveland (5-0) (ONE Atomweight Grand Prix Alternate Bout) (115 lbs)

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