ONE 159: de Ridder vs. Bigdash Preview

Reinier de Ridder holding two ONE Championship belts in the ONE Championship cage.
Reinier de Ridder will put his 205-pound belt on the line in Friday’s main event (ONE Championship)

ONE Championship will return on Friday morning with an 11-bout card. Two-division MMA champion Reinier de Ridder will attempt to continue his dominance in the main event, facing former titleholder Vitaly Bigdash in a five-round bout.

Here’s a preview of the entire card.

Click here to skip to a preview of the main card.

Lead Card (6:30AM EDT / 6:30PM SGT) (Youtube)

Bout 1: Lea Bivins (0-0) vs. Zeba Bano (1-1) (115 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Lea Bivins will make her pro debut in the first bout on Friday’s card, facing Zeba Bano.

There is little information online about Bivins. An article released by ONE Championship says that Bivins has maintained a close relationship with current champion Angela Lee, having known her for years and trained with her before.

Bano lost her ONE debut earlier this year, getting submitted in the first round by Wondergirl Fairtex. Before then, she had one pro win since 2019.

Bout 2: Jin Tae Ho (11-5) vs. Valmir da Silva (8-2) (185 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Riding the momentum of a successful ONE debut, Jin Tae Ho will face Valmir da Silva.

Jin had a quick performance in April, submitting Agilan Thani in the first round with a kimura. He had a strong run on the Korean regional scene before then, putting together a five-fight winning streak.

Da Silva’s ONE debut didn’t go as well as Jin’s did. He suffered a finish loss in February, getting stopped by Zebaztian Kadestam in 86 seconds due to strikes. He succeeded in Brazil before then.

Bout 3: Ariel Sexton (13-4) vs. Marat Gafurov (18-4) (170 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Ariel Sexton will make his return on Friday’s prelims, facing Marat Gafurov.

Sexton has been on the ONE roster since 2014, but has been out of the cage for more than three years now. He is returning with a strong run in the promotion still intact, having won five of his six promotional appearances.

Gafurov will be fighting to come back from a decision loss that he took to now-champion Ok Rae Yoon in April 2021.

Bout 4: Sinsamut Klinmee vs. Islam Murtazaev (170 lbs) (Muay Thai Bout)

The card will shift over to Muay Thai when Sinsamut Klinmee and Islam Murtazaev will fight.

Klinmee picked up a win over a high-profile name in his ONE debut earlier this year, defeating veteran Nieky Holzken in March.

Murtazaev is returning after losing a title fight in ONE’s kickboxing division. He went five rounds against Regian Eersel late last year, dropping a split decision in the end. Now shifting over to Muay Thai, Murtazaev will fight for his first win in ONE.

Bout 5: Jo Nattawut vs. Jamal Yusupov (155 lbs) (Muay Thai Bout)

Jamal Yusupov will return in the final prelim bout, fighting Jo Nattawut under Muay Thai rules.

Yusupov has been out of competition since late 2020. His brief ONE run has been successful, earning two victories in the promotion under Muay Thai rules.

Nattawut suffered a first-round finish loss in his last fight, getting stopped by Chingiz Allazov in January.

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

Bout 6: Zelang Zhaxi (16-6-1) vs. Danial Williams (5-1) (125 lbs) (MMA Bout)

Looking to keep his strong 2022 alive, Danial Williams will face Zelang Zhaxi.

Williams earned two victories in the first half of 2022. He started this run with a finish victory, putting away Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke with strikes in February. Two months later, he went the distance with DEEP Impact alum Namiki Kawahara for a decision win.

Zhaxi will be making his flagship ONE debut on Friday morning. He appeared in ONE’s “Hero Series” in previous years, picking up three wins through four appearances in that time.

Zhaxi’s last win saw him defeat He Age on a regional card last year.

Bout 7: Zhang Peimian vs. Aslanbek Zikreev (125 lbs) (Kickboxing Bout)

Kickboxers Zhang Peimian and Aslanbek Zikreev will compete in the next matchup.

Both talents won their ONE debuts.

Zhang’s victory came in March, securing a finish win over Josh Tonna. Zikreev’s first performance goes a little farther back, defeating Wang Junguang in November 2020.

Bout 8: Muangthai P.K.Saenchaimuaythaigym vs. Vladimir Kuzmin (145 lbs) (Muay Thai Bout)

Aiming to bounce back from a recent quick loss, Muangthai P.K.Saenchaimuaythaigym will face Vladimir Kuzmin under Muay Thai rules.

Muangthai had a solid promotion run snapped recently, getting stopped within a round by Liam Harrison. Before then, he attained two wins in the promotion from 2019 to 2020.

Kuzmin won his ONE debut in February, going the distance against Chris Shaw in a kickboxing bout. He will now test out the promotion’s Muay Thai division in this appearance.

Bout 9: Bokang Masunyane (8-1) vs. Hiroba Minowa (13-3) (125 lbs) (MMA Bout)

In the final non-title fight of the card, flyweights Bokang Masunyane and Hiroba Minowa will fight.

Masunyane was near a title fight earlier this year, but had his momentum stopped when he took his first pro loss. That defeat came in April, when Jarred Brooks earned a first-round submission over him. Brooks is now set to challenge for a belt next, meaning Masunyane likely was one win away from a title fight as well.

Before that defeat, Masunyane had eight wins as a pro, including two in the ONE cage.

Similar to Masunyane, Minowa is also coming off a loss to Brooks. His defeat to the UFC alum took place in January, and broke an extensive six-fight winning streak that dated back to 2018.

Bout 10: Janet Todd vs. Lara Fernandez (Vacant Interim ONE Muay Thai Atomweight Championship) (115 lbs)

A new Muay Thai champion will be crowned in the co-main event when Janet Todd and Lara Fernandez face off. They’ll be fighting for an interim belt, as ONE’s current champion in the division is Allycia Hellen Rodrigues.

Todd is challenging for a Muay Thai belt in ONE for the second time. She notably fought Stamp Fairtex in early 2019, losing that fight via decision.

Todd has yet to lose since that outing, stringing together three wins in Muay Thai. Not only that, she has won a trio of bouts in kickboxing and became the promotion’s champ in that sport along the way as well.

Todd’s last victory was a finish win, stopping Anne Line Hogstad last year. This weekend, she’ll fight to become a two-sport champion.

Fernandez is an interestingly different story to Todd. While Todd has a ton of wins in the promotion, Fernandez is seeing herself go into a title fight in her promotional debut. However, this is certainly after some success around the world in kickboxing and Muay Thai. She notably had a strong 2020, scoring two high-profile wins to earn both a WBC Muaythai belt and an ISKA title. She took a loss in her last appearance, dropping a close split decision to Amy Pirnie in a Lion Fight title bout last year.

Bout 11: Reinier de Ridder (15-0) vs. Vitaly Bigdash (12-2) (ONE MMA Middleweight Championship) (205 lbs)

Reinier de Ridder will attempt to continue his dominance in Friday’s main event, facing former titleholder Vitaly Bigdash.

De Ridder has yet to lose through an astounding 15 fights as a pro. He quickly rose to prominence in ONE, getting a title fight after scoring three wins from 2019 to 2020. He first claimed a belt in October 2020, stopping Aung La N Sang in just a round with a rear naked choke.

He fought La N Sang again a year later, that time challenging for a belt in a heavier weight class. He went the distance in this appearance but still emerged victorious with a unanimous decision result.

De Ridder’s last performance was a dominant one, putting away Kiamrian Abbasov in the third round of a bout via arm triangle choke.

He now faces Bigdash, who has had a resurgence as of late.

Bigdash was notably a ONE titleholder in 2015, but dropped his belt two years later. He was absent from competition for quite some time recently, not fighting for more than three years. But he made his return in late 2021, scoring a third-round guillotine choke victory over Fan Rong.

He made a big step towards a title fight in February, avenging a 2017 loss to La N Sang. Now all these years after he last called himself champion, Bigdash has the chance to regain that status.

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