ONE 165: Superlek vs. Takeru is shaping up to be an event that martial arts enthusiasts won’t want to miss. To be staged at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan, on January 28, this event is loonged with various martial arts duels including kickboxing, MMA bouts, and submission grappling encounters. Although many outstanding contests are contained on the bill, two further fights wedge a special wallop. Let’s have a look at the factors that are going to make these match-ups interesting.
Danny Kingad Vs. Yuya Wakamatsu II
Danny “The King” Kingad is set to face Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu in the second match of the flyweight category of MMA. When they met for the first time in 2018, they engaged in a fight of the year candidate; one Wakamatsu almost won by pulling off an upset after landing a left-right hand in the first round.
Nonetheless, Kingad’s relentlessness and multi-dimensional ability, with wushu-style striking complemented by impressive grappling, gave him the razor-thin win by way of a unanimous decision.
In their rematch that was less than a year ago, both fighters have grown since then and improved their skills while bringing new techniques in tow.
This rematch holds the potential for an even more electrically charged output that concludes dramatically or a grueling 15-minute war of attrition. Fans can look forward to fireworks as both fighters have developed dramatically since their first meeting.
Nieky Holzken Vs Yoshihiro Akiyama
In the co-main event of this special rules super-fight kickboxing legend Nieky “The Natural” Holzken faces MMA icon Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama. The fight is scheduled to take a unique format, with the first round under boxing rules and the second under Muay Thai, giving Holzken an early advantage. However, the third round, more aptly executed under MMA rules, will mark a turn in the tide where Akiyama is well-versed.
Holzken is a multiple-time Kickboxing World Champion and a former professional boxer known for his concussive striking power. Akiyama, the former judoka, needs to survive these early rounds in putting this fight into his comfort zone in the MMA round. This one’s too close to call, with their previous matches so evenly split, and it could go either way.
Marat Grigorian Vs. Sitthichai Sitsonpeenong VI
Also on the ONE 165 card is another meeting between kickboxing greats Marat Grigorian and Sitthichai “Killer Kid” Sitsongpeenong. It’ll make it their sixth meeting, with the series being one of the rivalries in sport today that many fans can’t get enough of. At this moment, it’s a 4-1 series for Sitthichai. The Belgian puncher won their last fight, though, showing he’s always a serious rival.
The previous five bouts were contested to a decision, and this sixth should prove to be no different. Both fighters come into this highly motivated, with Grigorian ranked as the #2 contender in the featherweight kickboxing division while Sitthichai sits at #3. In addition to settling the rivalry, what is potentially at stake for each man marks this fight -the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Title.
Superlek vs. Takeru should be one of those landmark events in combat sports as it plays out on June 6. These three match-ups are clearly the feature fights on a fight card that will be awash with talent.
If you’re a fan of either striking or grappling, there ought to be something for everyone folded into these matchups that are about as varied and exciting as modern mixed martial arts contests can get.