After what has been the longest layoff since the promotion has resumed its activities, ONE Championship is back with another explosive card in Reign of Dynasties. Headlining the event will be the ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Championship Sam-A Gaiyanghadao defending his title against the Strawweight Muay Thai #1-ranked contender Josh “Timebomb” Tonna.
Reign of Dynasties will be ONE Championship’s first production to take place outside of Thailand since taking Covid-19 related measures. The card will also feature international athletes.
Sam-A Gaiyanghadao eyes to make his first ONE Strawweight Muay Thai title defense. For Josh Tonna, this will be the biggest fight of his career. Being an underdog, he is hungry to give it his all for this chance of a lifetime. Can Sam-A continue his dominance, or will Josh Tonna get another massive upset? Let us take an in-depth analysis of how they match up!
Widely considered as one of the very best Muay Thai-kickboxers of all time, Sam-A had a lot to conquer before he reached the heights of where he is today. Growing up in poverty, Muay Thai paved Sam-A’s way to success.
Starting at the young age of 9 and without formal training, Sam-A roughed up in the ring. Admittedly not knowing what he was doing, he persevered and won matches after matches. Failures and losses made him decide to pursue fighting and formally have training.
Now over the span of over 369 wins in over 400 bouts, Sam-A is a living legend in the combat sports world. Sam-A has won countless Muay Thai World Championship belts in multiple divisions and is the first 3-time ONE Super Series World Champion.
Josh Tonna had an unusual path to becoming the Muay Thai fighter he is now. Growing up, he played soccer and dreamt of becoming a professional. Then his passion shifted to becoming a Rockstar while joining a Band. At 17, the traumatic experience of suffering bullying changed Tonna’s life. Wanting to learn self-defense, he went to training sessions with a coach whom his father is friends with. Tonna fell in love with the sport and started competing in the ring.
He claimed an ISKA World Title in 2015 and was able to participate in a K-1 Grand Prix Tournament where he unfortunately lost. Tonna joined ONE Super Series in 2018 and lost in his debut.
Experiencing heartbreaking challenges, Tonna saw his lack of confidence as the thing that backs him down from achieving his ultimate goals. Now, Tonna is rejuvenated and is riding a 3-fight winning streak in which he beat big names such as 5-time Muay Thai Champion Andy Howson. Josh Tonna comes into this fight with a focused mindset and a strong belief in himself that he can achieve his ONE World Title dream.
This fight will be a showcase of skills and techniques. With all of his massive experience in the sport, Sam-A is undoubtedly a genius in Muay Thai. With this being said, he has a great advantage when it comes to technical striking. Josh Tonna will have a hard time if he lets Sam-A dictate the match at his own pace.
Sam-A has exceptional ring awareness and reflexes. His evasion skills are second to none, he can react to opponents’ movements fast. Along with his pinpoint accuracy, all roundedness, and counter striking, he is a tough puzzle to solve.
Josh Tonna isn’t the #1 ranked contender for nothing. Suffering heartbreaking losses in fights that mattered the most, he did not let it affect his game. What makes Josh Tonna the great fighter that he is now is his tremendous heart and work ethic. This man just won’t give up easily.
Josh Tonna knows that he can’t match Sam-A toe-to-toe. Josh will have to take notes from Jonathan Haggerty. The key to beating Sam-A is to keep up an aggressive game and mixing up weapons. Sam-A has a high fight IQ and he can easily read his opponent’s movements and game plan. Josh Tonna has to put up controlled aggression and set up unpredictable openings off of feints and counters.
As said, Sam-A is evasive. Josh Tonna must not prioritize headhunting in this fight. Capitalizing on leg kicks and body kicks early in the game will eventually lead to openings to the head. Josh Tonna has had shown good bodywork in his previous fights. His best weapon in this fight will be his knee attacks.
As for Sam-A, he got to keep doing what Sam-A does best. His dismantling timing and accuracy will lead him to victory. Although Sam-A often starts slow, he has this high ability to adjust his game. Volume and power will follow if he begins to find his rhythm and momentum. A Sam-A that finds his tempo and rhythm is very dangerous.
Sam-A’s best weapons are his left kick and his left cross. Sam-A should also not be predictable. As he always does, Sam-A should set up his attacks with continuous movements and feints. By doing this, Josh Tonna will have a hard time anticipating these attacks
Will the champion defend, or will we see a big upset? Tune in to ONE Championship this Thursday for an action-packed card!
ONE: REIGN OF DYNASTIES FULL CARD
Sam-A Gaiyanghadao vs. Josh Tonna (ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title)
Aleksi Toivonen vs. Reece McLaren (mixed martial arts – flyweight)
Amir Khan vs. Rahul Raju (mixed martial arts – lightweight)
Eko Roni Saputra vs. Murugan Silvarajoo (mixed martial arts – catch weight of 63.5 kilograms)
Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke vs. Hexigetu (mixed martial arts – strawweight)
Roshan Mainam vs. Liu Peng Shuai (mixed martial arts – flyweight)
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