Alain Ngalani, Regian Eersel, and Garry Tonon are some of the biggest names at ONE Championship. Let’s see who we can match them up with for the upcoming year, after a fascinating 2020. ONE Championship comes to a close with their final event of the year, on Christmas day. With a full schedule and dates already announced for 2021, I take a look at three fights I like to see done next year.
Regian Eersel vs Nieky Holzken
Why should this fight be made I hear you say? It’s a trilogy fight that Eersel is winning 2-0. But hear me out, Nieky Holzken goes down as arguably one of the greatest kickboxers of his generation, and after his current victory he self-proclaimed that he has found the desire again. A fully motivated Holzken looking for redemption and regaining the title. Eersel, on the other hand, appears to be short of opponents to match his ability as previously said above, he has already beaten Holzken twice and no disrespect to the Lightweight kickboxing division but it will take somebody very special to even compete with the talent of Eersel. He has been working on his craft at ARJ Training, with Mike Polanen known for his top-level kickboxing fighters. Eersel looks to be on a completely different level.
Alain Ngalani vs Vitor Belfort
Alain Ngalani and Vitor Belfort are ONE Championship equivalent of Kong vs Godzilla. Both of these behemoths have already reportedly signed to fight each other. This will be Belfort’s debut at ONE, but no date has been announced. On paper, this appears a miss-match as the record of Alain Ngalani (4-5) doesn’t represent how dangerous a striker the 45-year-old actually is. A 4-time Muay Thai champion and insane levels of flexibility have always made Alain Ngalani a dangerous prospect for any opponent in the Heavyweight division.
Belfort on the other hand is a household name with an impressive record and resume. He is widely considered as one of the best to have graced the world of MMA. Although in recent years, Belfort’s condition left a lot to be desired, he now appears to be in phenomenal shape and is looking for one last run to finish up his already impressive career. Could 2021 be the year that Alain Ngalani finally claims the big name he’s been waiting for? or will Belfort once again reign supreme?
Thanh Le vs Garry Tonon
Featherweight champion Thanh Le is a true fighter and warrior who will be looking at defending his title against the very best. And they don’t come much better than BJJ magician Garry Tonon. Tonon is currently (7-0) at ONE Championship. If you take into account his grappling match with legend Aoki, fresh off the back of an impressive display against Matsushima, Tonon wasted little time in calling out the champion. Although he was respectful in his call out, it is for sure Le will have taken notice.
Le himself this year won the title from fan-favorite Martin Nguyen who had previously held the title for three years. After being on the back foot for most of the round Le showed why he is one of the most feared strikers at ONE, with a clinical and devastating finish of Nguyen. Le vs Tonon has the classic striker vs grappler to potentially make this a fight of the year candidate.
All images credited to ONE Championship PR Team
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