We witnessed the historic all-women event of ONE Championship where a mixed martial arts extravaganza was showcased. From a mixed martial arts title bout to an exciting contest in Muay Thai and Kickboxing, the card was undeniably entertaining.
But the most talked-about part of the night was the kickoff of ONE’s third world Grand Prix tournament which features the best Atomweights in the promotion, who will battle it out to have the right in challenging the division’s champion, Angela Lee.
Through to the semifinals of the Grand Prix tournament are Itsuki Hirata (who defeated Alyse Anderson via unanimous decision), Ritu Phogat (who defeated Meng Bo via unanimous decision), Stamp Fairtex (who eked out a split decision win over Alyona Rasshohyna), and Seo Hee Ham (who also scored a close split decision victory against Denice Zamboanga).
Although the cast for the next round was already known, the pairings are yet to be determined because as the President and CEO of ONE Championship, Chatri Sityodtong stated, the fans will have the power to choose who is going to face who by voting to ONE’s website.
And before you go and vote for the match-up that you want to see, let me present first my case to who should meet in the semifinals and why.
Itsuki Hirata versus Ritu Phogat
It’s a battle between two talented grapplers. With Itsuki Hirata’s judo background and Ritu Phogat’s wrestling technique, this is going to be a fantastic match-up to determine who should be the rightful grappler to be in the finals. Both Hirata and Phogat were pitted against fantastic strikers in the quarterfinals and both suffered their respective scary moments but were able to hold on and get the victory.
Besides the grappling and scrambles that could happen should this match come into fruition, it is also very interesting to see if whose striking game will stand out during the fight and prove that they can also excel in the striking department.
Stamp Fairtex versus Seo Hee Ham
If Hirata-Phogat is going to be a grappling spectacle, then expect a striking masterclass between Stamp Fairtex and Seo Hee Ham. Stamp and Ham displayed their powerful strikes in their respective matches last night and a possible match of this two can turn into a classic. With Stamp being a former two-sport champion in Muay Thai and Kickboxing and Seo Hee’s kickboxing style, there is no doubt that this is going to be a banger.
You can expect two outcomes for this specific match-up: either it could end early or it can be a bloodbath. This prospective match-up can crown the best representative of the hard hitters of the division for the finale of the tournament.
Featured Images and Videos Credits to ONE Championship