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For years, ONE Championship has hosted events all across Asia. But this week will be different. The Singapore-based promotion packed up its gloves, cage, and even special ruleset and moved everything over to the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, CO for their first-ever U.S. event: ONE Fight Night 10: Demetrious Johnson vs. Adriano Moraes 3.
For years, ONE has discussed the possibility of hosting an MMA event on American soil. Finally, it will happen Friday. The show is scheduled to include a strong lineup of names that are familiar both to regular ONE viewers and those who might not watch the product as closely. Here are five things to look out for during this weekend’s show.
Demetrious Johnson and Adriano Moraes run it back
It’s probably a safe bet that Demetrious Johnson will be a UFC hall of famer one day. And if ONE Championship had a hall of fame, Adriano Moraes would have a good case to be in that one too. These two elite fighters will meet in their trilogy bout this weekend with the 135-pound title on the line in the main event.
Demetrious Johnson suffered his first loss in ONE at the hands of Moraes in 2021, getting stopped suddenly with a series of strikes in the second round of their title bout. Before then, Johnson had put together a trio of victories in the promotion.
But ‘Mighty’ got that win back in emphatic fashion last summer, putting together a fourth-round highlight reel knockout against Moraes to get the title. Now with the score tied between these two, they’ll face off once more.
There are a lot of questions about how this fight could go, but also questions outside of the cage. For all we know, this weekend could also be Demetrious Johnson’s last as a fighter. He hasn’t guaranteed it, but also won’t take that option off the table as the fight nears. It’s certainly something worth keeping in mind when the former UFC champ enters the cage this Friday.
Sage Northcutt returns!
Remember Sage Northcutt? Anyone who followed MMA in the mid-2010s will recall how the UFC scooped him up through the reality web series Dana White’s Lookin’ For A Fight and then tried to build him up. In more recent years, unfortunately, he’s been essentially a non-entity.
That’s because, in his post-UFC career, Northcutt has had some really bad luck. His ONE debut back in 2019 saw him suffer a 29-second loss to Cosmo Alexandre. This defeat sidelined Northcutt for some time, with the 27-year-old stating that the loss caused eight fractures in his face which forced a nine-hour surgery.
After that tough defeat, the return of Northcutt was scheduled against MMA legend Shinya Aoki. But that planned match went out the window after Northcutt came down with a serious case of COVID—one that caused some struggles for him once he started to train again.
All these years later, Northcutt has maintained his motivation to compete in MMA and will return this weekend against Ahmed Mujtaba at ONE Fight Night 10. The matchup is a tough one for Northcutt, especially considering the length of the layoff he’s returning from. But if successful, would be the cherry on top of what has already been a massive comeback story for the UFC vet.
No matter who he faces, Rodtang is must-see
Muay Thai legend Rodtang Jitmuangnon has been in ONE since 2018 and has impressed many with his performances during that time. He’ll be putting his 135-pound belt on the line once again this weekend when he takes on Edgar Tabares.
Tabares is not someone who has fought in ONE before or has many big wins in Muay Thai. This is to say, this isn’t some sort of high-profile prizefight for Rodtang. And having a bigger opponent would have certainly added something to this card. However, Rodtang’s skill as a fighter is enough to make him a notable part of any card he’s on.
Soldic gets unofficial second debut
It was a big deal when Roberto Soldic signed with ONE Championship last year, coming over after claiming two belts in the Polish MMA promotion KSW. But then, his promotional debut didn’t go as planned.
He didn’t lose or have a bad performance when he stepped into the ONE cage for the first time. Even worse, he suffered a hard groin strike from Murad Ramazanov in the first round, forcing their bout to end in an unceremonious no-contest result.
Soldic will look to bounce back from that unfortunate outcome this weekend when he faces ONE vet Zebaztian Kadestam. While Kadestam struggled against tough opponents from 2019 to 2021, he regained steam last year with a pair of first-round finishes, including one against former title challenger Iuri Lapicus.
Vets, former champs throughout ONE Fight Night 10
There is no shortage of notable ONE Championship names throughout this card. Even in the lower prelim spots of the show, there are many intriguing fights that will happen.
The opener of the night sees former 170-pound champ Ok Rae Yoon take on Lowen Tynanes. Ok had a very brief run with the title, earning it in 2021 over Christian Lee. His five-fight winning streak was broken when they met in a rematch last year, as Lee picked up a second-round finish with strikes. He’s looking to bounce back from that sole defeat during the “Lead Card” portion of the show.
Kairat Akhmetov, who was a ONE champion all the way back in 2015, will look to keep his momentum going when he faces 14-fight promotional vet Reece McLaren. While Akhmetov’s title reign days are a distant memory, he is absolutely not washed. He’s actually on a five-fight winning streak currently and rising through the 135-pound ranks.
Also somewhat early in the night is the return of finish-heavy fighter Aung La N Sang, who meets Fan Rong.
ONE Fight Night 10 is scheduled to have prelims start at 7 p.m. ET, with the main card beginning an hour later. The show will be available via Amazon Prime Video for viewers in the U.S. or Canada.
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