ONE Fight Night 12 on Prime Video looks set to deliver another incredible night of martial arts at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in North American primetime gets underway this Friday, July 14.
Topped by a flyweight Muay Thai matchup between Thai superstar Superlek Kiatmoo9 and Russian heavy hitter Tagir Khalilov, the event also features a slew of big names across the MMA, kickboxing, and submission grappling ranks.
After succumbing to consecutive defeats at the start of his ONE career, Aliakbari has since registered back-to-back stoppage wins over Mauro Cerilli and Brandon Vera, proving that he’s a force to be reckoned with in the division.
The Iranian wants to capitalize on his momentum and work his way toward a ONE Heavyweight World Title shot against rival Anatoly Malykhin, and another impressive finish could put him at the front of the queue.
For that reason, you can expect Aliakbari to go after Joynson from the opening bell, which will likely bring out the best in the Canadian.
For his part, the 6-foot-6 Joynson has sometimes coasted against opponents who haven’t pressured him, but the relentless offense of his Iranian foe means he will have to work nonstop to fend off the former Greco-Roman Wrestling World Champion.
Coming in off his first ONE win over Hugo Cunha, the British Columbia native knows that defeating a high-profile foe would raise his stock massively, so this is a huge chance to put his name among the division’s upper echelon.
Xie has 12 knockout wins among his 17 career victories, including all eight of his triumphs across ONE Championship, ONE Hero Series, and ONE Warrior Series.
Not many can match that incredible stat, but Wakamatsu is right on his heels. The Japanese star has 11 KOs in 15 career victories, and his right hand carries shocking power.
But despite their proven track records, both men are coming in off losses – a major issue for two athletes with big ambitions. That puts their backs against the wall, and they’ll both come out with a point to prove in Bangkok.
The odds of this matchup going 15 minutes are slim. And given that Xie occupies the #5 contender spot and former World Title challenger Wakamatsu aims to climb back into the race, their contest carries major implications for the division.
Spanish sensation Fernandez challenged former divisional queen Janet Todd for the gold in her promotional debut last July, pushing the American across five hard rounds in a rip-roaring encounter that needed the judges to separate them.
The WBC Muay Thai World Champion then returned to the winner’s column in another exciting tilt against Dangkongfah Banchamek, showcasing the full variety of her tools to edge past the aggressive Thai striker.
Meanwhile, Phetjeeja has been a revelation in her brief but successful ONE Friday Fights tenure.
The Lukjaoporongtom representative stopped Fani Peloumpi with hard body shots in her promotional debut and then earned a US$100,000 contract for the big show with a ferocious TKO against Ines Pilutti.
The WMC Muay Thai World Champion has the power to dispatch any opponent who stands in front of her, but with Fernandez’s experience against elite competition, that won’t be an easy task.