ONE Championship has confirmed the complete lineup for ONE 162: Zhang vs. Di Bella, which is headlined by a Kickboxing world title fight.
A lot of the promotion’s most exciting fighters are stepping into the Circle to complete the nine-bout card, which broadcasts live from the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday the 21st October.
This article will cover the Muay Thai and Kickboxing fights only.
Fight 1: Flyweight Muay Thai
The 2018 Rajadamnern Stadium Fight of the Year award winner Tor.Sangtiennoi is a veteran of the two biggest stadiums in Thailand: Lumpinee Boxing Stadium and Rajadamnern Stadium. He was trained by the legendary Sangtiennoi Sor.Rungroj, or “The Deadly Kisser” as he was nicknamed, until Sor.Rungroj’s tragic suicide on May 16th 2021.
Tor.Sangtiennoi is still training alongside the elite Muay Thai specialists at the camp near Bangkok opened by the late Sangtiennoi. He will be coming to make his late trainer, the Thai people and his camp proud by winning in a spectacular fashion. Tor.Sangtiennoi is know for his sharp elbows – especially the Up Elbow.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina fighter Puric, fights out of Canada, but he has lived and trained in Thailand at the legendary Banchamek Gym, and in China coaching fighters for the Kunlun Fight promotion. Nicknamed “The Bosnian Menace” Puric is a versatile fighter, with a strong base in Taekwondo and Muay Thai. He is known for his brutal knock-outs courtesy of his heavy hands. But will it be enough against the stadium veteran Tor.Sangtiennoi?
The fight is a classic match-up of pure Thai style vs. farang (foreigner), where we can expect a lot of Middle Kicks, elbows and knees from the Thai, and swift footwork with crisp boxing from the Canadian based Puric.
Fight 2: Featherweight Muay Thai
Jimmy “JV01” Vienot made his debut for ONE Championship on May 20th at the ONE 157: Petchmorakot vs. Vienot event obviously fighting the strong Petchmorakot. He lost a close decision due to receiving a count in the later rounds, but apart from the “Down”, he dominated the fight by constantly cutting Petchmorakot’s legs when he attacked with kicks, resulting in the Thai spending quite a bit of time on the canvas.
Vienot is a veteran of more than ten years of actively fighting the best Muay Thai fighters in the world: he has fought 24 Thais during his career, beating half of them, and he is one of the few foreigners who has won the prestigious Lumpinee World Title (in 2019).
Niclas “Dreamchaser” Larsen is on many levels a copy of Vienot – albeit with more fights fought under Kickboxing rules. He was also thrown to the lions in his ONE Championship debut by facing Tawanchai P.K. Saenchai: Niclas was knocked out by a Straight Left in round two, and Tawanchai went on to become the world champion in his next fight for ONE Championship.
The Danish fighter has fought the likes of Buakaw, Youssef Boughanem, Andy Ristie and Petchtanong Banchamek to name a few. His style is a mix of Dutch style Kickboxing combined with fancy footwork, using angles to utilize his boxing.
If Larsen has not prepared for the leg kicks of Vienot, he will face the same fate as Petchmorakot, and will be spending a lot of time on his back. Vienot also has vicious, short, quick elbows from the clinch, which seems to come out of nowhere. Larsen will have to avoid the clinch and utilize his fast hands to get the W.
Fight three: Featherweight Kickboxing
The former Lumpinee Boxing Stadium Welterweight champion, “Toyota Vigo 8-Man Marathon” tournament champion and Glory Kickboxing Lightweight world champion started fighting abroad in 2010. He has beat Anuwat Kaewsamrit, Fabio Pinca, Jordan Watson, Chingiz Allazov, Damien Alamos in his first fights outside of Thailand, and is considered by many a veteran of Muay Thai with more than 20 years of active fighting at the highest level.
Sittichai’s style is designed to be spectacular, and is a result of fighting abroad for more than ten years – in countries where people expects knockouts.
Boutasaa has a perfect record of 15 wins with no loses – four of his wins were by way of knockout. He is training in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and has a typical Dutch style, with focus on fast boxing, combined with occasional kicks. On paper he looks heavily outclassed by his Thai opponent, but Holland has produced some of the best elite Kickboxers in the world, so we might be in for a real surprise.
Fight four: Lightweight Kickboxing
Nieky Holzken is considered by many as one of the best pound-for-pound Kickboxers in the world. He started training when he was ten years old, and has amassed and incredible fight record of 94 wins, 47 by way of knockout and only 17 losses in professional Kickboxing, and 14 wins, 11 by KO and only one loss in professional boxing.
Nieky is on the last stretch of his ONE Championship contract and will be eager to avenge the loss against Sinsamut Klinmee at ONE Championship: X in March this year, and show the world that he is still one of the greats.
Murtazaev is from Dagestan where he started out in wrestling, but transitioned to Muay Thai at the age of ten. He is training at the Venum Training Camp in Thailand, and is coming off a loss to Regian “The Immortal” Eersel at ONE Championship: Winter Warriors in December last year.
Those who follow combat sports closely knows that fighters out of Dagestan are notoriously known for being savage, show extreme grit and have a huge fighting spirit.
This will be a real test for both fighters, who both hail from proud and strong fighting nations. The fight has the potential to end in a brutal KO in the early stages, but could drag out and end in a decision, leaving the fans entertained with hard kicks and crisp boxing for the entire fight.
Fight five: Strawweight Kickboxing world championship fight
The 18-year-old, Chinese striker Zhang Peimian is on a mission to make history when he enters the circle to do battle against newcomer Jonathan Di Bella for the ONE Championship Kickboxing Strawweight world championship title.
Zhang will be fired up for this thriller of a fight, due to the fact he will be the youngest Chinese world champion if he prevails.
Standing across the circle is Di Bella, who has some of the fastest hands in any combat sport. FIGHT SPORTS has previously showcased the hand speed of Di Bella (please click here), and he is by many combat sports journalist called “something very special”. The Italian-Canadian currently boasts a perfect professional Kickboxing record of 10-0, and his speed combined with aggression and sublime footwork makes him for an extremely dangerous and difficult opponent for anybody.
This fight is a must see for any fan of Kickboxing: it will showcase lighting fast hands, brutal, swift kicks and could very well end in a dramatic knockout….. with both guys having the potential to have their hand raised after the last bell.