ONE Championship, which is widely considered as the frontrunner of mixed martial arts (MMA) in the Asian region, is set to electrify the 12,000-seater Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia once again by holding ONE: THRONE OF TIGERS on Friday, 10 February.
Looking to keep that big ball of momentum going generated by the recent card in Jakarta, Indonesia, the blockbuster live event will feature the absolute best in local and international MMA talent, accentuating a tremendous main event bout between hometown hero Ev “E.T.” Ting and lightweight veteran Kamal Shalorus.
With a potential title shot awaiting the winner of the three-round lightweight encounter between Ting and Shalorus, the spotlight is on the headlining bout of ONE: THRONE OF TIGERS.
However, Ting and Shalorus are not taking the whole attention away from the event as ONE Championship has prepared a top-notch undercard, which is sure to draw plenty of chatter around the MMA world when the cage door closes in Kuala Lumpur on 10 February.
Here is a closer look at the world-class MMA athletes to watch out for on the undercard of ONE: THRONE OF TIGERS.
Agilan “Alligator” Thani (6-0)
Unbeaten in his professional MMA career, Agilan “Alligator” Thani will take on Chinese Taipei’s Jeff Huang in a three-round welterweight affair with the entire Stadium Negara in support of the Kuala Lumpur native.
Training with Kuala Lumpur-based Monarchy MMA, Thani has finished his first six assignments as a pro, scoring three knockout victories and three submission triumphs.
The 21-year-old Malaysian fighter signed with ONE Championship back in 2015, defeating Reant Febriza Rainir with an 80-second stoppage victory in March before closing out the year with a first-round submission of Hesham Hiba in October.
Thani had a busy 2016, which tested his caliber as a highly-touted prizefighter by having three bouts in one year. He was pushed to the second round for the first time in his career in January of that year, but he managed to submit James Kouame with a rear-naked choke.
He followed it up his win over Kouame by trouncing American veteran Brad Robinson via first-round technical knockout in May. Thani ended his 2016 with a first-round submission of Filipino fighter Trestle Tan.
It remains to be seen if Thani can continue his explosive run, but if he does, ONE Championship will have one of the hottest prospects in MMA on its hands.
Burn “Hitman” Soriano (3-2)
Burn “Hitman” Soriano will be squaring off with bantamweight newcomer and hometown favorite Saiful “The Vampire” Merican on the main card of ONE: THRONE OF TIGERS.
The 30-year-old native of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur is coming off a highlight-reel victory over Indonesia’s Mario Sitya Wirawan, scoring a lightning quick 15-second spinning backfist knockout.
Soriano’s scintillating knockout conquest of Wirawan was ranked as one of the best in 2016 by ONE Championship.
With a professional MMA record of 3-2 which includes two wins by submission and one by knockout, Soriano looks to continue his winning ways inside the ONE Championship cage.
Soriano’s three-round meeting with Merican guarantees no shortage of firepower as his opponent is known to be an explosive striker and has had incredible success inside the ONE Championship cage with his fan-friendly fighting style.
A convincing victory over Merican will incontestably push Soriano into the upper echelon of the bantamweight division.
Herbert “The Blaze” Burns (6-0)
After sitting nearly two years on the sidelines, Herbert “The Blaze” Burns makes his much-awaited return to the ONE Championship cage as he takes on Movlid “Killer” Khaibulaev.
The 29-year-old Brazilian grappling ace is one of the most talented featherweights in ONE Championship today and has a penchant for locking in fight-ending submissions.
With his strong background in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Burns is a legitimate threat to any opponent on the mat, submitting the likes of Edward Kelly, former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio Banario and Timofey Nastyukhin.
Having his hand raised in his upcoming ONE Championship outing could earn him a date with current featherweight kingpin Marat Gafurov as he faces a fellow undefeated standout in Khaibulaev.
Tiffany “Soul Crusher Teo (4-0)
Even though she is still learning the ropes of being competitor on a global stage like ONE Championship, it did not hinder Singaporean sensation Tiffany Teo to be successful in the budding stages of her prizefighting career.
Teo is undefeated in her four professional matches. In addition, she has yet to go the distance, finishing her opponents by either knockout or submission.
Plying her trade in MMA leagues in the Southeast Asian region, Teo owns two knockout triumphs and one submission win.
Due to her impressive run in these MMA promotions, ONE Championship noticed Teo and gave her a spot on the undercard of ONE: DEFENDING HONOR in Singapore last November.
To the delight of the crowd in attendance at the packed Singapore Indoor Stadium, Teo had a triumphant promotional debut with a dominant performance against Egypt’s Walaa Abbas.
It was no surprise that Teo had the advantage from the toe-to-toe stance in the opening stanza, but she shocked everyone with her high-level grappling game by gaining full mount on multiple occasions before pounding away at Abbas.
Teo wrote the final sentence in the second round as she took Abbas’ back and latched on a rear-naked choke to force her Egyptian opponent to tap.
The 27-year-old Singaporean standout is set to have her first assignment for 2017 as she squares off with Indonesian national Wushu champion Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol at ONE: THRONE OF TIGERS.
Alex “Little Rock” Silva (4-1)
Alex “Little Rock” Silva is heavily revered as a world-class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner with a terrifying ground game and a knack for securing spectacular submission finishes.
Four of his professional career wins came by way of submission. Moreover, Silva is presently riding high on a three-fight winning streak.
Silva has the opportunity to cement his status as the next contender for Yoshitaka Naito’s ONE Strawweight World Championship if he will play his cards right against Filipino stalwart Roy Doliguez at ONE: THRONE OF TIGERS.
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