This Friday, December 8, ONE Championship will host its first all-Muay Thai card live in U.S. primetime from the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
From talented young stars making their primetime debuts to established veterans with something to prove, the lineup is packed with elite strikers, each competing in high-stakes bouts.
With that said, here are five questions that will be answered on Friday night.
#1 Can Roman Kryklia Make A Successful Switch Back To Muay Thai?
As the ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion and the 2022 ONE Heavyweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Champion, Kryklia has firmly established himself as the planet’s most terrifying kickboxer – a devastating knockout artist with an unblemished 5-0 record in ONE.
The Ukrainian superstar will now take his shot at two-sport gold when he squares off with promotional newcomer Roberts, who most recently claimed the WBC Heavyweight Muay Thai World Title.
While there’s no question that Kryklia is supremely talented with devastating power, many fans and pundits wonder how well his game will translate to “the art of eight limbs.”
Even though Kryklia began his martial arts journey in Muay Thai, he has competed exclusively in kickboxing over the past several years, and his all-around striking will be put to the ultimate test against an accomplished Muay Thai specialist in “The Viking.”
#2 Will ‘Smokin’ Jo Prove He’s Still Elite?
After going 5-2 through his first seven bouts in ONE, the 34-year-old knockout artist has dropped three straight – albeit against truly elite competition.
If “Smokin” Jo wants to keep his #4 spot in the featherweight Muay Thai rankings and remain in the World Title conversation, he’ll have to get through the unorthodox and uniquely talented Lessei, who plans to debut with a bang this Friday.
#3 Is Dmitry Menshikov Heading Toward Another World Title Shot?
But since then, the 25-year-old has bounced back to the win column while reminding fans of his show-stopping power with a highlight-reel stoppage of Rungrawee Sitsongpeenong.
Menshikov now hopes to take a massive step closer to another date with Eersel when he squares off with the dangerous Mouhcine Chafi.
If he can score another emphatic KO, the Prokopyevsk native could get his wish for another crack at the ONE Lightweight Muay Thai World Title sooner rather than later.
#4 Which Flyweight Muay Thai Athlete Will Stand Out?
ONE Fight Night 17 includes a trio of pivotal flyweight Muay Thai bouts featuring six fighters looking to climb the divisional rankings.
#5 Will Thongpoon And Ghazali Deliver In Their U.S. Primetime Debuts?
The card will showcase two of the top stars to come out of the ONE Friday Fights event series – each a winner of a coveted six-figure ONE contract and each set to make their U.S. primetime debut this Friday.
Still just 17 years old, the aforementioned Ghazali has all the makings of a global superstar, but he’ll need to perform at his best when the lights are brightest if he wants to keep his momentum going.