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3 ONE Championship fights that must happen in 2022

New Delhi, Dec 30: Next year is already shaping up to be spectacular for ONE Championship. Earlier this month, the martial arts organisation announced ONE: HEAVY HITTERS on January 14. The first show of 2022 will see ONE Women's Strawweight World Champion "The Panda" Xiong Jing Nan defend her title against Ayaka "Zombie" Miura.

Another World Title will be on the line at ONE: ONLY THE BRAVE, on January 28. Anatoly "Sladkiy" Malykhin battles it out with Kirill Grishenko for the ONE Interim Heavyweight World Title.

With mouthwatering clashes opening 2022 with a bang, three dream fights are worthy of taking place inside the Circle next year.

#3 Ritu Phogat vs. Denice Zamboanga

Although the ONE Women's Atomweight World Grand Prix Championship Final did not go her way, Ritu "The Indian Tigress" Phogat is still one of the top stars in the atomweight division.

After a jam-packed couple of months, it will be best for the Evolve MMA star to return to the drawing board, focus on improving, and establish a formidable plan to challenge for the world title.

Once she is ready, a match against Denice "Lycan Queen" Zamboanga will be the perfect way to mark her return. After suffering her first career loss to Ham Seo Hee via split decision, the latter also seeks a bounce-back win.

Grappling-wise, the Filipino fighter is very crafty at finding opportunities on the canvas. Besides scoring three submission wins, Zamboanga has also triumphed over athletes like Mei "V.V." Yamaguchi and Jihin "Shadow Cat" Radzuan, who heavily depend on their groundwork.

#2 Arjan Bhullar vs. Reinier De Ridder

Two-division king Reinier "The Dutch Knight" De Ridder had already made his intentions clear about taking on ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan "Singh" Bhullar over the last six months.

A battle between the two world champions at light heavyweight will be exciting. But a chance to face "Singh" and potentially win a world title at a third weight class will be a more enticing scenario.

However, several concerns will linger for De Ridder at heavyweight against India's first mixed martial arts world champion. How will his strength fare compare to Bhullar? Will he be a bit slower? Can his grappling oust Bhullar's wrestling?

Bhullar has not defended his world title after winning it against Brandon "The Truth" Vera at ONE: DANGAL last April.

"Singh" needs to defend his championship belt at some point, and it's best to do so against the fighter dubbed as one of the finest athletes in MMA today.

#1 Kiamrian Abbasov vs. Murad Ramazanov

ONE Welterweight World Champion Kiamrian "Brazen" Abbasov needed some world-class competition in the division. After ONE: WINTER WARRIORS II, there seems to be a worthy challenger to the throne.

On that card, undefeated Russian fighter Murad Ramazanov smashed his way to an 11th career win against Zebaztian "The Bandit" Kadestam. Should he probably get another fight under his belt, a world title shot looks very much within range.

Both warriors own heavy fists and possess equally good grappling skills, given their decorated wrestling careers. If this pairing pushes through, both martial artists will give fans a highly entertaining battle.

Who's your pick should these two competitors face in 2022?

Source: Media Release

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Story first published: Thursday, December 30, 2021, 11:45 [IST]
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