Shannon Wiratchai and Rika Ishige, two of Thailand’s MMA superstars, are competing in ONE Championship’s return to Bangkok, Thailand on December 9. ONE Championship has announced that the event, titled as ‘Warriors of the World’, will take place at the Impact Arena on December 9, 2017.
Shannon Wiratchai vs. Rasul Yakhyaev
Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai (8-1), who is undefeated since 2013, will headline ONE Championship: Warriors of the World in a ONE Lightweight World Championship title eliminator matchup with Rasul Yakhyaev (10-6) of Russia. Wiratchai is known for his spectacular finishes and has now stopped each of his last four opponents.
I am preparing very hard so that I can make Thailand proud. I know my opponent is incredibly well-rounded and highly-skilled, so I will surely not be taking him lightly. It’s going to be an absolute battle from beginning to end. – Shannon Wiratchai
The decision to book Wiratchai against Rasul Yakhyaev was unexpected. The 26-year-old hasn’t competed in ONE Championship since December 2015 and will make his return to the organization after three consecutive losses while fighting at Absolute Championship Berkut. Regardless, the matchup is an intriguing one because Yakhyaev’s grappling focused approach will test Wiratchai’s ability to keep the fight standing.
The main event battle between Wiratchai and Yakhyaev will be a title eliminator for the ONE Lightweight World Championship. The current lightweight champion, Eduard Folayang is booked against Martin Nguyen in a first-ever cross-divisional showdown between ONE champions. Nguyen, the ONE Featherweight World Champion, will be moving up a division to challenge Folayang just months after claiming the title from the previously undefeated Marat Gafurov.
Rika “Tinydoll” Ishige (2-1), who has quickly become a recognizable face to followers of mixed martial arts in Asia, will also feature on ONE Championship’s return to Bangkok, Thailand. Ishige was pushed to the limits the last time she stepped inside the ONE Championship cage before losing to Jomary Torres via second-round submission.
We can never really lose. Either we win, or we learn, and in that sense, there is victory in every defeat. Defeat is part of the game, it’s part of life. The most important thing is that we get back up and keep fighting for our dreams. – Rika Ishige
The 28-year-old was visibly emotional at the ‘Warriors of the World’ press conference and discussed her determination to put the loss behind her. During the ‘Warriors of the World’ press conference, Rika Ishige joyfully compared herself to Jon Snow and declared that “just a few years ago, I knew nothing about MMA.”
Shannon Wiratchai and Rika Ishige represent a new breed of Thai fighter; they are well-rounded and thoroughly skilled mixed martial artists. While Rika’s opponent is yet to be announced, it’s certain that the Thai people will be cheering her and Shannon on loudly when they battle at Impact Arena on December 9.
Muay Thai locked and loaded
Also featuring at ‘Warriors of the World’ are Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, Kristada “Dream Man” Kongsrichai and Sagetdao Petpayathai, three Thai fighters with explosive styles.
Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke (8-2), former ONE Strawweight World Champion, will be competing in front of local fans yet again. Dejdamrong is, of course, no stranger to fighting in Thailand and is a three-time Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai world champion. Since turning to mixed martial arts, Dejdamrong has managed eight wins and two losses and has destroyed opponents who choose to stand and trade with his efficient and powerful striking techniques. Dejdamrong enters this ‘Warriors of the World’ after defeating Robin Catalan in Malaysia.
I was once at the top, once the champion, and there is nothing I want more than to get back to that status. Whoever I have to face, whoever they put in front of me, better be ready for what I’m bringing into the cage. – Dejdamrong
Kristada Kongsrichai (5-3), a Thai national wrestling champion, has never seen the third round in any of his eight fights. Kongsrichai will be making his fourth appearance under the ONE Championship banner, and ‘Warriors of the World’ will be the third time he will compete in front of his fans in Thailand. Kongsrichai announced: “I vow to showcase my improvements in this next bout and show what I plan for my future.”
Sagetdao Petpayathai (2-0) is a four-time Lumpinee Stadium champion who has claimed every type of Muay Thai accolade worth mentioning. Petpayathai’s knowledge and execution of Muay Thai is top-class and will be a treat for all the Thai fans in attendance. As for his opponent, Petpayathai claims: “It doesn’t matter who I am matched up against.”
ONE Championship: Warriors of the World fight card
- Shannon Wiratchai vs. Rasul Yakhyaev (ONE Lightweight World Championship title eliminator)
- Rika Ishige vs. TBA
- Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke vs. TBA
- Kritsada Kongsrichai vs. TBA
- Sagetdao Petpayathai vs. TBA