MMA fighting styles

5 reasons to watch ONE 162: Zhang vs. Di Bella live on October 21

There are massive fights planned for ONE 162: Zhang vs. Di Bella, which features established ONE Championship icons competing alongside the hottest rising stars on the world stage.

The nine-fight card will take place at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and every match has something to excite – whether it’s a World Championship gold medal on the line or a a clash of styles that will provide fireworks.

Here are five big reasons to watch the event live this Friday, October 21, in Asian prime time (US morning).

Then be sure to catch ONE on Prime Video 3 when it airs live that night during prime time in North America.

#1 Near-undefeated kickboxers clash for world title

“Fighting Rooster” Zhang Peimian and Jonathan Di Bella will headline as they compete for the ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Championship, which was recently vacated by Thai legend Sam-A Gaiyanghadao.

While Sam-A was a seasoned veteran of the game for decades, the two new challengers are rising stars ready to usher in the new era.

They’ve only suffered one loss in 28 professional kickboxing bouts combined, with “Fighting Rooster” going 16-1-1 and Di Bella going 10-0.

The 19-year-old Zhang won both of his ONE fights to claim this top prize crack, and the Chinese phenom could enter the record books as China’s youngest kickboxing world champion.

Meanwhile, 26-year-old Di Bella is new to ONE, but the Italian-Canadian’s perfect record in some of North America’s biggest promotions has shown he’s ready for the opportunity.

Zhang likely has the power advantage, but with a 2-0 record as a professional boxer, Di Bella has the hand speed and fighting IQ to create a hugely interesting stylistic match.

#2 Flyweight MMA Madness

The flyweight mixed martial arts division is brimming with talent and four of its stars are hoping to get closer to the world title picture.

Fifth-tier contender and former world title challenger Reece McLaren will take on Windson Ramos, who impressed on his ONE debut earlier this year and has won five straight overall.

Both men are grapple specialists with dreaded finishing abilities on the pitch, so whoever exhibits the most comprehensive skill could win.

Also on the card, Muay Thai sensation Yodkaikaew Fairtex meets wrestling ace Eko Roni Saputra in crucial clash

Indonesian Saputra carries the confidence of a six-game winning streak – all from a distance – but ‘Y2K’ needs a win, and he could be even more dangerous with his back against the wall.

#3 Lightweight kickboxing contenders aim to move up the ranks

ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Champion Regian Eersel will go for Muay Thai gold at ONE on Prime Video 3 later Friday, but in the meantime two high-profile strikers will try to make their case for a shot at his kickboxing belt.

Islam Murtazaev lost by split decision when he challenged Eersel last time out and knows a win is crucial if he is to have another chance.

The Russian was scheduled to face Dutch icon Nieky Holzken at ONE 162, but after Holzken pulled out due to injury, he will now face rising Moldovan Constantin Rusu.

Rusu made a successful promotional debut against Marouan Toutouh in June, becoming a name to watch with his powerful boxing attack.

However, Murtazaev’s unpredictable spinning attacks and powerful right kicks mean ‘Lioncrusher’ will have to be careful not to launch in with his quick bursts.

With so much at stake, neither man will give an inch as they seek to climb the mountain of lightweight kickboxing.

#4 Balart aims to overthrow another former king

There is some interest in the top echelon of the MMA strawweight division, as former king of the division Alex “Little Rock” Silva squares off with rising star and No. 4 ranked contender Gustavo “El Gladiator” Balart.

‘Little Rock’ has won three of his last four outings, while Balart has picked up back-to-back victories – including a massive triumph over former ONE Strawweight World Champion Yosuke Saruta – so both men are in fine form.

Stylistically, Silva is a BJJ world champion and Balart wrestled for Cuba in the Olympics, which raises an interesting conundrum as to who will dictate the action.

Will ‘El Gladiador’ be ready to use his kills and face off on the ground, or will the two grappling dynamos test their arsenals standing up?

This game is Balar’s chance to make another giant statement in the division, but Silva will be looking to prove he can make one more run on the throne.

#5 Exciting Muay Thai Stars Target First ONE Wins

The card will feature two Muay Thai encounters between exciting international stars, all looking for an important first victory in the circle.

Frenchman Jimmy Vienot and Danish striker Niclas Larsen will face off in the lively featherweight division. Both men are Muay Thai world champions with experience against top Thais.

However, they are ultimately looking to win the top prize – Tawanchai PK.Saenchai’s ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title – and only a win can get them there.

Additionally, Russia’s Tagir Khalilov is back after his impressive 2021 debut against Thai megastar Rodtang Jitmuangnon. He will take on hard-hitting Bosnian-Canadian Denis Puric in a flyweight bout that is sure to be contested at a relentless pace.