Fight fans have a smorgasbord of events to chose from this weekend. From Lethwei in Japan, to ROAD FC on Jeju Island, many of the region’s major promoters have put their best foot forward. So let’s get straight into it.
Lethwei in Japan 12
We start Friday Fight Facts in Japan for one plain and simple reason – to salute Will Chope. The man is unstoppable. Last month we saw ‘The Kill’ bareknuckle boxing in London, before jetting to Italy to headline Fight Clubbing. On Friday afternoon he steps back into the ring for his 110th fight at Lethwei in Japan 12. Chope is set to meet Daryl Lokuku at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo. From the looks of it there’s no live stream, but Chope is pretty active on social media, so be sure to check in.
Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong (122-30-5) defends his Glory lightweight title against Marat Grigorian early in the wee hours of Saturday morning. The Thai veteran will meet Grigorian (60-11-1) in the co-main event of Glory 65 in Utrecht. The pair first met at Glory 36 when Sitthichai retained his title by way of a split-decision. They rematched at Glory 57 in Shenzhen in August last year and Sitthichai again came away with the split-decision win. Grigorian’s team cried foul at the Shenzhen decision, arguing their man outlanded the champion by a big margin. Expect some major fireworks.
ONE: Enter the Dragon
ONE Championship returns to home soil with a big show in Singapore on Friday. ONE: Enter the Dragon (apologies to Bruce Lee) will be headlined by a lightweight title bout between Shinya Aoki and a surging Christian Lee. Here at FFF we can’t quite make sense of how this fight fits into ONE’s Lightweight Grand Prix — which continues in Singapore. Did Lee just jump the cue? The 16-fight card also includes the epic featherweight kickboxing GP, which now comes with a prize of US$1 million for the winner. As always, the show streams live on YouTube and the ONE mobile app.
ROAD FC 53
Speaking of US$1 million purses, ROAD FC will be looking to give out the remaining US$800k of its million dollar pool to either Lightweight Tournament winner Mansour Barnaoui or reigning ROAD FC lightweight champion Kwon A-Sol. The last time we saw Kwon in the cage was December 2016. Barnaoui has fought five times in that period. China’s “Heavyweight Supernova” Aorigele got a late replaced opponent after Jerome Le Banner dropped out (again). His new opponent Heo Jae-Hyeok has gone 1-1 in the ROAD FC cage. ROAD FC will be live and free on YouTube.
Best of the Rest
If all that wasn’t enough, UFC returns this Sunday for UFC Fight Night Rochester, where Rafael dos Anjos meets Kevin Lee. Rise also has a kickboxing show in Tokyo Sunday.
Are you not satisfied?