Thai vs. Russian Beat Down to Headline ONE’s MMA Return

One Championship MMA's Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai, at left, will face off against Russian Rasule Yakhyaev, at right in December. At center is ONE's Thailand President Kamol “Sukie” Sukosol Clapp on stage at a Thursday presser in Bangkok.

BANGKOK — Thailand’s biggest MMA star Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai will face off against Russian Rasule Yakhyaev in a title eliminator bout when ONE Championship returns to Bangkok for its second event this year.

Shannon and Yakhyaev will headline “Warriors of the World” in a title eliminator bout on Dec. 9 at Impact Arena in what will be ONE’s third venture into the kingdom in two years. Details were announced at a Thursday news conference.

The fight as a title eliminator, let alone a main event, seems a strange choice as Shannon is a bonafide star who’s won his last six fights, all by stoppage. That part makes sense. The questions begin with Yakhyaev, who has lost his last three fights in much smaller Eastern European promotion Absolute Championship Berkut, aka ACB.

Also at the event were former ONE Strawweight Champion and Evolve MMA Muay Thai coach Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, Former Full Metal Dojo Bantamweight Champion Kritsada “Dream Man” Kongsrichai and recent Muay Thai-to-MMA convert Sagetdao Petpayathai.

They shared the stage with a number of other Thai fighters including Rika “TinyDoll” Ishige, the Japanese-Thai fighter who flattened her Malaysian challenger in Bangkok this past March had the best line of the whole press event at Bangkok’s Sukosol Hotel when addressing her previous losses:

“Two years ago when I started MMA I was like Jon Snow,” she said. “I knew nothing.”

One Championship MMA’s Shannon ‘OneShin’ Wiratchai, at left, and Rika ‘TinyDoll’ Ishige.

ONE Championship CEO and owner of Singapore’s Evolve MMA, Chatri Sityodtong, was ONE President of Thailand Kamol “Sukie” Sukosol Clapp shared the stage with the fighters.

While only the main event was confirmed for the December 9th show, there’s little doubt the fight card will be stacked with Thai fighters as relying heavily on local standouts is very much the modus operandi for ONE Championship.

While MMA is on the rise in Thailand, none of the home-grown shows compare in size to the stadium events that ONE puts on throughout the region.

Related stories:
Women’s Fights a Strong Part of One’s Expansion Plans
Women Fighters to Smash Bangkok as MMA Penetrates Homeland of Muay Thai
ONE Championship MMA Coming to Bangkok, New Markets for 2017
Rags to Riches: The Story of Thailand’s First MMA Champ