The idea of a cross-promotion event between ONE Championship and the UFC has always been intriguing. But it has never been as appetizing as it is today.
Both organizations field a roster of incredible athletes and have champions that stand out as the best in the sport.
So why don’t we get a chance to answer those questions? Who really does stand atop the mountaintops in mixed martial arts? With several matches to choose from, it’s time to look at the ones we absolutely need to see.
Here are five ONE vs. UFC title matches we would love to watch happen.
Thanh Le vs. Alexander Volkanovski
Perhaps at the top of the list is the featherweight battle between Thanh Le and Alexander Volkanovski. It is a match that ONE Featherweight World Champion Le has called for already.
The explosive nature of the featherweight matchup could make it the most tantalizing option. The Louisianan has been near perfect since joining ONE and has finished every single match by knockout. Volkanovski appears on pound-for-pound lists with his intelligent and diligent way of breaking down opponents.
The collision of these two would test both men and give fans one of the most exhilarating title matches possible.
Both men have elite vision and execution. Seeing who could execute better on fight night would be a treat.
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Reinier De Ridder vs. Israel Adesanya
The striker vs. grappler matchup would settle the debate on who is the best middleweight in the world.
Israel Adesanya is brilliant on the feet, but Reinier De Ridder is equally as brilliant on the ground.
It would be a test for both, but after Jan Blachowicz defeated Adesanya in a light heavyweight matchup, it would be a compelling stylistic clash against the massive De Ridder. “The Dutch Knight” is tall, long, and has smothering Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Checking out this contest and seeing who could implement their gameplan would be the best middleweight bout that could be booked.
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And why not watch De Ridder also try his hand at light heavyweight? After all, he is the ONE Light Heavyweight World Champion.
De Ridder is undefeated and has been nothing short of dominant. His size and skill set make him a tough matchup for anybody in the world, which is why he continually calls for a shot at the ONE Heavyweight World Championship. So why not also give him Jiri Prochazka, the newly minted UFC titleholder?
On top of the stylistic clash, it would also be a huge bout for Europe.
The Netherlands vs. The Czech Republic would captivate the region and help the sport’s growth in the continent. It would be good for the sport as a whole and give both men a chance to shine at the top of the mountain.
Xiong Jing Nan vs. Carla Esparza
Strawweight champions Xiong Jing Nan and Carla Esparza would be a fantastic clash of styles. Esparza using her heavy wrestling attack against the powerful striker, Xiong, and “The Panda” trying to deliver the KO blow.
And the matchup would genuinely be an unknown. We have seen Esparza dominate strikers with her wrestling, and we have seen her struggle against them as well. We have seen “The Panda” shut down grapplers, and we have seen her on her back.
The Chinese athlete would come in as a stronger opponent and force Esparza to have clean entries on her takedown attempts. And one punch could change the entire game as Xiong harnesses some of the best power in the division.
Xiong vs. Esparza would almost certainly be a war of attrition, and fans should get a chance to see it.
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Adriano Moraes vs. Deiveson Figueiredo/Brandon Moreno
The UFC currently has two flyweight champions after Brandon Moreno took home the interim title, but whoever comes out of their fourth bout with the gold should stand opposite Adriano Moraes to determine the top dog in the world.
Neither Moreno nor Deiveson Figueiredo defeated Demetrious Johnson. Neither of them took down the greatest flyweight of all time. Moraes did. And he did so with a massive knockout.
Moraes is a huge flyweight with a fantastic ground game. Seeing him take on either Figueiredo or Moreno would be amazing, and after beating Johnson, why shouldn’t he enter as the definitive favorite?
The flyweight division has been electric across the world and seeing the best of the best lock horns is what we deserve.
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