ONE Championship rounded out a stellar year of fights with “ONE Friday Fights 46: Tawanchai Vs Superbon” in December 2023, a massive card featuring three Muay Thai and Kickboxing world title contests and the best fighters from around the globe. The world’s largest martial arts organization went from strength to strength in 2023, beginning the year with a deal to televise weekly promotions from the historic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok and finishing it with exclusive broadcasting agreements on Channel 7, Australia, and Sky Sports, UK.
While 2023 was huge, it has only laid the groundwork for 2024, and believe it or not, this year looks like it’s going to be even bigger! The internet is already abuzz with discussions about which fights fans want to see the most. We’ve gone across the internet and collected just a handful of potential fights that seem to be getting the most attention. So, without further ado, here are 10 Muay Thai and Kickboxing fights that fans want to see in ONE Championship in 2024.
1) Liam Harrison Vs Seksan Or Kwanmuang
The Hitman hasn’t fought since September 2022, when he suffered a massive knee injury in the very first round of his bout with former champion, Nong-O and fans of the British Muay Thai superstar have been anxiously awaiting his return ever since.
They may not have to wait much longer. Harrison recently posted his desire to fight none other than Thai legend, Seksan, saying that it’s the only fight that “makes sense.” Harrison’s statement came just after Seksan’s split decision victory against Australian, River Daz on “ONE Friday Fights 46: Tawanchai VS Superbon.” The Englishman’s post also came with the heart-wrenching announcement that he plans for it to be his final fight; “I wanna go out in style vs a legend in an absolute blaze of glory.”
Seksan has been undefeated in his 8 bouts on ONE in 2023, being awarded 5 performance bonuses for his high-paced, action-packed brand of fighting, so if this fight gets matched, Harrison is certain to get his wish and end his fight career in style.
2) Jonathan Haggerty Vs Nico Carillo
Jonathan Haggerty may be the undisputed king of the Bantamweights in both Muay Thai and Kickboxing, but fellow UK-born fighter, Nico Carillo has proven himself to be a major threat following his second-round knockout victory over former champion Nong-O.
Haggerty is a fan favorite, having fought the who’s-who of the ONE Championship roster before becoming the first UK-born multisport world champion in ONE history. However, Carillo poses a new threat. The Scotsman was signed after his second appearance on ONE Friday Nights where he defeated Muangthai PK Saenchai by TKO in the second round. Though he is relatively new to ONE, Carillo’s victory over the former Bantamweight World Champion has already got some wondering if he’ll have the ONE Championship belt around his waist in 2024.
3) Rodtang Vs Superlek 2
Blood, action, and controversy; the clash between the flyweight Kickboxing and Muay Thai world champions had it all. The highly anticipated contest between the Thai superstars was a definite contender for fight of the year and fans around the world were calling for a rematch before the final scores were announced.
Superlek overcame a massive cut early in the three-round fight, dropping the Iron Man in the second to secure himself a very narrow victory. It was a victory tainted by the fact he missed weight by a whopping five pounds. It was a blunder that cost him his chance to seize Rodtang’s Muay Thai World Title and spurred debates over whether the extra weight gave him an unfair advantage in the fight.
With both men being ranked simultaneously in the top two of the flyweight Kickboxing and Muay Thai rankings, a rematch makes perfect sense for 2024.
4) Smilla Sundell Vs Jackie Buntan 2
Smilla made history when she defeated Jackie Buntan to become the youngest World Champion in ONE Championship’s history, claiming the Strawweight Muay Thai strap after five rounds of action. A highly anticipated rematch was scheduled for September 2023 but unfortunately, Buntan had to withdraw from the contest citing ‘family issues.’
Smilla set the pace early in the duo’s first encounter, walking Buntan down and forcing the Filipino-American to fight on the back foot with fast hands and evasive footwork. The tone shifted in the later rounds with Smilla smothering Buntan with relentless pressure and leaving her battered and bruised by the closing bell.
Despite the loss Buntan quickly returned to winning ways, with dominant wins over British, Amber Kitchen and Australia’s Diandra Martin, proving that she is worthy of a second chance at the Strawweight strap.
5) Jonathan Haggerty And Hiroki Akimoto
Akimoto was quick to call out Jonathan Haggerty following his Kickboxing World Title win over Brazilian, Fabricio Andrade, last November, voicing his intentions to challenge the British fighter for the title in 2024. The Japanese-born kickboxer has previously held the coveted Bantamweight title, losing it in a split decision contest against Thai, Petchtanong Petchfergus in November 2022. Petchtanong was later stripped of the title when he failed a drug test, making Akimoto a clear choice to contest for the belt in Haggerty’s first kickboxing world title defense in 2024.
6) Chingiz Allazov Vs Tawanchai PK Saenchai
Tawanchai has been a dominant force on the ONE roster since his debut in 2021. His knockout victory over Sean Clancy in September 2022 was the start of a near-flawless run towards claiming the Featherweight Muay Thai World Title. Following his successful title defense against fellow countryman, Superbon, last December Tawanchai announced his intention to become a multi-sport champion, setting his sights on the Featherweight Kickboxing crown.
To accomplish this the Thai will need to overcome Belarussian, Chingiz Allazov, a man who hasn’t been defeated in almost three years. Allazov has defeated the best of the ONE kickboxing roster over the past few years gaining victories over Thai superstars such as Joe Nattawut and Superbon. He has even beaten the only man to blemish the Thai champion’s ONE career, Sittichai Sitsongpeenong, in a unanimous points victory. It’s a feat that will certainly lift the reigning champion’s confidence going into this bout if the match were to be made in 2024.
7) Sinsamut Klinmee Vs Dmitry Menshikov
Regian Eersel is the undisputed king of the ONE Lightweight striking division. Not only is he undefeated in ONE, but he also hasn’t lost a fight in 7 years. So, the question on everyone’s mind is simply, who will pose a threat to the Dutch champion in 2024? Looking through Eersel’s catalog of fallen foes, two names stand out. Thai, Sinsamut Klinmee, and Russian knockout artist, Dmitry Menshikov.
Yes, both men have recently been knocked out by the Dutch champion but that does not mean they aren’t a threat. Immediately preceding his knockout loss, Sinsamut fought Eersel to a margin so narrow that they were immediately called to rematch. Meanwhile, Menshikov is a proven knockout artist with 21 of his 29 victories coming by way of stoppage.
Both men were originally scheduled to face each other last September, with Sinsamut pulling out due to injury, so it makes sense for them to face each other early in 2024 to prove which man deserves another shot at Eersel and the ONE Lightweight Muay Thai world title.
8) Janet Todd Vs Phetjeeja Lukjaoporongtom
Phetjeeja Lukjaoporongtom claimed the Women’s Atomweight Kickboxing Interim World Title after a thrilling five-round contest with French-Algerian Anissa Meksen last December. The win marked five wins on her undefeated run in ONE Championship and earned her the right to face reigning champion Janet Todd in 2024.
Todd hasn’t fought since her unanimous decision loss to Brazilian Allycia Rodrigues in March 2023. It was a loss that took the Atomweight Muay Thai World Title away from the American champion, so she is sure to bring everything she has to ensure that her one remaining world title strap stays securely around her waist in 2024.
9) Nong-O Hama Vs Felipe Lobo 2
Both fighters are ranked in the top 5 in both of ONE’s bantamweight striking disciplines which means that a single big win could be all that it takes to get them back in contention for a World Title shot in 2024. Nong-O, a former champion, has lost two fights in a row and needs to return to winning ways to earn his shot at redemption and a win over Felipe Lobo would be the perfect way to do it.
Lobo missed his chance at ONE’s golden belt in 2022 when Nong-O placed a beautiful right uppercut on his chin, knocking him out cold in the third round of their title bout. A knockout win over Saemapetch Fairtex in April 2023 returned Lobo to the winner’s circle, but with the former champion standing ahead of him in both the Kickboxing and Muay Thai rankings, he’ll need to avenge his loss to prove that he deserves another chance at either one of the Bantamweight Titles in 2024.
10) Jacob Smith Vs Dedduanglek Tded99
A rematch between ONE Flyweight Muay Thai Champion, Rodtang, and number one contender, Superlek, seems almost assured in 2024 but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other athletes climbing the ranks and hungry for their shot at a ONE World Title. The top contender’s heading into 2024 are Englishman, Jacob Smith and Thai, Deduanglek Tdedd99.
Jacob Smith made a statement on his debut bout on ONE when he faced the current champion, Rodtang in what was an absolute war from the opening bell. While he may have lost on the scorecards Smith stood toe-to-toe with The Ironman for 9 straight minutes, proving that he was a force to be reckoned with after a recent knockout victory, which saw him replace Brazilian, Walter Goncalves as second contender for a title challenge, he is primed to make a run for the belt in 2024.
Directly beneath him in the third position is Tdedd99 fighter, Deduanglek. The Thai won four wins in a row on “ONE Friday Fights” at Lumpinee stadium to prove his way into the rankings and a win over the Bantamweight Kickboxing division’s number two contender, Taiki Naito, back in July proves that he’s a handful for anyone and worth considering for a title shot in 2024.
With both men climbing the ranks, it seems only natural that they should battle to see who gets to challenge for the Bantamweight Muay Thai strap after Superlek and Rodtang’s inevitable rematch.
You may also like: