ONE Championship’s biggest stars took center stage for the official ONE: DAWN OF HEROES kick-off press conference held Tuesday afternoon at the City of Dreams Manila in Pasay City, Philippines.
With ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on Friday, 2 August being the biggest martial arts event in Philippine history, it was only fitting that Tuesday’s press conference was also the biggest ever hosted by ONE.
Hundreds of fans, athletes, and members of the media flocked to the City of Dreams Grand Ballroom to witness the athletes face off one last time before Friday’s massive event at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Opening the festivities was ONE Championship CEO and Chairman Chatri Sityodtong, who was nothing short of pumped for what could be one of the biggest ONE cards of the year.
“This is without a doubt the greatest event in Philippine martial arts history. If you are a Filipino anywhere in the world, you do not want to miss Friday night,” he said.
Sityodtong also highlighted the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix semi-final bout between Filipino mixed martial arts icon and two-time ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang and multiple-time lightweight world champion Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez as a must-see matchup for the Filipino fans.
“On a personal note, I am so excited for Eduard Folayang versus Eddie Alvarez, genuinely two of the greatest martial artists on the planet, two incredible legends with storied careers, and such incredible human beings,” Sityodtong said.
“I respect Eduard. I respect everything he’s done not just as a fighter, but also as a human being for his community,” said Alvarez, who is looking to bounce back after coming up short in his ONE debut back in March. “This is what this sport is all about. It’s beyond what goes on in the Circle.”
“In the movies, heroes always prevail. The nemesis loses, he goes home and everybody’s happy. Unfortunately, that’s not the story here. You picked the wrong guy at the wrong time. I love you Manila. I respect you Eduard. Let’s have some fun,” Alvarez added.
“He’s one of those athletes that I spent a lot of time watching before,” said Folayang, who is also looking to get back on track. “He says this isn’t the right time, but I believe it’s God’s time. It’s a huge honor for me to be able to test my skills against him.”
“My preparations have gone well. I lost my bell last March, that chapter of my career has closed. It’s time to write another chapter of my journey,” Folayang continued.
Headlining the card will be a ONE Featherweight World Championship bout between reigning and defending titleholder Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen of Australia and Japanese challenger Koyomi “Moushigo” Matsushima.
In the hard-hitting co-main event for the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship, England’s Jonathan “The General” Haggerty puts his title on the line against Thailand’s Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon.
Also on the card will be one of the best flyweight competitors in the world in 12-time flyweight world champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, who faces Japan’s Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada in a ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix semi-final bout.
“I’m very much looking forward to taking on Tatsumitsu Wada. It’s the second round of the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix,” said Johnson. “I’m sure I’m going to battle a little adversity against Tatsumitsu Wada. I’ve been down on the scorecards before, but I keep on pushing through. I look forward to entertaining you all on Friday night.”
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