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The promotional poster for ONE on Prime Video III. Photos: ONE Championship

ONE Championship returns to Kuala Lumpur with double header; first shows outside Singapore in two years

  • Two MMA title fights will headline October 22’s Prime Video III card, with martial arts promotion back in Malaysia for first time since December 2019
  • Reinier de Ridder defends middleweight belt against Russian Shamil Abdulaev, while Fabricio Andrade challenges bantamweight champ John Lineker

ONE Championship has announced its return to Malaysia with a double header next month, in what will be the martial arts promotion’s first events outside Singapore for two years.

October 22’s ONE on Prime Video III card will start at 8am on Saturday morning at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, and will be headlined by a middleweight MMA title fight between Reinier de Ridder and Shamil Abdulaev. The co-main will see bantamweight MMA champion John Lineker defend his title against Fabricio Andrade.

The main card of the event will be broadcast live on Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service in the US and Canada in prime time on October 21, and on pay-per-view through ONE’s official website for most other regions.

The preceding night, ONE 162 will take place at the same venue. A fight to crown the inaugural lightweight Muay Thai champion between kickboxing king Regian Eersel and Sinsamut Klinmee will reportedly feature at the top of the bill.

No other fights have been announced for the event yet, with ONE returning to the Axiata Arena for the first time since December 2019.

Reinier de Ridder celebrates after retaining his middleweight title at ONE 159.

The promotion has put on shows solely in its home city of Singapore since September 2020, with the pandemic halting their road events in Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Manila, and Jakarta.

Undefeated “Dutch Knight” De Ridder (16-0) will headline the event, making his second middleweight title defence. The two-division champ’s Russian opponent Abdulaev (13-1) is a newcomer to the ONE Championship roster.

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De Ridder had called for a crack at a third title following heavyweight king Arjan Bhullar’s withdrawal from a scheduled unification bout with interim champ Anatoly Malykhin this month.

“Hands of Stone” Lineker (35-9) will make the first defence of his bantamweight title, having swiped it from long-reigning champ Bibiano Fernandes in March.

The 24-year-old “Wonderboy” Andrade (8-2) is on a five-fight promotional win streak since debuting in Bangkok in July 2020, and earned his crack at the belt with three consecutive first-round finishes.

John Lineker celebrates his bantamweight title win over Bibiano Fernandes.

“The run is over! October 21, Lineker is in for a tough night,” Andrade wrote in an Instagram post, adding his prediction that his fellow Brazilian will not make it out of the first round.

ONE has also added four fights to the lead card of its ONE on Prime Video II event on October 1, which will be headlined by Angela Lee and Xiong Jingnan’s trilogy bout.

Marat Grigorian will face Tayfun Ozcan in a featherweight kickboxing bout, while Rade Opacic takes on Giannis Stoforidis in a heavyweight kickboxing clash.

Kim Jae-woong also battles Shamil Gasanov in a featherweight MMA fight, with decorated striker Anissa Meksen returning in another atomweight Muay Thai scrap against Daokongfah Banchamek.