A ONE Championship veteran will welcome a promotional newcomer to the fold at ONE Fight Night 18. Mark Abelardo, who has been on the roster since 2018, has been matched with debutant Ibragim Dauev at Lumpinee Stadium on January 13th.

Abelardo (22-1) hails from New Zealand but has roots in the Philippines. He has fought 12 times for ONE Championship and is coming off back to back stoppage wins in 2023.

Abelardo fights out of the Fairtex Gym in Pattaya. He has been a professional mixed martial artist since 2010 and is much more experience than the Russian.

While Dauev (8-1) will be making his ONE Championship debut this definitely isn’t his first fight. The Russian was a teenager when he turned pro and comes into this contest riding a seven fight winning streak.

Dauev is currently fighting out of the Dobrynya Martial Arts Academy in Phuket. That is reigning heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Anatoly Malykhin’s gym and the 22 year old will be hoping to have as much success with ONE Championship as he has.

Replacement sought

ONE Fight Night 18 is currently without a main event. Elias Mahmoudi had been scheduled to face Superlek Kiatmoo9 but he withdrew from the bout after suffering an injury in training.

It is not clear if a replacement for Mahmoudi can be found. Superlek had been booked to defend his flyweight kickboxing title at Lumpinee Stadium on January 13th.

The bantamweight Muay Thai match between Liam Harrison and John Lineker has also been cancelled. The Englishman has still not recovered after undergoing knee surgery a year ago.

Four fights

Four fights have been confirmed. Shamil Gasanov will have the opportunity to get back on title track when he faces Oh Ho Taek at ONE Fight Night 18 next month.

The Russian featherweight famously called out Garry Tonon only to get submitted by the BJJ black belt. Despite the loss he remains at #4 in the rankings.

Gasanov faces a very different type of test against the Korean who is also coming off a defeat against a top contender. Haek was stopped by #5 ranked Akbar Abdullaev in the opening minute of their fight at ONE Fight Night 8.

Meanwhile Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg and Kwon Won Il will face off at Lumpinee Stadium on January 13th. The Korean saw his title prospects damaged by a stoppage loss at the hands of current champion Fabricio Andrade.

Zoltsetseg has been in some wild brawls but has yet to crack the top five at bantamweight. Gasanov will not be the only Russian, Artem Belakh has been matched with Enkh-Orgil Baatarkhuu in a bantamweight bout.

 

New year

In 2024 the promotion is set for a big overseas expansion. ONE 165 was confirmed for Tokyo on January 26th with Rodtang facing Takeru in the main event.

A few weeks later Chatri Sityodtong’s promotion will be heading to Qatar for the first time. ONE 166 is set for March 1st and Anatoly Malykhin will rematch Reinier de Ridder in the main event.

ONE Fight Night 18, Bangkok, January 13th
Kickboxing: Superlek Kiatmoo9 vs. TBA (For flyweight title)
Kwon Won Il vs. Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg (Bantamweight)
Artem Belakh vs. Enkh-Orgil Baatarkhuu (Bantamweight)
Shamil Gasanov vs. Oh Ho Taek (Bantamweight)
Mark Abelardo vs. Ibragim Dauev (Bantamweight)