Sawada vs. Ikeda and Sato vs. Saadulaev added to ONE X

    Two new pairings have been added to the tenth-anniversary spectacle that goes down on March 26 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

    First, Senzo Ikeda faces fellow strawweight competitor Ryuto “Dragon Boy” Sawada in an all-Japanese mixed martial arts showdown.

    Moving down to strawweight has done wonders for the former Pancrase Flyweight World Champion. After losing his first two contests in ONE, the 39-year-old competitor from Sendai is on a two-fight winning streak.

    He defeated Liang Hui at ONE: Collison Course II before knocking out Elipitua “The Magician” Siregar with a punch to the liver at ONE: Heavy Hitters this past January. That performance against the Indonesian earned him a US$50,000 performance bonus.

    A fan favorite because of his unorthodox fighting style, the talented pugilist will try to give back to his supporters by staying true to who he is inside the Circle.

    “The fans have always been very supportive and have given me a lot of strength, so I want to show my gratitude to them by giving it my all in this bout to make fans happy,” Ikeda said in a recent interview.

    “Thank you so much for all of your support. That gives me a lot of strength. I am going to give all the power I have, so please root for me!”

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    Meanwhile, Sawada would like to stop Ikeda’s momentum and end his two-fight losing skid. However, he did not expect that he would have to bounce back against a compatriot.

    “It is very rare for ONE to make matches between Japanese athletes, so honestly, I was surprised. I am so happy to be a part of the 10th-anniversary event and fight against another Japanese athlete,” the Singapore-based Sawada said.

    Despite the losses, the 26-year-old former ONE Warrior Series winner will still be a formidable foe for Ikeda, given his 80 percent finish rate in The Home of Martial Arts.

    The second fight to be added to the event is the bantamweight bout between contenders Yusup “Maestro” Saadulaev and Shoko Sato.

    The Dagestan fighter dropped out of the rankings after a setback against Stephen Loman last December. The 36-year-old Russian will start his return to the top by training at Khabib Nurmagomedov’s gym with sambo specialist Murad Machaev and Muay Thai coach Magomed Bagandov.

    “Maestro” has a 65 percent finish rate in ONE, and he would like to use this upcoming fight as a springboard to a potential run for the world title.

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    However, Sato is an opponent that Saadulaev couldn’t afford to underestimate. The Shooto Bantamweight Champion has 35 career victories, including against #2-ranked contender “Pretty Boy” Kwon Won Il.

    The 33-year-old striker from Sakaguchi Dojo and Fight Base Toritsudai is also hoping to bounce back from his defeat against #4-ranked Fabricio “Wonder Boy” Andrade at ONE: Unbreakable III last year.

    The winner of the Saadulaev-Sato faceoff can build a case to return to the ONE bantamweight top five rankings.

    Download the ONE Super App to stay updated with the latest news on ONE X, which will unfold on 26 March at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. Before that colossal fight fest, ONE Championship return to live action with ONE: Lights Out on March 11.

    Source: MediaRelease

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