ONE Championship is unlike any martial arts organization you’ve ever watched. The Asian giant celebrates the full spectrum of martial arts disciplines at its events.
With the organization’s recent blockbuster deal with global streaming platform Amazon Prime Video, fans in the United States and Canada will be able to witness martial arts in its full glory at primetime, beginning this August with ONE on Prime Video 1.
Not only does ONE showcase sports like Muay Thai, kickboxing, submission grappling, and MMA at its events, but the promotion also makes it a point to sign the absolute biggest names and top-tier talent to its burgeoning roster.
With that in mind, let’s check out the best ONE Championship fighters in each of the respective sports.
Rodtang Jitmuangnon – Muay Thai
ONE Championship has the most elite roster of Muay Thai fighters on the planet, full stop.
With legends like Nong-O Gaiyanghadao, Sam-A Gaiyanghadao, and Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke gracing the circle alongside rising stars like Saemapetch Fairtex and Tawanchai PK.Saenchai, the action is always fast and intense.
Arguably its biggest star in ‘the art of eight limbs’ is none other than 25-year-old phenom Rodtang ‘The Iron Man’ Jitmuangnon.
Rodtang is known for his incredible toughness and awesome power, which is always on full display whenever he steps inside the circle. This past March at ONE X, Rodtang was elevated to superstardom when he took on MMA legend Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson in a special-rules matchup.
If ‘The Iron Man’ wins the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Grand Prix, of which he is a participant, the reigning ONE flyweight Muay Thai world champion says he will make a full transition to MMA. Fans are no doubt excited for that prospect.
Superbon Singha Mawynn – Kickboxing
Similar to Muay Thai, ONE Championship’s kickboxing roster is littered with the greatest names in the sport. Giorgio Petrosyan, Regian Eersel, Ilias Ennahachi, Roman Kryklia, Hiroki Akimoto, Capitan Petchyindee are just some of the best talents in the promotion.
There is, however, one man who not only personifies the sport, but did what was deemed impossible. That man is Superbon Singha Mawynn.
A protege of the legendary Buakaw, Superbon was catapulted into his own folklore when he knocked out Petrosyan to become the ONE featherweight kickboxing world champion at ONE: First Strike in October 2021.
Superbon then proved that his victory over Petrosyan, who is regarded as the greatest kickboxer of all time, was no fluke when he beat Marat Grigorian at ONE X in his first world title defense.
While it didn’t end in a knockout, Superbon still put on a striking clinic against the equally dangerous Grigorian in a win that further solidified his legacy in the sport.
Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida – Submission grappling
Winning a world title is already a daunting task, but capturing 17 is just ridiculous. Well, for Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida, that mark is just a normal section of his resume. He is, after all, considered by many to be the most accomplished grappler of all time.
ONE Championship has a litany of elite Brazilian jiu-jitsu artists in Garry Tonon, Andre Galvao, Mikey Musumeci, and rising stars Danielle Kelly and the Ruotolo twins, Tye and Kade. Yet none of them have the same incredible position in the grappling arts as Almeida.
The Brazilian heavyweight was a monster on the mats, earning world titles at the ADCC, BJJ world championships, IBJJF, and World Cup, to name just a few.
Already proving that he’s near-invincible in BJJ, ‘Buchecha’ made the leap to MMA, where he holds a 3-0 record. All three of those wins came via finishes.
‘Buchecha’ is also considered one of the top world title threats in the heavyweight MMA division, with both Anatoly Malykhin and Arjan Bhullar, the ONE interim heavyweight world champion and ONE heavyweight world champion, respectively, closely watching his development.
Reinier de Ridder – Men’s MMA
Who better to put as the best male mixed martial artist in ONE Championship than the Dutch world-ender himself, Reinier de Ridder?
World champions Adriano Moraes, Kiamrian Abbasov, Anatoly Malykhin, Arjan Bhullar, Ok Rae Yoon, Thanh Le, John Lineker, and Joshua Pacio are all fitting to be called the best in the promotion. De Ridder, however, literally stands a head over them.
‘The Dutch Knight’ is the only two-division world champion in ONE Championship, holding both the middleweight and light heavyweight world championships. The 6-foot-4 fighter from Breda, Netherlands beat Burmese legend Aung La N Sang twice to get sole ownership of the two world titles.
While his world title victories are already impressive, his two successful defenses of the middleweight crown were equally impressive.
De Ridder scored a third-round submission over Abbasov, the ONE welterweight world champion, for his first world title defense at ONE: Full Circle this past February. His second world title defense saw him pull off arguably the best submission of 2022.
Vitaly Bigdash, the former ONE middleweight world champion, fought de Ridder for the crown but that challenge was a short one. Reinier de Ridder used his otherworldly grappling to subdue Bigdash, eventually locking in an inverted triangle choke for the first-round submission win at ONE 159.
Angela Lee – Women’s MMA
There can only be one queen in ONE Championship’s MMA scene, and that woman is ‘Unstoppable’ Angela Lee.
The Singaporean-American superstar is the true personification of her nickname, having racked up a staggering 11-0 record in the women’s atomweight division.
It can be argued that ONE women’s strawweight world champion Xiong Jing Nan is also deserving to be on this list, and she is. However, Lee has her beat in terms of fights and opponents.
The two women’s world champions are also 1-1 in their rivalry, with a third world title fight always looming on the horizon. Nevertheless, the distinction of being the best women’s MMA fighter in the organization belongs to Lee.
The atomweight queen has beaten the likes of Xiong, Mei Yamaguchi, Jenny Huang, Istela Nunes and, most recently, Stamp Fairtex at ONE X.
Fighting for the first time since 2019 and after giving birth to her daughter Ava Marie, Lee showed fans why she is literally unstoppable. After weathering Stamp’s early striking, Lee went for the kill in the second round, submitting the Thai star with a rear-naked choke.