Ever since Demetrious Johnson’s special rules super-fight with Rodtang Jitmuangnon at ONE X in March, ONE Championship has been abuzz with fighters looking for their chance to compete under the unique format.
“Mighty Mouse” and “The Iron Man” squared off in a mixed rules contest that was judged under Muay Thai rules for the first and third rounds and mixed martial arts for the second and fourth. The intention was to allow each superstar two rounds in their dominant discipline while pushing them into something less familiar for the other two, just to see how they would fare.
And it worked spectacularly well.
Rodtang put heavy pressure on Johnson in the opening round, but he failed to score a finish. This allowed the MMA legend to take the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion into deep waters in the second frame, and he ended the match via rear-naked choke with just under a minute to go.
The gripping battle sparked a wave of athletes to call out “Mighty Mouse,” including ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion Ilias Ennahachi and former ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Jonathan Haggerty.
This past weekend, ONE got in on the special rules fight fun and took to Instagram with a list of potential bouts.
One of the options included in the post was an MMA-grappling showdown between ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion Reinier de Ridder and Brazilain Jiu-Jitsu superstar Gordon Ryan.
De Ridder took it one step further by making his own suggestion in the comments section.
“Give me three guys. Round one Muay Thai versus Alain Ngalani, round two wrestling versus Arjan Bhullar, round three MMA versus Anatoly Malykhin,” he wrote.
Fighters and fans from far and wide chimed in underneath the post, suggesting matchups they would like to see, including recent ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Championship challenger Arian Sadikovic, who asked to face off with MMA veteran Eddie Alvarez.
While ONE has yet to announce what special rules fight they have planned, it is clear that both the ONE athletes and the global fanbase are eager to see what’s coming next.
In the meantime, download the ONE Super App to catch all the action at ONE 157: Petchmorakot vs. Vienot on Friday, 20 May, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.