An ultimate fighting card pitting the UFC vs ONE Championship is something that appeals to fans of both promotions from around the world. If some of the very best talent in the Las Vegas-based promotion went head-to-head with the best of the promotion that calls Singapore home, what would happen? And what would be the most fan-friendly scraps to put together to make the event an absolute must-see?
We have all of that handled for you in the below UFC vs ONE super card for the ages. Since ONE's weight classes are close to 10 pounds higher than the similarly named version of what North American fans are used to, let's assume these matchup happen at a catchweight five pounds more than what the UFC side of the card normally competes in. Meaning less weight cutting for the TEAM UFC, and more for Team ONE.
UFC vs ONE Championship prelims
10. Aung La Nsang vs Jan Blachowicz (210 pounds)
There is no better way to open up this super card than a battle of "Polish Power" versus what ONE announcer Michael Shiavello has called a man with a lead pipe chin. However, Aung La Nsang is far more than a uber-durable talent. He also comes with fists filled with "Burmese Power" that Jan Blachowicz needs to respect. Not to mention, both former light heayvweight champions have underappreciated grappling. It's an even matchup that's built to produce a highlight reel knockout or fistic mayhem for three rounds.
9. Reinier de Ridder vs Glover Teixeira (210 pounds)
Unbeaten Dutchman Reinier de Ridder is ONE's fastest rising star and capped off his outstanding run in the promotion by taking both the middleweight and light heavyweight titles off the hands of Nsang over the last 13 months. A clash with UFC 205-pound king Glover Teixeira would be a fascinating matchup of youth versus experience. They are both outstanding grapplers, but the 11-years older Brazilian has a thump in his fists de Ridder would need to worry about. However, "The Dutch Knight" has youthful speed that could be an equalizer in the card's first clash of current champions.
8. Shinya Aoki vs Michael Chandler (160 pounds)
Shinya Aoki and Michael Chandler have a lot in common as fighters that became MMA greats by racking up wins outside the UFC for years. The multi-time Bellator champ facing the former DREAM and ONE lightweight king would have been a headliner on any card in the world before Chandler joined the UFC. This one would still be a fun styles clash and loveletter booking to long-time fans that understand there have long been great fighters competing outside the Octagon.
7. Angela Lee vs Rose Namajunas (115 pounds)
A matchup between ONE atomweight champ Angela Lee and UFC strawweight queen Rose Namajunas would be one of the few fights on this card that could take place at a weight many fans are familiar with, at 115 pounds. A bout between two of the top female faces in their respective promotions over the last five years would be a meaningful fight for fans of both organizations. Plus, it offers a classic striker versus grappler battle where both would have some notable advantages over the other. Who could better navigate the weaknesses would decide this clash of uber-popular fighters.
6. Christian Lee vs Islam Makhachev (160 pounds)
If you were unfamiliar with Christian Lee, but aware of the talents of UFC 155-pound contender Islam Makhachev, then consider the former ONE championship lightweight king as the ONE version of the Dagestani native. He is another outstanding grappler who has reached the top levels of his division with a dominant ground game. Lee vs Makhachev would be a grapplers delight booking as they showcase what elite grappling looks like in the lightweight divisions of MMA. Dagestani grappling or Lee family wrestling?
5. Bibiano Fernandes vs Aljamain Sterling (140 pounds)
The main card of this special versus event features the reigning bantamweight champions from both promotions. However, while Aljamain Sterling's UFC reign is pretty new, Bibiano Fernandes is without a doubt the best bantamweight champion in ONE history. As well as a former DREAM bantamweight titlist. This fight could very well mirror Lee versus Makhachev in being an absolute chess match on the mat, or descend into a wild brawl on the feet. Either way, it's a pick 'em fight between two elite talents in the lower weights.
4. Adriano Moraes vs Brandon Moreno (130 pounds)
Like Fernandes vs Sterling, a battle pitting UFC flyweight champ Brandon Moreno against his ONE counterpart Adriano Moraes would be a battle of fresh-faced belt holder, facing long-reigning titlist. In beating flyweight legend Demetrious Johnson in April, "Mikinho" proved his elite-level talent. "The Assassin Baby" did the same in storming past Deiveson Figueiredo two months later. If cutting down to 130-pounds doesn't hamper Moraes much, his size and terrific grappling could be a challenge for Moreno. But the Mexican superstar has shown countless times that doubting him in any scenario is never a smart bet come fight night.
3. John Lineker vs Petr Yan (140 pounds)
John Lineker has never been stopped by strikes in 33 professional fights. UFC interim bantamweight king Petr Yan has never faced a fighter with lights out, one-punch power like the Brazilian. Let's throw them together and see what happens. Can Lineker's hands and chin of stone prove to be the Russian's kryptonite, or does "No Mercy" once again showcase his striking is levels above the other fighters in and around his weight class. Either way, fans win in watching it.
2. Jing Nan Xiong vs Zhang Weili (120 pounds)
Jing Nan Xiong versus Zhang Weili would be the ultimate showdown to decide the best MMA fighter from China. Zhang is a former UFC strawweight champion. Jing Nan is the reigning ONE strawweight queen and once challenged for the atomweight thrown. Both have no problem grappling, but they prefer to battle on the feet and this one could easily devolve into an absolute war of attrition, that wouldn't be for the weak at heart. This fight would be a "fight of the night" darkhorse.
1. Demetrious Johnson vs Deiveson Figueiredo (130 pounds)
Demetrious Johnson and Deiveson Figueiredo are two of the most gifted athletes the flyweight division has ever seen. The matchup plays like a pairing of the old and new guard of the division and a battle of generations. Although DJ is more well-rounded, power has always been the one way to get to him and Figueiredo has that more than any other fighter in the division. It is a clash of two UFC 125-pound greats and elite fighters right now.