ONE: “Kingdom of Warriors” is set for Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon on July 18th and will be headlined by a bantamweight title clash between reigning champion Bibiano Fernandes and Finnish challenger Toni Tauru. The rest of the card will be taken up by two one-night tournaments for local fighters.
In total there are 12 Burmese fighters in action, all of whom will be making their debuts. The country has no MMA promotions or gyms, so ONE had to scour the local Lethwei scene for talent, meaning that they are all likely to be primarily stand-up fighters.
In the 145-pound tournament, Min Htet Zaw will face Myo Man Thit in one semifinal, while Hlit Hlit Lay takes on Tha Phyay Nyo in the other. In the 155-pound tournament, Thway Thit Aung goes up against Saw Thae Oo and Dawna Aung is matched with Saw Ba Oo.
There will also be two alternate matches with Saw Llay and Saw Hlad Doe fighting for the right to be a replacement for the 155-pound tournament and Phoe Thaw taking on Kyal Sin for the right to step up in case one of the 145-pound semifinalists is injured.
There’s little-to-no English language coverage of Myanamr’s Lethwei scenes and the broad similarities between the fighters names make it even more difficult to keep track. However, a lot of the tournament participants do appear to be elite-level stand-up fighters and you can see footage of Tha Phyay Nyo fighting in Singapore here.