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Rothana readies for ring return

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times Share:
Cambodia’s Chan Rothana (right) returns to action against Indonesia’s Abro Fernandes. ONE Championship

ONE Championship, Asia’s largest Mixed Martial Arts promotion has announced additional bouts for November 9’s ONE: Heart Of the Lion with Chan Rothana making a welcome return to the cage.

Rothana, 32, is a former Khun Khmer practitioner who transitioned to mixed martial arts in 2014. He currently sports a 4-3 professional mixed martial arts record which includes one submission victory and three wins by knockout. A former ONE Cambodia Featherweight GP finalist, Rothana is known as a devastating and relentless striker but having suffered an extended stint away from the ring, he will be wary of ring rust.

He returns to action at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in November against Indonesia’s Abro Fernandes, a ONE Championship newcomer set to make his promotional debut. A former Indonesian bantamweight champion, Fernandes owns a perfect professional mixed martial arts record of 7-0 and is known for his strong grappling skills.

Rothana’s last outing on a ONE card was in April 2017 in which he suffered a disappointing loss to China’s Xie Bin in a three-round bantamweight contest at ONE: Kings of Destiny in the Philippines.

As expected, the fight quickly became an interesting clash of styles from the opening bell.

The end came officially at 1:46 of round two with Xie earning a stoppage victory in his young career.

Rothana’s last victory in an MMA cage came at ONE: Kingdom of Khmer in December

2015, where he exacted his revenge on rival Sam Ang Dung in a first round knockout that drove the crowd at wild Koh Pich Theatre in Phnom Penh.

The highly publicised rematch of their 2014 clash lived up to the hype, with Rothana and Ang Dung trading vicious blows before taking things to the ground. Ang Dung seemed to have the upper hand after slamming Rothana to the mat and grappling for more than 30 seconds, but Rothana managed to flip Ang Dung over and hit him with a devastating blow to the face, knocking him out cold.

In the main event, reigning ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan of China will defend her title against ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee of Singapore in one of two epic World Champion vs. World Champion super-bouts on the evening.

“The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan began her career competing in professional boxing, and she was originally inspired to pick up the sport by her father, who imparted in her values of courage and integrity. Featuring a wide array of skills, she bagged a gold medal at the prestigious China Open Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament in 2017. Since winning the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship this past January, the Beijing, China native has made two successful title defenses. In her most recent bout, she defeated Samara Santos of Brazil to successfully retain her title and push her record to 16-1. Up next, the 30-year-old travels to Singapore to defend her championship against Angela Lee.

“Unstoppable” Angela Lee is considered one of ONE Championship’s most outstanding athletes. The Singaporean captured the inaugural ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship with an awe-inspiring victory over Mei Yamaguchi in May 2016, and she has since defended the title successfully on multiple occasions. Lee’s beautiful combination of elite striking and grappling has proven to be a potent formula for success, as she has remained undefeated in her career. In her most recent bout, she beat Yamaguchi once again, showcasing her wide array of skills en route to a unanimous decision victory. Lee is now set to challenge Xiong Jing Nan for the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship.

In the co-main event, reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes of Brazil will defend his title against ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon of the Philippines in a highly-anticipated bantamweight title unification bout.

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