KEY POINTS

  • Kirill Grishenko and Anatoly Malykhin's fight for the interim heavyweight title has been called off due to COVID-19 protocols
  • Both semifinal bouts of the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix are now set to headline the event
  • Chatri Sityodtong recently revealed that they plan to increase the number of fights per card to deal with late scratches

Plans have changed for ONE Championship’s upcoming January 28 event as the promotion announced that the fight between Anatoly Malykhin and Kirill Grishenko is off the card.

Originally scheduled to be the main event of ONE: Only The Brave, the interim heavyweight title fight was put into effect because the reigning heavyweight champion in Arjan Bhullar did not agree to a title defense.

Due to the changes, the event will now be headlined by Marat Grigorian and Chingiz Allazov’s fight in the semifinals of the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix. while the other bracket of the tourney pitting Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong against Davit Kiria is set for the co-main event.

Another fight benefitting from the changes is that of the potential title eliminator match between strawweights Jarred Brooks and Hiroba Minowa who have been bumped up to the main card.

The Singapore-based promotion has been dealing with its fighters going down ahead of a card in its recent events, best exemplified during last Friday’s ONE: Heavy Hitters.

Filipino fighters Jeremy Miado and Robin Catalan were extremely late scratches from the event as they both tested positive for COVID-19, which allowed their opponents Elipitua Siregar and Senzo Ikeda to face each other.

In the short-notice bout, Ikeda took home the victory via knockout with body shots.

The silver lining in all of this is that the promotion was at least able to pivot and declare changes to ONE: Only The Brave a week ahead of fight night.

Chatri Sityodtong, the organization’s chairman and CEO, bared to International Business Times sports editor and combat sports analyst Nissi Icasiano that they plan on increasing the number of fights per card by about 40% for every single show moving forward to address late changes.

ONE: Only The Brave will be streaming live on the ONE Super App and official ONE Championship YouTube channel at 8:30 PM SGT (7:30 AM ET in the United States) on Friday, January 28.