On June 29, 2018, Rafael “Indio” Nunes, 30, of Capivari, Sao Paulo, Brazil and Tetsuya Yamada, 28, of Yokosuka, Kanigawa, Japan will compete at “ONE: Spirit of a Warrior” at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar. Both fighters are coming out of a victory over Eric “The Natural” Kelly, 36, of the Philippines.
Nunes and Yamada will battle it out in the featherweight division. Currently reigning as the ONE Featherweight World Champion is Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, 29, of Australia and Vietnam, who is also the reigning champion in the promotion’s lightweight division.
“ONE: Spirit of a Warrior” marks Nunes’s third bout in ONE Championship. When he made his promotional debut on July 11, 2014 at “ONE: Warrior of Dragons,” his undefeated record was broken by Koji “The Commander” Ando, 33, of Japan via rear-naked choke submission.
After losing to Ando, Nunes went on a three-year hiatus. He successfully returned to the cage on January 26, 2018 at “ONE: Global Superheroes” by submitting Kelly via brabo choke.
Currently, Nunes holds a professional mixed martial arts record of 11 wins and 1 loss while Yamada has 23 wins and 6 losses. When the latter made his promotional debut on January 29, 2016 at “ONE: Clash of Heroes,” he lost via unanimous decision to former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 34, of the Philippines.
On September 2, 2017, Yamada bounced back by submitting Kyle “Kyote” Rozewski, 34, of the United States via rear-naked choke at “ONE Championship: Shanghai.” On March 24, 2018, Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev, 23, of Russia submitted Yamada via armbar at “ONE: Iron Will.”
On May 12, 2018, Yamada submitted Kelly via rear-naked choke at “ONE: Grit and Glory.” If the Japanese fighter wins At “ONE: Spirit of a Warrior,” it will be his third ONE Championship win.
Headlining “ONE: Spirit of a Warrior” are reigning ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang, 33, of Myanmar and Ken Hasegawa, 31, of Japan. The Burmese champ will defend his middleweight champion belt from his Japanese challenger, who is making his ONE Championship debut.
Meanwhile, watch the bout between Nunes and Kelly here: