ONE releases first official fighter rankings
MANILA, Philippines — Strawweight champion Joshua Pacio of Team Lakay led six other Filipino warriors who made the cut in ONE Championship’s first official athlete rankings unveiled Monday.
In the list, ONE named the top six fighters in each division for mixed martial arts, kickboxing and Muay Thai.
“It is with great excitement that I announce the inaugural ONE Championship Official Rankings,” said ONE chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.
“The rankings will bring more clarity and transparency for our athletes as they chase their dreams for a world championship title. Fans can also follow their favorite athletes and their journeys more closely as they climb or fall in the rankings.”
ONE said “an independent panel of top sports media and industry experts,” which include former fighters Rich Franklin, Miesha Tate, Adam Kayoom and Ann Osman, determined the rankings based on a criteria such as wins/losses, most recent performances and quality of opponents.
The rankings will be updated and published after each event on ONEFC.com and the ONE Super App.
Former title contender Rene Catalan and rising star Lito Adiwang were ranked No. 3 and No. 5 in the strawweight division ruled by Pacio.
In the bantamweight division, ex-champion Kevin Belingon remained as the top contender for the belt currently held by Bibiano Fernandes.
Belingon and Fernandes have already fought three times with the Brazilian star picking up a convincing submission win in the second round of their third fight last October to regain the crown.
Another Filipino is looking for a title shot with Denice Zamboanga named the No. 1 ranked fighter in women’s atomweight, which still has Angela Lee as its queen.
Zamboanga’s compatriot Gina Iniong, meanwhile is No. 5 in the division.
In the flyweight class, Danny Kingad is ranked at second next to the legendary Demetrious Johnson, whose first crack at the ONE world title against reigning champion Adriano Moraes originally scheduled in April was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.