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ONE Championship: Dawn of Heroes preview - Alvarez and Mighty Mouse return

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International talent gets to shine on another massive show live from Manila.

What is arguably Asia’s biggest organization is, once again, setting up camp in Manila for a stacked card featuring some top-shelf international talent. Including former UFC champions Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez. With Alvarez returning to the promotion’s lightweight Grand Prix as an injury replacement, following his shocking first round exit.

In the main event, lightweight gold is on the line, as Martin Nguyen (12-3) returns after absolutely stunning Narantungalag Jadambaa in sensational fashion last time out. He’ll be facing Japanese former Pancrase champion Koyomi Matsushima (11-3), who kicked down the doors in his ONE debut against Marat Gafurov.

Former Bellator and UFC champion Eddie Alvarez (29-7) may not have had a good day in the office in his ONE debut, against Timofey Nastyukin, but he’s back in the tournament after Nastyukin had to withdraw due to injury. He’ll be facing former ONE champion Eduward Folayang, who lost his title to Shinya Aoki in his last fight.

Demetrious Johnson (28-3, 1 draw) is looking to continue to show his supremacy over the lower weight classes against Tatsumitsu Wada this time around. Wada is coming off a win against hard-nosed Cuban Greco-Roman ace Gustavo Balart. Wada’s a former DEEP flyweight champion with slick striking and an aggressive backtake game that leads to choke opportunities. Now he’ll test himself against a living legend that made an impression in his ONE debut against Pancrase standout Yuya Wakamatsu.

Speaking of Wakamatsu (10-4), he’s also on the docket with a battle against another ONE stalwart in Geje Eustaquio (12-7). Wakamatsu brutalized veteran Mamoru Yamaguchi in his last Pancrase fight, but hasn’t fared as well so far in ONE. He’ll have a chance to get back in the win column, but he’s going to have to really dig deep here against former champ Eustaquio.

In the lightweight division, another Filipino stalwart will look to shine. Honorio Banario (14-8) faces a former DEEP vet, Korea’s Dae Sung Park (9-3). Park is undefeated under the ONE banner. Aussie Reece McLaren (12-6) brings his submission pedigree to tangle with Filipino Danny Kingad (12-1), and former UFC fighter Leandro Issa (17-7) is set for a dynamite showdown against Shooto and VTJ veteran Daichi Takenaka (11-1, 1 draw).

Further down, UFC title challenger Yushin Okami (35-13) is back at middleweight against former LFA fighter James Nakashima (11-0). And finally, Filipino veteran ‘Ferocious’ Edward Kelly (12-6) meets Chinese prospect Xie Bin (7-1) at lightweight.

Full card is as follows:

Bleacher Report Live Main Card | 8:30 AM/5:30 AM ET/PT
Martin Nguyen vs Koyomi Matsushima - Lightweight championship fight
Jonathan Haggerty vs Rodtang Jitmuangnon - 135lb Muay Thai championship fight
Eddie Alvarez vs Eduard Folayang - Welterweight
Demetrious Johnson vs Tatsumitsu Wada - Bantamweight
Danny Kingad vs Reece McLaren - Bantamweight
Rodlek Jaotalaytong vs Andrew Miller - 145lb Muay Thai bout

Online Prelims | 5:00 AM/2:00 AM ET/PT
Geje Eustaquio vs Yuya Wakamatsu - Bantamweight
Honorio Banario vs Dae Sung Park - Welterweight
Leandro Issa vs Daichi Takenaka - Featherweight
Yushin Okami vs James Nakashima - Middleweight
Edward Kelly vs Xie Bin - Lighweight
Pongsiri Mitsatit vs Litao Miao - Flyweight
Ayaka Miura vs Samara Santos - Flyweight
Sunoto Peringkat vs Muhammad Aiman - Featherweight

ONE Championship: Dawn of Heroes starts with prelims at 5:00am EST, and available for viewing on the ONE app. Prelims can also be viewed on Twitter or Facebook. From there, the main card starts on B/R Live at 8:30am.