ONE Championship is back on Friday, Aug. 2 with Dawn of Heroes, live from Manila in the Philippines.
Former UFC champions Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez return to the ONE cage in hopes of earning a spot in the world grand prix finals.
Johnson will attempt to remain undefeated at ONE, while Alvarez looks for his first win with the promotion.
Along with Johnson and Alvarez, we'll also see 22-year-old phenom Jonathan Haggerty defend his flyweight muay thai belt against another prodigy in Rodtang Jitmuangnon, as well as featherweight knockout king Martin Nguyen hoping to continue his dominance in the division against Koyomi Matsushima.
Here is how to watch Dawn of Heroes and four things to pay special attention to.
Where and How to Watch
Dawn of Heroes will be held Friday, Aug. 2, at Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.
Those in the U.S. can watch the contest for free on B/R Live.
The main card starts at approximately 8:30 a.m. ET, preceded by a nine-match preliminary card that begins at 5 a.m.
The full card stands as follows:
Martin Nguyen vs. Koyomi Matsushima (featherweight world championship)
Jonathan Haggerty vs. Rodtang Jitmuangnon (flyweight muay thai world championship)
Eduard Folayang vs. Eddie Alvarez (lightweight world grand prix semifinal)
Demetrious Johnson vs. Tatsumitsu Wada (flyweight world grand prix semifinal)
Danny Kingad vs. Reece McLaren (flyweight world grand prix semifinal)
Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym vs. Andrew Miller (muay thai)
Geje Eustaquio vs. Yuya Wakamatsu
Honorio Banario vs. Dae Sung Park
Leandro Issa vs. Daichi Takenaka
James Nakashima vs. Yushin Okami
Edward Kelly vs. Xie Bin
Pongsiri Mitsatit vs. Miao Li Tao
Samara Santos vs. Ayaka Miura
Sunoto vs. Muhammad Aiman
4 Questions to Be Answered
How does Eddie Alvarez respond after his debut loss?
After becoming the only person in history to win both a Bellator and UFC title, "The Underground King" Alvarez had his eyes set on the ONE lightweight championship when making his debut last March.
However, that goal hit a snag when he lost his debut in stunning fashion by first-round knockout to Timofey Nastyukhin.
Alvarez said on Instagram post-match he didn't feel like himself that day: "I am sincerely disappointed and confused in my inability to not pull the trigger and my hesitancy on recent fight nights. It's been quite confusing to figure out the past year or so."
Alvarez did, however, seem to be in a better mindset during the lead-up press conference for the Folayang fight:
"Look, I got the first one out of the way. I lost, no problem. I did the same thing in the UFC [against Donald Cerrone] and I honestly almost did the same thing in my debut in Bellator. ... I'm not a big fan of my debuts, put it that way. So I got it out of the way, got it past me, and now I can go full-on, go undefeated straight to the belt."
We could be witnessing a huge turning point in Alvarez's storied career. A third straight loss, a streak that he's never had to deal with before, and an elimination from the lightweight world grand prix would leave The Underground King with no clear path to the third major title he's hoping to claim.
Will Demetrious Johnson make it look easy?
Johnson's ONE debut looked a lot better than Alvarez's did, defeating Yuya Wakamatsu by second-round guillotine choke.
Although his opponent caught "Mighty Mouse" with a big shot to the eye in the first, Johnson rebounded nicely to control the match on the ground with his world-class wrestling.
Although his next opponent, Tatsumitsu Wada, advanced further in the flyweight world grand prix than Wakamatsu did, this matchup actually seems to fare better for Johnson.
The biggest issue for Wada is his inability to pack a ton of power in his strikes. Most of Johnson's past opponents who did give him trouble are formidable strikers, Wakamatsu included.
Wada is a martial artist who gets the majority of his victories by decision, and that's a tough ask against an athlete as skilled and dynamic as Johnson.
Will Jonathan Haggerty and Rodtang Jitmuangnon steal the show?
On paper, this is the most exciting match of the entire card. Haggerty enters his first title defense since becoming flyweight muay thai champion last May hoping to prove his title-winning bout against the legendary Sam-A Gaiyanghadao wasn't a fluke.
Haggerty called out fellow 22-year-old Rodtang after his title win, and a matchup of muay thai prodigies transcending their ages came to be. With both possessing attack-heavy styles, we might have a classic on our hands.
How will Arjan Bhullar fare in his ONE debut?
MMA fans may remember Arjan Bhullar from his short time with UFC, amassing a 3-1 record. The former wrestling Olympian tested free agency and chose to sign with ONE instead of accepting an upgraded offer from UFC.
Bhullar told Nick Baldwin of Bloody Elbow it came down to a number of factors: money, ONE's apparent plans to expand into his family's home country of India, a greater chance of fighting for and winning a title, a greater ability to build his brand, and staying more active.
The 9-1 Bhullar looks to start off on the right foot with his new promotion, but opponent Mauro Cerilli will have something to say about that as arguably the heavyweight division's No. 1 contender to Brandon Vera's title. This is by far Bhullar's most worthy opponent to date.