ONE 166: Qatar open workouts tease fans of what's to come

ONE 166: Qatar open workouts tease fans of what's to come

Anatoly Malykhin, right, during an open workout on Wednesday.
Anatoly Malykhin, right, during an open workout on Wednesday.

The ONE 166: Qatar open workouts went down on Wednesday at West Bay Beach, Doha, ahead of ONE Championship's historic on-ground debut in Qatar.

The event will happen this Friday at Lusail Sports Arena and is fittingly headlined by three huge world title rematches. 

In the main event, ONE middleweight MMA world champion Reinier de Ridder defends his belt against two-division king Anatoly Malykhin. De Ridder showed off both his striking and grappling skills during the workout.  

This won't be the first time they face each other. 

Malykhin snatched De Ridder's light heavyweight MMA strap with a crushing first-round knockout in 2022 before adding the heavyweight MMA gold to his collection last year. 

At the open workouts, the Russian powerhouse showed off the fearsome punching power that led to De Ridder's demise last time out. 

Returning ONE featherweight MMA world champion Tang Kai showed that he hasn't lost a step during his lengthy lay-off due to a knee injury. The Chinese superstar faces interim divisional king Thanh Le in a co-main event rematch of their 2022 five-round classic. 

Le also showed off his much-vaunted power punches for the crowd. The Vietnamese-American will look to leave the judges out of the equation when he renews hostilities with Tang. 

ONE strawweight MMA world champion Jarred Brooks was at his outspoken best when the microphone was thrust in his direction. 

"The Monkey God" cut a relaxed figure as he moved around with his coach ahead of his rematch against Joshua Pacio in another featured bout at 166: Qatar. 

Former strawweight MMA king Pacio, on the other hand, was the picture of focus as he methodically hit pads in the middle of the ring. The Filipino star is eager to reclaim the 26-pound gold belt he once held until his 2022 defeat to Brooks.

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