NZ’s Abelardo and Sai return to action

Kiwi-Filipino Mark “Fairtex” Abelardo.

A pair of up-and-coming Kiwi mixed martial artists are set to showcase their talents on the ONE Warrior Series 3 card on Thursday, 11 October in Singapore for a chance at a spot on the ONE Championship roster as well as a contract in excess of USD $100,000.

Returning to the ONE Warrior Series stage will be Kiwi-Filipino Mark “Fairtex” Abelardo, who meets Mongolia’s Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg in a bantamweight contest.

One of the more seasoned competitors on ONE Warrior Series 3, Abelardo already has quite the mixed martial arts resume.

Born in New Zealand to Filipino parents, Abelardo was introduced to martial arts by his father, who used to compete in full-contact Karate bouts in the Philippines before relocating to New Zealand.

At ten years old, Abelardo began training in karate. Seven years later, after getting wind of the growing sport of mixed martial arts, Abelardo made the transition.

Boasting a 16-5 professional record, Abelardo has shared the cage with the likes of ONE Championship veterans Ev Ting and Roman Alvarez.

Now based in Pattaya, Thailand and training under the world-famous Fairtex Gym, Abelardo is enjoying somewhat a career resurgence in 2018, stringing together three consecutive victories.

Abelardo’s most recent victory was an exciting unanimous decision win over Iranian Ali Motamed at ONE Warrior Series 2 last July.

The 26-year old will try to make it four-for-four in 2018.

Also coming back to the ONE Warrior Series stage is 19-year old Punnya Sai.

Born in Myanmar, Punnya Sai was only eight months old when he and his family relocated to New Zealand. At 14, he began his martial arts journey by taking up boxing thanks to his older brother.

It wasn’t long before he was he found his way to kickboxing and Muay Thai, thanks to Bali MMA’s MIke Ikilei, which initiated a move to Indonesia to train there full time.

After catching the attention of ONE Championship Vice President Rich Franklin via the ONE Warrior Series documentary show, Punnya Sai found himself competing professionally soon after.

At ONE Warrior Series 2, Punnya Sai made a triumphant professional mixed martial arts debut, defeating Myanmar’s Sai Nyan Lin via submission.

AT ONE Warrior Series 3, Punnya Sai hopes to be able to repeat history.

Abelardo and Punnya Sai are only two of the up-and-coming talent hoping to make an impact at the ONE Warrior Series 3 card in Singapore, which can be seen via the ONE Super App ( on Thursday, 11 October starting at 4PM.

Complete ONE Warrior Series 3 Card

  • Eto Kimihiro VS JD Fairtex Hardwick – Lightweight
  • Jenelyn Olsim VS Claudia Diaz – Women’s Strawweight
  • Mark Cuizon VS Detchadin Sornsirisuphathin – Flyweight
  • Emmanuel Onyedikachi VS Xie Xiaoxiang – Welterweight
  • Ganbat Bayasgalan VS Joohwan Kim – Bantamweight
  • Michael Walker VS Hyunjin Lee – Bantamweight
  • Mark Fairtex Abelardo VS Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg – Bantamweight
  • Jerry Olsim VS Ernest Tang – Featherweight
  • Anvar Amirli VS Asuka Tsubaki Featherweight
  • Edilah Johany VS Uyen Ha – Women’s Atomweight
  • Manuel Huerta VS Lito Adiwang – Strawweight
  • Alex Fong VS Rengga Raphael Richard – Strawweight
  • Dawoon Jung VS Zechariah Lange – Bantamweight
  • Ismael Bandiwan VS Ryuto Sawada – Strawweight
  • De’von Morris VS Fu Guo An – Welterweight
  • Mark Sumalag VS Luo Zhuo Jiang Cuo – Featherweight
  • Punnya Sai VS Krishna Lal Tamang – Bantamweight
  • So Yul Kim VS Bayarmaa Munkhgerel – Women’s Atomweight