Who’s Next For Jonathan Haggerty?

Who’s Next For Jonathan Haggerty?

Two-sport world champion Jonathan Haggerty recently completed his first title defense of the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Championship against ranked contender Felipe Lobo. Holding belts in two disciplines gives Haggerty lots of options for title defences. Both disciplines have incredibly stacked divisions and there are a number of different match-ups that fans want for The General. But who will be next to challenge the champion?

Hiroki Akimoto

The top contender on everyone’s mind seems to be Hiroki Akimoto. The Japanese standout formerly held the Bantamweight Kickboxing title that Haggerty now holds, but lost it via split decision to Petchtanong Petchfergus in November 2022 . However, at the end of 2023, Petchtanong failed a drug test and was stripped of the title. Instead of rebooking Akimoto for the vacant title, ONE decided to book Bantamweight Muay Thai Champion Jonathan Haggerty vs Bantamweight MMA Champion Fabricio Andrade, to try and create a two-sport world champion. Ever since Haggerty defeated Andrade by knockout, ONE fans have been constantly calling for Akimoto to get the next shot at Haggerty for the Bantamweight Kickboxing Title.

Nico Carrillo

Nico Carrillo made waves at the end of 2023, after knocking out former ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai Champion and Muay Thai legend, Nong-O, earning him the number 1 contender spot. In his post-fight interview, Carrillo called out Haggerty: “Tick tock, tick tock. Jonathan Haggerty, I’m coming for that belt.” After the fight, the Scottish fighter required surgery on his right hand, leaving the title shot open for Felipe Lobo. Now that Haggerty has retained his belt, it is obvious to fans, ONE and Carrillo himself that he is next in line for a shot at the Bantamweight Muay Thai belt. CEO of ONE, Chatri Sityodtong, has expressed interest in doing this fight in the UK, as an all-British showdown.


Superlek is undeniably one of the top Pound For Pound strikers in the world right now. His resume speaks for itself, with his two most recent wins being against Rodtang and Takeru, two ridiculous names to have on your win list. Superlek has historically struggled to make 135lbs, notably weighing in at 140lbs against Rodtang. This has caused fans and ONE themselves to begin discussions of Superlek moving up to challenge Haggerty in an attempt to become a two-division champion, so much to the point where it seems inevitable. Many casual ONE fans may not know that Superlek has previously defeated Haggerty in Yokkao. This will give Superlek a huge edge, despite the change in weight. The question is, which of Haggerty’s belts will Superlek challenge for? Muay Thai or Kickboxing?

Superlek vs Haggerty in 2018

Jonathan Haggerty holding belts in two sports certainly gives him options for contenders to defend against. It’s well known that Superlek would be the biggest fight numbers wise, but many fans believe he needs to defend his Kickboxing belt against Akimoto first. Fans are torn on who should be his next opponent and I’m sure Jonathan himself is too. Regardless, every future matchup that’s on the table for Haggerty would be a brilliant fight. Whether you love or hate him, I feel we’re all looking forward to see what lies for him in the future.

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