At ONE 159, Janet Todd is taking on Lara Fernandez in defense of her ONE Championship Strawweight Kickboxing title in the co-main event. Fernandez is a promotional debutante and Todd looks to give her a rude awakening to the top of the division.
Lara Fernandez looking to shock the world at ONE 159
At ONE 159, Lara Fernandez should be the underdog. Her accolades are fantastic. She’s the reigning WBC World Muay Thai Flyweight Championship. But this bout is a kickboxing fight and will take away some of Fernandez’ best weapons against Todd. Her last win came on March 9, 2020, against Grace Spicer in Combat Fight Series. There, Fernandez took an easy decision against Spicer to retain her belt. Now she steps up to one of the biggest kickboxing promotions in the world.
Against Spicer, Fernandez had success with the elbows up the middle and over the top. Unfortunately, in Muay Thai those are allowed. But the ONE 159 fight is a kickboxing match, and the elbows are not allowed. This will hurt Fernandez. She has a good 1-2 but it only works for her when the opponent is willing to stay in the pocket. Her strikes are varied, and she throws a good mix of strikes.
Down the stretch, Fernandez didn’t fade that much, albeit the fight was with 2-minute rounds. The fight with Todd will be three-minute rounds and a longer, harder fight. Fernandez will have to put on a career performance against Janet Todd if she wants to take home the title on the night.
Janet Todd: The Title’s Hers to Lose
For Janet Todd, this fight should be a victory lap. No disrespect to Fernandez but there are levels to the fight game and Todd is a level or two above the reigning WBC champ. Her last bout against Anne Line Hogstad at ONE on TNT 2 was a masterclass. Todd was in control of the fight from start to finish and I don’t look for her title defense at ONE 159 to be any different.
One thing Todd does well is exiting on an angle. Against Hogstad Todd did a good job of not being where her opponent thought she would be after an exchange. This kept Todd out of trouble and set up even more offense for Janet Todd.
Todd checked leg kicks from Hogstad as well and you can rest assured that Fernandez will bring this weapon into their fights. Todd also used the low kick against Hogstad smartly as well. As she was exiting on the angle, she’d often throw the leg kick off the pivot as Hogstad was out of position, knocking her off balance.
Against Lara Fernandez, I’m expecting almost exclusively one-way traffic from Janet Todd. Her 1-2 is the faster and more accurate one, her footwork is superior, and her power is more punishing. Fernandez is a good addition to the ONE roster, sure, but a title fight against someone with wins over Stamp Fairtex and Ekaterina Vandaryeva are worth a lot more than Fernandez’ win over Grace Spicer, who was an IKF and WBC champion in her own right.
In addition to covering the ONE Championship for My MMA News, Blaine Henry, the author, also analyzes fights from all combat sports across the globe.
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it.