KUALA LUMPUR: ONE Championship saw plenty of quality action from Malaysian fighters in 2018, with no shortage of scintillating finishes. Here’s a recap of some stand-out stoppages that will linger in everyone’s memory long after the dust of 2018 has settled.
Jordan Boy vs Stergos Mikkios
There were plenty of expectations surrounding the debut of Mohammed 'Jordan Boy' Mahmoud in ONE Championship's Super Series. And the exciting 23-year-old didn’t disappoint.
In front of a roaring hometown crowd at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS in Kuala Lumpur, the Muay Thai prodigy made light work of his Greek opponent, Stergos Mikkios. Barely two minutes into the bantamweight bout, Jordan Boy landed a searing elbow which immediately saw Mikkios drop onto the canvas.
The Greek fighter answered the 10 count from the referee but it wasn’t long before he found himself back where he started, as Jordan Boy blasted him with a heavy straight right to send him to the deck and secure victory.
Suffice to say, it was a dream debut and the ‘home boy’ made sure that he savoured every moment of it, brandishing the Jalur Gemilang ecstatically in front of thousands of his jubilant compatriots.
“I predicted the knockout, and there’s no better feeling than getting your prediction spot on," said Jordan Boy, adding: “I’ve been thinking about that moment every day as everything has been such an eye-opening experience.”
Catch Jordan boy in action next at ONE: HERO'S ASCENT in Manila this Jan 25, 2019.
Muhammed Aiman vs Chen Lei
It wasn’t going to be an easy undertaking. Muhammed "Jungle Cat' Aiman was not only facing an undefeated fighter in Chen Lei, but he had to grapple with the added challenge of having to do it in his opponent’s territory.
And that’s precisely what made made the Malaysian athlete’s victory at ONE: BEYOND THE HORIZON in Shanghai so special.
"Jungle Cat" looked sharp in the opening two rounds and appeared to be doing more effective damage with his strikes. Then, as the second round wound down, he unleashed a powerful body kick that sent Chen scrambling for a takedown while he recovered.
However, the Bali MMA fighter wasted no time in capitalising on his wounded opponent, spinning swiftly to leap onto Chen’s back and sinking in the rear-naked choke to end the scintillating contest. Then, turning to his corner, the victorious “Jungle Cat” roared: “You told me I need to work on my ground. Look at that!”
Jihin Radzuan vs Puja Tomar
Exciting teenager Jihin "Shadow Cat" Radzuan had been earmarked for greatness. And she didn’t disappoint, proving that she meant business during her ONE debut at ONE: VISIONS OF VICTORY in Kuala Lumpur.
Jihin received the warmest of welcome from her fellow Malaysians inside the already raucous arena as she made her long walk to the cage. And when the action started, she repaid them handsomely for their generous support.
The moment the opening bell sounded, the "Shadow Cat" came bolting out of the gates and completely dominated the first round against Tomar, an MMA fighter out of Muzaffernaga, India.
The second round began in similar fashion, with Jihin taking control from the outset. The Malaysian teenager eventually dragged Tomar to the mat and threatened with a variety of submissions. “Shadow Cat” subsequently worked her way to full mount and locked in a masterful triangle choke to force her beleaguered opponent to tap, clinching a memorable win and proving that she's a fighter to look out for in 2019.