SHANGHAI, China: The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship (ONE), made a triumphant return to the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai for another night of world-class martial arts action. ONE: Legendary Quest showcased the brightest stars in global martial arts.
In a historic night for Malaysia, former ONE World Title challenger Agilan “Alligator” Thani spoiled the ONE Championship debut of Japanese legend Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama in the co-main event of the night to win via unanimous decision. Agilan showcased much improved striking skills, pressing with a plethora of boxing combinations as Akiyama attempted to retreat to his elite judo. The all-action Malaysian athlete also dominated the grappling sequences throughout the duration of the contest. After a gruelling three-round affair, all three judges scored the bout in favour of the ecstatic Agilan. .
Meanwhile, in the main event, two-sport World Champion Stamp Fairtex of Thailand overcame a game effort from challenger Alma Juniku of Australia to retain her ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Championship. The two women battled through five action-packed rounds, trading spitfire combinations. Throughout the contest, it was Stamp who established her dominance, often getting the better of striking exchanges. The result? All three judges scored the bout in favour of Stamp to win by unanimous decision.
In a ONE Super Series bantamweight kickboxing contest, local star “Muay Thai Boy” Zhang Chenglong scored a destructive one-punch knockout of Australia’s Tyler Hardcastle to notch a first round finish. The action started off furiously from the opening bell, with both men meeting at the centre of the ring. A few heated exchanges ensued before Zhang exploded with a leaping uppercut, catching Hardcastle right on the chin as the Australian crashed to the canvas almost immediately.
In a ONE Super Series bantamweight Muay Thai contest, former ONE World Title challenger Han Zi Hao of China turned in a spectacular performance, stopping opponent Andrew “Maddog Fairtex” Miller of Scotland. It was an intense battle of attrition for the duration of the bout as neither man was willing to take a step backward. However, Han turned up the aggression towards the end of the first round, carrying momentum over into the second where he dropped Miller twice en route to the satisfying knockout win.
Elsewhere, rising featherweight contenders Koyomi “Moushigo” Matsushima of Japan and “Pretty Boy” Kwon Won Il of South Korea put together a spirited three-round battle to the delight of the crowd. Although Kwon brought the punching power, Matushima showcased his superior wrestling skills, controlling the South Korean martial artist on the canvas for the majority of the contest. All three judges scored the bout in favour of the Japanese star to win by unanimous decision.
In a highly-competitive ONE Super Series kickboxing contest, light heavyweights Tarik “The Tank” Khbabez of Morocco and Anderson “Braddock” Silva of Brazil lit up the Baoshan Arena with an action-packed striking showcase. Through three gruelling rounds, the two kickboxing behemoths took each other’s best shots, unloading a series of thunderous combinations at the centre of the ring. In the end, it was Khbabez who emerged victorious by unanimous decision.
Reinier “The Dutch Knight” De Ridder of The Netherlands retained his unblemished record, keeping his 100 per cent finishing rate intact with another highlight-reel technical knockout, this time over Brazilian Gilberto “Giba” Galvao. It was all De Ridder from the sound of the opening bell as the Dutchman was able to close the distance and establish his grappling dominance early. In the second round, De Ridder snatched Galvao’s head in a front headlock position and delivered a series of knees to force a verbal tap-out.
In one of the most entertaining bouts of the night, Muay Thai World Champion Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym announced his arrival to the ONE Super Series stage with a unanimous decision win over the United Kingdom’s Liam “Hitman” Harrison in a Muay Thai bout. Rodlek appeared to be unfazed as he walked through Harrison’s best shots and punished the Brit with stinging jabs and kicks of his own. Harrison picked up steam in the final round as he tried to rally back, but it was too late as Rodlek walked away with the dominant unanimous decision win.
For more details on the rest of the night’s other scintillating clashes, go to www.onefc.com