ONE Championship: Legendary Quest Review and Highlihgts

Stamp retains her title and another UFC veteran fails on their ONE debut

Despite lacking some of the big names of some recent ONE Championship events, this weekend’s Shanghai card held plenty of entertainment.

The Main Event saw Stamp Fairtex (65-15-5) defend her Women’s Atomweight Muay Thai belt against Alma Juniku (24-4-0).  The 18-year-old Australian was making her debut in ONE Championship and clearly must have impressed the talent scouts to be thrust immediately to a title shot.  Despite a very strong performance, the fight went the distance and the judges gave the victory to Stamp, who remains both Muay Thai and Kickboxing Atomweight Champion.

In the co-main, former UFC, Dream and K1 veteran Yoshihiro ‘Sexy Yama’ Akiyama (14-6-2) lost to Malaysian Agilan Thani (9-3-0).  The fight was a close fought back and forth, with Thani scoring points with some superb body slam takedowns in round 1 and 2, and both men trading big hits from standing.  Thani gassed severely towards the end of the second, but managed to stay on his wobbly feet until the bell rang.  With both men exhaustedly clinging on in the third, when the bell went the the judges deemed that Thani had done enough to deserve the win.  The loss means 43-year-old ‘Sexy Yama’ is the latest fighter to join the growing number of former UFC fighters to lose on their ONE debut.  For Thani, this is a welcome return to form after his last two losses and injury time out.

The night was a success for the Chinese athletes on the card, with all 5 athletes winning their bouts and knock outs for Zhang Chenlong (47-12-1), Han Zi Hao (60-16-0) and Fan Rong (10-2-0).  ONE Management will no doubt be happy with the rising prominence of their Chinese fighters as they seek to expand in this key Asian market. 

A few fighters made it onto the ‘fighers to watch’ list.  Reinier De Ridder easily defeated a seriously ripped Gilberto Galvao with a knee to the head in the 2nd round.  The Dutch grappler is now 11-0 overall and 2-0 in ONE, making him a serious challenger in the middleweight division.  Japanese fighter Itsuki Hirata won her ONE Championship and professional MMA debut against Filipino Angelie Sabanal in the women’s atomweight division.  Despite some aggressive striking by Sabanal, Hirata secured a takedown and finished her opponent with a deft kimura in the first round.  That marks the 4th submission victory for her in 4 fights and at only 18 years old is an exciting new addition to the Women’s MMA scene.

Full results

Main Event:

·       Stamp Fairtex def. Alma Juniku by unanimous decision (Muay Thai: Atomweight World Championship)

·       Agilan Thani def. Yoshihiro Akiyama by unanimous decision (MMA: Welterweight)

·       Zhang Chenglong def. Tyler Hardcastle by TKO in R1 (Kickboxing: Bantamweight)

·       Han Zi Hao def. Andrew Miller by TKO in R2 (Muay Thai: Bantamweight)

·       Koyomi Matsushima def. Kwon Won Il by unanimous decision (MMA: Featherweight)

·       Tarik Khbabez def. Anderson Silva by unanimous decision (Kickboxing: Light Heavyweight)

·       Reinier De Ridder def. Gilberto Galvao by TKO in R2 (MMA: Middleweight)

·       Rodlek PK. Saenchaimuaythaigym def. Liam Harrison by unanimous decision (Muay Thai: Bantamweight)

Prelims:

·       Chen Lei def. Anthony Engelen by unanimous decision (MMA: Catchweight 67.5kg)

·       Fan Rong def. Sherif Mohamed by TKO in R2 (MMA: Middleweight)

·       Niu Kang Kang def. Eric Kelly by unanimous decision (MMA: Featherweight)

·       Yoon Chang Min def. Trestle Tan by TKO in R1 (MMA: Lightweight)

·       Itsuki Hirata def. Angelie Sabanal by submission in R1 (MMA: Atomweight)

·       Phoe Thaw def. Victorio Senduk by TKO in R1 (MMA: Featherweight)

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Martial arts fan and writer based in Singapore

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