MMA legend Demetrious Johnson retained his ONE Flyweight World Title, while two Australians suffered defeats at ONE Fight Night 10 on May 6.
Reece McLaren and Diandra Martin endured a torrid time at the 1stBank Center in Colorado, as ONE Championship made its historic American on-ground debut.
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Queensland’s McLaren had no answer to the wrestling game of former flyweight king Kairat Akhmetov. “The Kazakh” was relentless with takedowns, stifling the Aussie’s striking game en route to a unanimous decision win.
The victory earned the No.2-ranked contender a shot at the ONE flyweight title.
It was also a tough night at the office for Martin, who suffered a first-round knockout loss to American striker Jackie Buntan.
A hard right hand wobbled the Canberra native early, before Buntan closed the show at 2:34 of the opening frame with a two-punch combination.
Despite the defeats, ONE’s landmark event delivered on the hype. Here are some of the highlights from Saturday’s action.
Johnson outlasts Moraes
The main event was a five-round grind, as Johnson dictated the pace against Adriano Moraes in the trilogy showdown between the pair.
Johnson and Moraes were evenly matched across their first two battles and the third proved to be no exception.
Ultimately, “Mighty Mouse” outlasted his Brazilian counterpart on home soil to take out a unanimous decision victory.
The American superstar had teased retirement in the lead-up to ONE Fight Night 10, but he stopped short of an announcement as the crowd implored him to continue his legendary career.
Johnson faced off with Akhmetov in the Circle post-fight, but he also declared that he would have to talk to his wife before committing to another rumble.
Rodtang drops Tabares with pinpoint elbow
Thai superstar Rodtang Jitmuangnon defended his ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title for the fifth time with a second-round knockout of Mexican challenger Edgar Tabares.
“The Iron Man” saw off a spirited first-round effort from Tabares, putting his foot down in the second frame to push the WBC International Muay Thai Champion back with his trademark power punches.
Tabares had a clear game plan to land spinning elbows, but he went to the well one time too many in the second round.
As the 29-year-old attempted another spin, Rodtang slipped the shot and landed a well-placed elbow to send Tabares crashing to the canvas at 1:34.
ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong saw fit to award the 25-year-old with a special US$100,000 performance bonus for the World Title knockout.
After the fight, Rodtang called out former foe and newly crowned ONE Bantamweight World Champion Jonathan Haggerty for a champion vs champion showdown.
Stamp silences the American audience
Charismatic Thai star Stamp Fairtex won the hearts of the American fans at ONE Fight Night 10, not only with her high-energy entrance but also with a scintillating performance.
Taking on hometown hero Alyse Anderson, Stamp was made to work but ultimately, the former ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Champion’s striking skills were too strong.
Stamp caught Anderson with a kick to the liver as the American exited a clinch exchange to claim a TKO win late in the second frame.
With the win, the 25-year-old also took home a US$50,000 bonus courtesy of Sityodtong.
Kadestam shocks the world
Roberto Soldic was one of the most high-profile ONE Championship signings in recent memory, but former ONE Welterweight World Champion Zebaztian Kadestam crashed the party in a big way.
After a back-and-forth opening round in the ONE Interim Welterweight World Title eliminator, “The Bandit” caught the advancing Soldic with a hard elbow to send the Croatian superstar stumbling.
Kadestam raced in to finish the stricken Soldic and did just that, unloading a volley of hard punches to drop the former two-division KSW Champion for the final time.
The shocking upset also earned the Swedish slugger a US$50,000 bonus.
Northcutt pulls out stunning heel hook
Multiple-time Karate World Champion Sage Northcutt made a stunning return to action after four years on the sidelines.
“Super” is normally known for his explosive striking game, but against Pakistan’s Ahmed Mujtaba, the American showed off his improved grappling by snatching a heel hook inside the first minute of the fight.
Northcutt was able to atone for his crushing knockout loss to Cosmo Alexandre in his ONE debut back in 2019, and took home a US$50,000 performance bonus for his efforts.
· ONE Flyweight World Championship: Demetrious Johnson (c) defeated Adriano Moraes via unanimous decision
· ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship: Rodtang Jitmuangnon (c) defeated Edgar Tabares via knockout (elbow) R2, 1:34
· ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Championship: Mikey Musumeci (c) defeated Osamah Almarwai via submission (rear-naked choke) R1, 8:03
· Atomweight MMA: Stamp Fairtex defeated Alyse Anderson via knockout (body kick) R2, 2:27
· Welterweight MMA: Zebaztian Kadestam defeated Roberto Soldic via knockout (punches) R2, 0:45
· Lightweight MMA: Sage Northcutt defeated Ahmed Mujtaba via submission (heel hook) R1, 0:39
· Middleweight MMA: Aung La N Sang defeated Fan Rong via submission (guillotine choke) R2, 0:48
· Middleweight Submission Grappling: Tye Ruotolo defeated Reinier de Ridder via unanimous decision
· Catchweight Muay Thai: Jackie Buntan defeated Diandra Martin via TKO (punch) R1, 2:34
· Flyweight MMA: Kairat Akhmetov defeated Reece McLaren via unanimous decision
· Lightweight MMA: Ok Rae Yoon defeated Lowen Tynanes via unanimous decision
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