On Saturday, 22 September, the world’s largest martial arts organization brings ONE: CONQUEST OF HEROES to the Jakarta Convention Center, and grappling enthusiasts are in for a treat.
While there is no shortage of knockout artists on the star-studded card, it is also full of some of the most talented submission specialists on the promotion’s roster.
From the main event – which will see Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito (13-1) defend his ONE Strawweight World Title against Joshua “The Passion” Pacio (12-2) – to the first bout on the prelims, the show features athletes who know how to force their opponent to tap.
As we get closer to next weekend’s show, relive four of the most dynamic submissions from the stars of ONE: CONQUEST OF HEROES.
Yoshitaka Naito’s Title-Clinching Choke
Fans first saw what Naito could do when he defeated inaugural titleholder Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke for the gold in his promotional debut in May 2016.
The Thai did not make it easy for “Nobita,” however. It was a back-and-forth contest, as Amnuaysirichoke attacked with his legendary Muay Thai arsenal while the challenger battled hard to impose his grappling game.
In the fourth round, the Japanese technician finally secured the bout-ending hold. He landed a single-leg takedown, advanced his position, and as the Thai legend attempted to escape, took his back.
“Nobita” methodically worked to establish his hooks and secured the rear-naked choke. Despite the titleholder’s best efforts to defend, the choke became too deep and he was forced to submit.
Joshua Pacio Unveils “The Passion Lock”
Pacio has long been known as a superstar striker, but lately, he has become a wizard on the mat.
Ever since his loss to Naito two years ago, he has worked extensively on his grappling, and he flashed his “Baguio jiu-jitsu” stylings in July when the Filipino sensation met Pongsiri “The Smiling Assassin” Mitsatit at ONE: REIGN OF KINGS.
Up against an undefeated Muay Thai specialist, he felt his best path to victory would be on the ground.
After a minute, Pacio caught his rival’s kick, and promptly took him down. The Team Lakay product transitioned from dominant position to dominant position, looking for a bout-ending submission.
He found it with nearly a minute and a half left in the opening stanza. The Filipino had Mitsatit’s back, and when his rear-naked choke attempt failed, he grabbed his opponent’s left arm and locked in a jaw-dropping modified kimura to force the tap. After the match, he dubbed the move “The Passion Lock.”
When Pacio meets Naito next Saturday, he will look for another impressive finish. If he obtains it, then he can start calling himself the ONE Strawweight World Champion.
Marat Gafurov Tames “They Honey Badger”
Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat “Cobra” Gafurov (16-1) kicked off his campaign back to the gold on solid footing at ONE: HEROES OF HONOR in April.
After eating a nasty leg kick from Emilio “The Honey Badger” Urrutia, the Dagestani caught his opponent’s next low kick, and then dragged the contest to the ground.
Once the action hit the canvas, Gafurov sought to pass his foe’s guard. Urrutia did not make it easy for him, but “Cobra” took his time, passing into side control, and from there, he squeezed tight to lull his talented adversary to sleep with a constricting arm-triangle choke.
The Dagestani will look to take another step towards the title when he battles Japan’s Koyomi Matsushima (9-3) at ONE: CONQUEST OF HEROES.
Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev’s Sensational Return
After more than a year away from action, Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev (5-1) did not show any signs of cage rust when he returned at ONE: IRON WILL in March.
The Turk faced Japanese star Tetsuya Yamada and looked better than ever. For two rounds, he repeatedly took his more experienced adversary down and wore him out with his formidable striking and relentless pace.
By the third round, it was clear the Turkish lightweight’s imposing offense had taken its toll, and Arslanaliev used it to his advantage.
He put Yamada on the canvas once more, made his way past the Japanese athlete’s defense, and got a deep armbar for the tap.
Now firmly back on track, Arslanaliev will clash with Russian knockout artist Timofey Nastyukhin (12-3) next Saturday in a contest that has “Bout Of The Night” written all over it Saturday.