A stacked double-header of events in May saw many of the world’s most talented martial artists grace the ONE Championship cage.
Not only did fans get excited about “the big kibosh,” as lead commentator Michael Schiavello called knockouts in his unmistakable style, they were also treated to a multitude of masterfully executed submissions.
Here are four of the best from this past month.
Shinya Aoki’s Slick Triangle Choke
This was a pivotal moment for Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki.
When the Japanese legend met Rasul Yakhyaev in a lightweight encounter at ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS, he was on a two-bout losing skid for the first time in his 15-year mixed martial arts career.
Despite the danger posed by the Russian, and the threat of an unprecedented third straight defeat, Aoki did not play it safe. Instead, the exciting grappler went straight on the hunt for a quick finish, and pulled off a stunning moment of brilliance.
The 35-year-old jumped into an omoplata position and swept Yakhyaev to establish top position in the very first minute. He then methodically worked to pass guard, and slid into a mounted triangle.
Once Aoki rolled onto his back, Yakhyaev tried to punch his way out of danger, but his arm was trapped and the hold was too tight. The Russian was forced to submit at 3:15 of the very first round.
Stefer Rahardian Chokes His Way To 9-0
After spending the past few years tearing through the flyweight division, Stefer Rahardian dropped down a weight class at ONE: GRIT AND GLORY.at At the Jakarta Convention Center, he successfully kickstarted his strawweight campaign to the delight of his hometown crowd.
It took the undefeated Indonesian martial arts hero just 40 seconds to shoot in for a takedown on India’s Himanshu Kaushik.
Once Rahardian set his grappling game into motion, it was clear his fierce submission acumen was going to pose big problems for the seven-time Indian national wushu champion.
Rahardian transitioned immediately to his opponent’s back, softened Kaushik’s defenses with punches, and then locked in an exceptional rear-naked choke to force the tap at 2:25 of the first round.
Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol Gets Her Hat Trick
Jakarta native Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol was determined to leave ONE: GRIT AND GLORY with her third straight victory of 2018.
Initially, the Indonesian national wushu champion seemed to want to engage in a stand-up battle with Filipina striker Rome “The Rebel” Trinidad in their atomweight clash.
Her plans changed when Trinidad countered a side-kick and initiated the clinch. However, she walked straight into trouble, as Lumban Gaol snaked her arm around her opponent’s neck to set up a guillotine choke, and held it tight as she was pressed against the fence.
After almost 90 seconds of battling from this position, Lumban Gaol pulled “The Rebel’ to the mat to bring the match to a conclusion. Trinidad desperately tried to escape, but it was too tight, and the Filipina tapped out halfway through the opening stanza.
Elipitua Siregar Puts His Opponent To Sleep
Elipitua Siregar‘s victory at ONE: GRIT AND GLORY would have been impressive under any circumstance. As a mixed martial arts debutant up against a veteran who already had experience under the bright lights of ONE Championship, it was even more noteworthy.
The Indonesian national wrestling champion began his first professional bout against Dodi “The Maung” Mardian by by showcasing his takedown ability – dumping his opponent to the mat before landing effective ground and pound.
Once Mardian gave up his back, Siregar instantly secured a tight rear-naked choke and locked in a body triangle. “The Maung” was in deep trouble.
Siregar squeezed tighter, and subsequently put his rival to sleep with 61 seconds remaining in the first round.