The heroes of ONE Championship delivered a plethora of spectacular knockouts throughout the second quarter of 2018.
Over the course of five memorable events, which included the introduction of ONE Super Series, the world’s most talented martial artists displayed their striking prowess and produced several highlight-reel moments.
It was difficult to compose a list of best knockouts from the past three months, because there were so many to choose from, but after some careful deliberation, we came up with our top five for you to enjoy.
#1 Kevin Belingon’s Superb Spinning Back Kick
Roared on by a passionate crowd in Manila, Philippines, Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon produced one of the most impressive finishes of his 11-year mixed martial arts career in April.
The 30-year-old knocked out former ONE Bantamweight World Title challenger Andrew Leone in their headlining clash at ONE: HEROES OF HONOR.
Belingon came flying out of his corner to start the bout and looked like he might overwhelm the Bali MMA figurehead in the opening exchanges. To his great credit, Leone weathered the storm and almost made it to the end of the round.
“The Silencer” was a man on a mission, however, and determined to send the Manila crowd home happy, he unleashed a spectacular spinning back kick that sent Leone flying across the ring.
He followed up swiftly, swarmed his downed opponent, and finished him with a devastating salvo of ground strikes.
The win cemented Belingon’s position as the top contender for the ONE Bantamweight World Title.
#2 Aung La N Sang’s Explosive Uppercut
Myanmar national hero and two-division ONE World Champion Aung La N Sang always puts on performances to remember in Yangon’s Thuwunna Indoor Stadium.
“The Burmese Python” did it yet again, as he knocked out DEEP Openweight Champion Ken Hasegawa in their main-event bout at ONE: SPIRIT OF A WARRIOR in June. It was a bout many have hailed as the greatest in ONE history.
It was a back-and-forth battle from the first round all the way to the fifth. Both men stood toe-to-toe and traded big shots in a grueling ONE Middleweight World Title contest, where neither athlete seemed to take a backward step.
The finish finally came three minutes into the fifth round, when Aung La N Sang uncorked a perfectly-placed uppercut that separated the teak-tough Hasegawa from his senses.
It was a highlight-reel knockout, as well as a career-defining performance. It gave “The Burmese Python” one of the most thrilling victories of his career, and extended his undefeated streak in Myanmar.
#3 Li Kai Wen’s Record-Breaking Combo
When the Chinese hero faced off against Filipino debutant Rodian “The Redeemer” Menchavez, he immediately stormed out of his corner and went on the attack.
He threw a spinning heel kick, unleashed a jab-cross combination, and followed that up with a huge overhand right that knocked Menchavez out before he hit the canvas.
It was a stunning KO from “The Underdog,” and one that earned him the record for the fastest stoppage in ONE’s featherweight division.
#4 Leandro Ataides’ Spectacular Superman Punch
A battle of middleweight contenders at ONE: GRIT AND GLORY in Jakarta, Indonesia, saw five-time BJJ World Champion Leandro Ataides and former ONE Middleweight World Champion Vitaly Bigdash go head-to-head, in a hotly-anticipated contest between top contenders.
Ataides prevailed, but not because of his world-class grappling. He displayed frightening power with his heavy hands to dispatch the previously-unstoppable Russian.
The pair dueled all the way to the middle of the final round, when the Brazilian exploded into action with a thunderous finishing sequence.
A Superman punch initially stunned Bigdash, and then Ataides then took his adversary to the ground and unloaded a salvo of heavy punches to force the stoppage midway through the third frame.
By defeating a former titleholder, “Leo” positioned himself for a shot at Aung La N Sang’s ONE Middleweight World Championship.
#5 Yukinori Ogasawara Spins It To Win It
While Li Kai Wen produced the most memorable mixed martial arts knockout at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER, Japan’s Yukinori Ogasawara turned in the most spectacular stoppage of the evening’s ONE Super Series contests.
He faced Portugal’s Rui Botelho in a Muay Thai flyweight clash, and promptly surprised his adversary with a marvelous spinning back-elbow to clinch the victory.
Botelho applied pressure against the Japanese competitor throughout the second stanza. However, with only seconds remaining in round two, Ogasawara used his Portuguese rival’s aggression against him.
As Botelho threw wild punches, the Tokyo native stepped forward, twisted his hips, and crumpled his foe with a perfectly-placed turning strike.
Incredibly, the Portuguese athlete somehow stood up, but lost his footing and stumbled to the corner of the ring, prompting the referee to call off the bout.