ONE Championship kicked off its second martial arts spectacle of the year in record-setting fashion.
On Friday, 26 January, the promotion presented ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, and four preliminary bouts got the show started at lightning speed.
ONE’s heroes did not waste any time, as each of the bouts ended with spectacular first-round finishes. Every match-up delivered with fast-paced action, knockouts, slams, and slick submissions.
Edward Kelly Knocks Out Meas Meul In Record Time
Filipino favorite Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly met Cambodia’s Meas Meul in a battle between two experienced, dangerous strikers, so there was always going to be fireworks. Not many predicted it would be over so quickly, however, as Kelly needed just 21 seconds to register a huge knockout victory with a pinpoint striking combination.
Kun khmer stylist Meul landed first with a low kick, signaling his intent in the bout. But the Team Lakay veteran’s retort came immediately, and with thunderous power. He threw a cross-hook combo to set up a right high kick, and as Meul moved into the shot, he took the full force of Kelly’s knee, which sent him crashing to the canvas.
“The Ferocious” showed great sportsmanship to check on his opponent, and was emotional in his post-bout interview, stating, “I’m so happy — not for myself, but for my team.”
In victory, Kelly elevates his record to 10-4, and set the record for the fastest knockout and overall finish in ONE Championship’s featherweight division with the 21-second stoppage.
Torres Makes History With Record-Setting Slam KO
Catalan Fighting Systems’ Jomary “The Zamboanginian Fighter” Torres met Team Lakay’s April Osenio in an all-Filipina atomweight contest.
In just 40 seconds, Torres didn’t just shock the Mall Of Asia Arena, she made history, too.
It was another frantic start, with both athletes looking to threaten. Osenio looked to control the early going, and landed some good low kicks on her opponent. “The Zamboanginian Fighter,” however, worked her way in for a takedown, but immediately had to fend off a guillotine choke.
As she escaped, Osenio again went on the attack looking for an armbar, but Torres hoisted her into the air, and slammed her back down into the canvas with such impact that the Team Lakay fighter was knocked out instantly.
It was a sight to behold, as the Catalan Fighting Systems product displayed such strength and power. She also set the record for both the fastest finish and knockout in ONE’s women’s history, moving to an impressive 4-0 in the process.
Rajinder Singh Meena Makes India Proud With Submission Win
India’s Rajinder “Knockout” Singh Meena showed that perseverance pays off, as he snapped a six-bout skid and earned his first promotional victory on the global stage of ONE Championship.
Meena has taken on consistently tough opposition, such as Amir Khan and Shannon Wiratchai in 2017 alone, but this time he managed to hand China’s “The Ghost” Zhang Ze Hao his first defeat in the promotion. “Knockout” dropped him to the mat with punches, and then capitalized with a slick submission finish after just 41 seconds in round number one.
Both men were keen to engage from the beginning, testing the water with their punches. With the confidence of a young warrior, “The Ghost” charged forward to pressure Meena. But the Indian veteran remained calm and lived up to his moniker, as he dropped his foe with a series of hard hooks. The Indian took advantage of his dazed opponent by locking up a tight guillotine and applied pressure until his opponent went to sleep.
It was an emotional win for Meena, who scored the submission on India’s Republic Day. It was also the second-fastest submission in ONE lightweight history.
“It feels unbelievable,” he said in victory. “This is for India.”
Matheis Opens Prelims With Furious Victory
Adrian “Papua Badboy” Matheis engaged in a fast and furious battle with Eddey “The Clown” Kalai in the opening bout of the night.
Though Kalai was able to land hard punches and gain some favorable positions, it was Matheis’ in-cage experience that would ultimately see him turn the tables, and finish with a rear-naked choke in the first round.
Matheis opened up with heavy low kicks to try and slow down the experienced Malaysian boxer, but Kalai was able to land some hard straight punches that forced “Papua Badboy” to initiate a clinch. The positional exchanges went back and forth, with Kalai, a two-times SEA Games boxing bronze medalist, surprising the Indonesian with his quick reactions and scrambling.
“The Clown” landed hard shots from the mount and looked to attack for chokes, but Matheis’ resilience saw him through every attack. “Papua Badboy” was finally able to secure another takedown after escaping to his feet, and from there, worked swiftly to back control before locking in a tight rear-naked choke inside the last minute to turn his fortunes around.
Matheis now finds himself on a two-bout win streak, and starts 2018 in winning fashion.