Tetsuya “MMA Fantasista” Yamada is building momentum towards a shot at the ONE Featherweight World Title.
On Friday, 29 June, the Japanese warrior defeated well-rounded Brazilian dynamo Rafael “Indio” Nunes via second-round TKO, in an exciting featherweight clash at ONE: SPIRIT OF A WARRIOR.
Nunes, who was motivated to reignite his career after being plagued by injuries and personal issues, showed his competitive fire early in the first round. He started the bout off aggressively, and threatened with some heavy punches.
The Brazilian then tried to force the action to the ground with a slew of takedown attempts. Although Yamada resisted his efforts, “Indio” eventually hit a single-leg takedown.
From guard, “MMA Fantasista” put a scare on his opponent. The Kanagawa, Japan native swept his adversary with a kimura and tried locking it in, but Nunes kept rolling to avoid the tap. He was able to escape, and closed out the frame standing over his opponent.
In the second round, it was Yamada’s turn to push the action to the ground and force his opponent to go on the defense. Fans were treated to a BJJ clinic between two excellent grapplers, with neither man allowing the other to secure a dominant position for an extended period of time.
However, when the 28-year-old Japanese athlete had his turn on top, he timed an elbow to perfection, which cut Nunes on his forehead.
With safety being the utmost concern, the referee stopped the action for the cageside doctors to check on the wounded Brazilian. After careful inspection, it was ruled that Nunes would not be able to continue, and the referee awarded the victory to Yamada.
In victory, Yamada improves his record to 26-6-2 and finds himself on a two-bout win streak.