Heading into his ONE Championship debut, China’s Zhao Zhi Kang predicted a first-round submission against Kun Khmer expert Thai Rithy, and that is exactly what he delivered.
In the first bout on the main card of ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD from the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, on 10 November, Zhao needed less than three minutes to put Rithy on the mat, and finish the contest by rear-naked choke.
Cambodia’s Rithy came firing right out of the gate, and looked for a knockout on the very first exchange of the contest. However, his aggression allowed Zhao to duck under, and get a nice takedown against the cage wall.
The 22-year-old Zhao was relentless with his pressure, endlessly looking to advance his position before moving into the mount, as Rithy did his best to play defense from the bottom.
After flattening the Cambodian on the mat, Zhao slipped his forearm under the chin and locked in a rear-naked choke. Rithy had nowhere to go, and was forced to tap out at 2:31 of the opening round.
The Chinese featherweight moves to a 23-3 in his professional career, and make an impressive showing in his first appearance with ONE. He joins the ranks of a very deep division, and could emerge as a contender very soon.