3 Biggest Takeaways From ONE Friday Fights 2
ONE Championship kept the action rolling at the world-famous Lumpinee Boxing Stadium with ONE Friday Fights 2 on January 27.
There were 11 high-octane Muay Thai and MMA matches on the bill, and the sounds of the punches, kicks, knees, and elbows reverberated throughout the iconic venue.
With the second installment of the ONE Friday Fights series in the books, take a look at our three biggest takeaways from the explosive card.
Kulabdam Rebounds, Earns Rankings Consideration
“Left Meteorite” Kulabdam Sor. Jor. Piek Uthai made a strong case to be considered one of the bantamweight Muay Thai division’s top-ranked contenders after his second consecutive victory over “The Million Dollar Baby” Sangmanee PK.Saenchai.
The rematch was nowhere near as easy as the first time for “Left Meteorite.” Unlike their initial encounter in August 2020, there would be no knockout. Sangmanee pushed him to the limits for nine straight minutes, but Kulabdam’s powerful multi-punch combinations, fierce leg kicks, and near-knockdown late in the third was enough to give him another win over his Thai compatriot.
It was an important victory for Kulabdam, who was eager to get back into the win column following some recent tough losses. The performance showed that he can face adversity, learn, and return more dangerous than ever. He rebounded on the global stage – and in the main event, no less – against a surging rival.
The 24-year-old made a compelling argument for why he should move into the top-five rankings and potentially challenge for the divisional gold in 2023.
Chalamkhao Is An Instant Strawweight Contender
How does someone assert themselves as a dangerous World Title contender in their ONE Championship debut? One only simply needs to look at Chalamkhao PK.Saenchai’s near-perfect performance against Pettong Kiatsongrit.
For three rounds, Chalamkhao put on a masterclass on how to stay one step ahead of an aggressive, hungry opponent. When the Kiatsongrit Muay Thai Gym athlete was pushing the pace, Chalamkhao’s defense and counterattacks were there to stop him in his tracks.
The PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym representative emerged as a serious contender to ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Champion Joseph Lasiri after one single bout in the world’s largest martial arts organization. This victory showed a potential stylistic dream match, as he could be the perfect foil for the division’s reigning king.
Chalamkhao did everything he needed to do to exit ONE Friday Fights 2 as a future World Title challenger. However, he may have accomplished more than that by setting the stage to be one of the main breakout stars in 2023.
Yodlekpet Lives Up To Lofty Nickname
Certain presumptions exist about an athlete when their nickname is as bold as “The Destroyer.” Four-time Muay Thai World Champion Yodlekpet Or.Atchariya not only lived up to it with a second-round TKO win over Silviu Vitez, but he exceeded all the expectations those two words bestowed upon him.
The wild 140-pound catchweight battle was competitive in the first frame, as Vitez proved to be a strong adversary with a variety of attacks. But Yodlekpet stayed calm, focused, and measured. In the second stanza, precision exemplified why he is called “The Destroyer.”
A sharp elbow careened through the guard of the Romanian and opened a gash on his head. The ringside physician deemed he could not continue, so the bout was stopped moments later.
Yodlekpet’s standout promotional debut instantly marked him as a must-see athlete moving forward.