3 Things We Learned From ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker Vs. Andrade II
Last Friday, February 24, fans were treated to another thrilling showcase of martial arts action with ONE Fight Night 7: Lineker vs. Andrade II.
Throughout the U.S. primetime event, the global audience witnessed a number of dramatic, fiery, and emotional matchups at the legendary Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
Those bouts came in four different combat sports disciplines, which saw the crowning of a new divisional king, a dominant World Title defense, and statement victories by contenders at various stages of their careers.
With the dust now settled, here are three things we learned from ONE Fight Night 7.
Andrade And Tawanchai Appear Unstoppable
Brazilian phenom Fabricio Andrade has long considered himself the uncrowned king of the bantamweight MMA division, and he confirmed that belief with a thrilling TKO stoppage of former titleholder John Lineker.
And in the co-main event, Thai superstar Tawanchai PK Saenchai continued to build his aura as a generational talent with a lightning-fast defense of the ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title against Jamal Yusupov.
Andrade has been virtually untouchable since arriving in ONE with a perfect 6-0 record. He dominated Lineker in their first meeting before settling for a no contest, and he picked up where he left off by touching up “Hands of Stone” for four rounds before the opposing corner stopped the match.
Meanwhile, Tawanchai picked up his fourth straight win with a crushing leg kick TKO that rendered his Turkish foe unable to continue. The damaging blow smacked into Yusupov’s thigh, leaving him limping and using the ring ropes to stay upright for a 49-second finish.
Both performances were staggering displays by two of the brightest young stars in all of martial arts.
But 25-year-old Andrade and 23-year-old Tawanchai are not just the future of their respective sports — they are the present.
With so much more room to grow, there’s seemingly no limit to what these two athletes can accomplish. Their dominance and vast potential also leave everyone wondering: Who can end their reigns at the top?
If ONE Fight Night 7 was any indication, it could be a long time before that question is answered.
Danny Kingad’s Grappling Work Has Paid Off
If Danny Kingad‘s flyweight MMA bout with Eko Roni Saputra was supposed to be a striker vs. grappler matchup, somebody forgot to tell “The King.”
Right out of the gate, the Filipino star made a statement with a thunderous takedown of the multiple-time Indonesian National Wrestling Champion. The thud when Saputra’s back hit the canvas echoed off Lumpinee Boxing Stadium’s walls – and reverberated throughout the division.
Kingad would continue to showcase his improved grappling en route to a unanimous decision win, defending his #3 ranking in the process and keeping him firmly in the World Title hunt.
With the surprising route to victory, the Team Lakay representative showed how far along his wrestling has come since he last stepped foot in the Circle.
That dedication to addressing the gaps in his MMA game has paid off, and the 27-year-old appears better prepared to challenge for the gold once again in the future.
Tommy Langaker Looks Ready For Kade Ruotolo
Tommy Langaker entered ONE Fight Night 7 with the sole purpose of positioning himself as the next man to challenge Kade Ruotolo for the ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Title.
And after a slick submission win in just 2:58, the Norwegian BJJ sensation may have secured his position as the next man up for the divisional king.
Opponent Uali Kurzhev was under fire from the opening bell. Once they became entangled on the canvas, Langaker secured an inside heel hook and wrenched until the Russian had no choice but to tap.
During the post-fight interview with Mitch Chilson, Langaker grabbed the microphone and made his callout of the reigning World Champion. Then he was surprised with a US$50,000 performance bonus for his quick work.
With two impressive wins in ONE – and already established as the top European submission grappler – Langaker appears to be setting the stage for a memorable World Title showdown.
And given that Ruotolo has also called for this matchup, there’s plenty of reason to believe it could come in 2023.