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4 Big Lessons We Learned From ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY

Jul 13, 2019

ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY brought a night of unexpected and enlightening results to martial arts fans on Friday, 12 July.

Across 15 Muay Thai, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts bouts, the fans inside the Axiata Arena barely had a moment to catch their breaths.

Many of ONE Championship’s heroes lived up to their expectations, and others surprised the local crowd and global fanbase by showing them outstanding performances.

These are four of the biggest lessons we learned from the action in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

#1 The Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Is Wide Open

Giorgio Petrosyan defeats Petchmorakot via unanimous decision in the biggest rematch in kickboxing history, securing a semifinal spot in the US$1,000,000 ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix!

Giorgio Petrosyan defeats Petchmorakot via unanimous decision in the biggest rematch in kickboxing history, securing a semifinal spot in the US$1,000,000 ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix!????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, July 12, 2019

When the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix was first announced, Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan and “The Boxing Computer” Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex were considered the favorites to go all the way and win the US$1 million grand prize.

The first round is now over, and all of that has changed.

Yodsanklai was sent packing by Samy “AK47” Sana, and Petrosyan was not quite the all-conquering force everyone expected him to be across two bouts against Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy.

That is not to say the Italian did not perform brilliantly to defeat the multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion at ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY. The two-time K-1 World MAX Champion was aggressive and as technically superb as ever, as he earned a unanimous decision against one of the most dangerous strikers on the planet.

However, Petchmorakot pushed him all the way once again, which will give the other competitors – including his semifinal opponent, “Smokin'” Jo Nattawut – the idea that he may not be completely invincible like he seemed to be just a few months ago.

#2 Michelle Nicolini‘s BJJ Can Dominate The Elite

Michelle Nicolini stakes her claim for a shot at the women’s strawweight ???? with a spectacular unanimous decision victory over Angela Lee!

Michelle Nicolini stakes her claim for a shot at the women’s strawweight ???? with a spectacular unanimous decision victory over Angela Lee! ????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ????http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, July 12, 2019

Before her match with “Unstoppable” Angela Lee, Michelle Nicolini had scored a few good wins as a mixed martial artist. However, the Brazilian lacked a true marquee win to hang her hat on.

Some questioned whether her striking was good enough to trouble the best women’s strawweights in her new sport, but her performance in Kuala Lumpur proved that her grappling is more than good enough to tackle a superstar.

Nicolini faced her toughest test on the global stage from the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion, but she passed it with flying colors.

The Singaporean may have been allowed to box, kick, and strike on the ground, but she was unable to effectively do any of that, as Nicolini took control with her phenomenal ground game to sweep the scorecards.

#3 Malaysian Martial Artists Can Put On A Show

Ev Ting survives the storm in Kuala Lumpur, coming back strong to submit Daichi Abe with a slick RNC!

Ev Ting survives the storm in Kuala Lumpur, coming back strong to submit Daichi Abe with a slick RNC!????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ????http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, July 12, 2019

Three local heroes thrilled their home crowd with stirring performances that showed their skill, as well as bags of heart and determination.

Up towards the top of the main card, Ev “E.T.” Ting had to weather one heck of a storm from Daichi Abe, but he never wilted under the pressure, and his compatriots almost blew the roof off the Axiata Arena when he claimed a second-round submission.

Things looked pretty scary for Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan at one point, too. The 20-year-old looked like she had Jomary Torres in trouble, but then the Filipina lifted the Johor Bahru native up to slam her – and that has cost other athletes dearly in the past.

Jomary Torres took "Shadow Cat" for a RIDE ????

Jomary Torres took "Shadow Cat" for a RIDE ????????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ????http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, July 12, 2019

Despite that threat, Jihin survived and finished the job in the first round via triangle choke to send Kuala Lumpur into meltdown.

Finally, Mohammed “Jordan Boy” Bin Mahmoud knew he would have to go to war to defeat Saiful “The Vampire” Merican in a ONE Super Series Muay Thai bantamweight clash.

The rising star did not back down, however. He went toe-to-toe with the veteran for three rounds to get the win.

#4 ONE Athletes Should Be Wary Of Evolve’s New Recruits

Aleksi "The Giant" Toivonen makes a MASSIVE statement in his ONE debut with a slick submission victory over Akihiro Fujisawa!

Aleksi Toivonen makes a MASSIVE statement in his ONE debut with a slick submission victory over Akihiro Fujisawa!????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ????http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, July 12, 2019

Both Troy “Pretty Boy” Worthen and Aleksi “The Giant” Toivonen joined Evolve after they impressed the coaches in the elite Singaporean team’s global tryouts, and – in different ways – they showed why in their ONE debuts.

Worthen looks like a terrifying opponent for all but the best defensive wrestlers at bantamweight, as he launched the previously-undefeated Chen Rui onto the mat and pounded away until he got the finish.

Toivonen’s method of victory was impressive in a completely different way. Though he did not take total control of Akihiro Fujisawa, he capitalized on the smallest of openings to finish the contest in an instant.

Whoever faces these men next will have a tough assignment.