4 Crucial Takeaways From ONE Fight Night 12

Superlek Kiatmoo9 Tagir Khalilov ONE Fight Night 12 3

ONE Fight Night 12 on Prime Video: Superlek vs. Khalilov made good on its promise to disrupt some of ONE Championship’s most stacked divisions.

Both veterans and rising stars came together on Friday, July 14, in Bangkok, Thailand, to shake up their respective weight classes, and by the time the night ended, a few potential ONE World Title challengers emerged.

That said, these were the biggest takeaways from the ultra-iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.

Superlek Remains Otherworldly

Just three weeks after his last victory, Thai icon Superlek Kiatmoo9 returned for a 135.25-pound catchweight Muay Thai showdown with durable Tagir Khalilov.

The ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion and #1-ranked Muay Thai contender ripped through his Russian foe like an uncontrollable buzz saw.

From the opening bell, Superlek gave Khalilov no room to breathe, painting his foe red with an array of damaging blows.

By never taking his foot off the gas pedal, “The Kicking Machine” finished the job in the second round. Khalilov had no answer for the onslaught of elbows thrown his way, and referee Olivier Coste had to stop the action.

Over the course of the last 12 months, the 27-year-old has gone 6-0 with four knockouts to his credit. To put it simply, Superlek is operating on a different planet. 

Featherweight Contenders Make Their Marks

Garry Tonon and Akbar Abdullaev shined brightly inside Lumpinee Boxing Stadium after scoring impressive finishes to state their case for featherweight MMA contendership.

For #2-ranked Tonon, overcoming the previously unbeaten Shamil Gasanov was key, especially in the early goings. The American survived a series of knees before rallying with a second-round kneebar submission.

Earlier in the night, Abdullaev finished Aaron Canarte in less time than his first appearance on the global stage. In fact, between his two outings in ONE, the 25-year-old has spent less than 90 seconds inside the ring.

In addition to bagging US$50,000 performance bonuses from ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong for their wins, Tonon and Abdullaev are now eyeing the top man in the division. But there are no guarantees with the number of contenders all clamoring for their shot at ONE Featherweight World Champion Tang Kai.

Aliakbari’s Fiery Resolve Reignites Malykhin Rivalry

Amir Aliakbari‘s purpose against Dustin Joynson was to send a message to Anatoly Malykhin, and it only took 108 seconds for the ONE Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion to hear it loud and clear.

The Iranian rebounded from a rough start in ONE to score his third straight TKO finish and put himself in title contention — but not before bagging a US$50,000 bonus for his performance.

For Aliakbari, though, it’s not just about the gold. He wants to avenge the loss he suffered at the hands of Malykhin in September 2021. The renewed rivalry kicked off after the bout when both men came face-to-face during Aliakbari’s post-fight speech with ONE Color Commentator Mitch Chilson.

Aliakbari and Malykhin seem motivated to put an end to each other’s talking. And while the rematch is compelling, it would not have been possible without Aliakbari turning around his fortunes on the global stage.

Phetjeeja Inches Closer To World Title Contention

After Phetjeeja netted back-to-back TKOs and a six-figure contract to ONE’s main roster, “The Queen” stepped into the spotlight at ONE Fight Night 12 against former ONE Interim Atomweight World Title challenger Lara Fernandez — and it was as if she was born for the moment.

Her epic power was on display as soon as the first punch connected. From that moment forward, the bout was on borrowed time. After a quick flurry, the referee stepped in for the save in a record-setting 26 seconds.

The chin-rocking TKO finish was a star-making performance for the Thai. In fact, it earned her a US$50,000 bonus and put her near the top of the women’s atomweight Muay Thai division.

After the bout, Phetjeeja got on the mic to call out ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Champion Allycia Hellen Rodrigues. So, it wouldn’t be surprising if these two met by the end of the year.

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