ONE: LIGHTS OUT was the perfect name for the event that took place inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, 11 March.
Of the 10 bouts, only one went to the judges’ scorecards. In total, eight stunning knockouts and one submission occurred during the evening.
After the jaw-dropping performances, fans had a lot to digest. With that said, here are four key takeaways after a wild night in “The Lion City.”
#1 Le Continues To Dominate
Thanh Le propelled himself to the ONE Featherweight World Championship with four explosive knockouts in the organization. During his first World Title defense at ONE: LIGHTS OUT, he made it five.
In 56 seconds, Le torched #2-ranked contender Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon with a heat-seeking right hand as the American grappler looked for a leg lace.
The victory didn’t only confirm his spot atop the featherweight world either. Le’s career-defining win showed that he could compete against even the most seasoned grapplers.
Le’s goal is not simply to wear the ONE Featherweight World Title. He wants to fight the baddest men on the planet. In fact, after his fifth consecutive knockout on the global stage, he called out Ok Rae Yoon for the ONE Lightweight World Championship.
The proud Louisianian has been a dominant force since joining The Home of Martial Arts, and his main event victory proved that he is exactly what he says he is — the best featherweight athlete walking the planet.
#2 Lineker Finally Reaches The Summit
It has been a long and winding road for the Brazilian, but John “Hands of Stone” Lineker finally became a World Champion in the night’s co-main event, and he did so in the aggressive manner that makes him a fan favorite.
Following a frantic first round of action, Lineker survived an early takedown from then-defending king Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes in the second canto. Once back on his feet, Lineker bit down on his mouthpiece and earned the gold with a hammering left hook that signified a new era at 3:40 of the round.
The impactful finish closed the door on the Brazilian rivalry and ended one of the all-time greatest World Championship runs in mixed martial arts history.
The long journey toward the apex of the sport may have culminated last Friday night, but now he wears the bullseye that Fernandes carried on his back for over eight years.
#3 Strawweight Debutants May Be Next Big Thing
Two sterling debuts introduced a pair of new striking stars to the ONE ranks.
Iman “Pretty Killer” Barlow lit up the stage on the lead card in her strawweight Muay Thai clash with Daniela Lopez. The Brit used her slicing elbows to great effect for a first-round TKO victory over the Argentinian.
“Fighting Rooster” Zhang Peimian continued that success on the lead card in his kickboxing bout against Josh “Timebomb” Tonna. The Chinese athlete styled in front of a global audience as he scored a second-round TKO on the strawweight division’s #5-ranked contender.
For their stellar work, the two new ONE Super Series athletes also cashed in on ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong’s US$50,000 performance bonuses.
#4 Indonesia Has A Set Of Rising Stars
Eko Roni Saputra has been submitting his way toward the ONE flyweight athlete rankings for years. Following his sixth consecutive finish inside the Circle, it may be difficult to deny the Evolve MMA representative his spot in the top five any longer.
The Indonesian National Wrestling Champion needed just 94 seconds to secure a rear-naked choke on Chan Rothana and continue to put the flyweight division on notice. With a perfect 100 percent finishing rate, Saputra is quickly becoming the division’s most exciting finisher.
His fellow countryman, Adrian “Papua Badboy” Mattheis, also made noise inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium at ONE: LIGHTS OUT.
On the main card, the Indonesian toppled #5-ranked strawweight contender and former divisional king Alex “Little Rock” Silva five seconds into the second round of their matchup.
Mattheis’ statement victory marked his fifth win in six outings inside the Circle. Moreover, it furthered his case for World Title contention in the red-hot strawweight division.