“The Lion City” roared on Friday, 11 February, as ONE: BAD BLOOD delivered ten outstanding mixed martial arts and Muay Thai contests.
By the end of the evening, a new ONE Interim Heavyweight World Champion was crowned and nine other athletes bolstered their records with superb displays of martial arts skills.
Fans are now left wondering what’s next for the athletes who found success at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Having said that, we look back on the event to uncover the lessons learned after another night of ONE Championship action. Here are four of them.
#1 ONE Needs A Unified Heavyweight World Champion
In the lead up to ONE: BAD BLOOD, Anatoly “Sladkiy” Malykhin promised that he’d walk away with the ONE Interim Heavyweight World Championship after his clash with Kirill Grishenko. And in their main event showdown, the Russian stayed true to his word, scoring a second-round knockout of his opponent.
Malykhin has had one dominant performance after another ever since stepping into The Home of Martial Arts, and plenty of big men will now be eyeing him up. However, following his knockout win on Friday night, the Russian with an 11-0 record wants to step into the Circle with only one man next – ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan “Singh” Bhullar.
“Sladkiy” believes he – not Bhullar – is the best heavyweight in the world, and at this point it’s difficult to argue with the charming megalith. A 100 percent finishing rate highlights his unbeaten record, and nobody has come close to threatening him yet.
But maybe Bhullar can, and this is why a unification bout is so enticing. Luckily for fans, “Singh” and ONE have agreed to contract terms, so this fight will likely go down soon.
#2 Woo May Be The Next Flyweight Star
Debuting South Korean mixed martial artist “Dynamic” Woo Sung Hoon earned an extra US$50,000 for his blistering 18-second knockout of Yodkaikaew “Y2K” Fairtex, which turned out to be the second-fastest knockout in the history of ONE’s flyweight division.
The Team Mad athlete accomplished the feat with a short left hook followed by a dynamite overhand right that floored the skilled Thai striker. As Woo followed up with more punches to his fallen opponent, referee Olivier Coste slid in to make the save.
The scintillating debut victory pushed his win streak to eight bouts. Moreover, Woo’s bonus-winning performance at flyweight put him on the map in one of the most talent-rich divisions in all of martial arts.
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#3 When One Career Ends, Another Begins
“Mini-T” Danial Williams made his organizational strawweight mixed martial arts debut against one of his biggest heroes, former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, and the meeting proved to be a passing of the torch.
In the high-paced match, Dejdamrong and Williams threw leather at a breakneck pace. However, it was Williams who scored the finish after a laser-beam right hand crashed into the veteran’s midsection in the second round.
The Aussie’s unforgettable showcase proved that his nonstop aggressive style makes him one of the sport’s most electric athletes to watch.
Following Williams’ stunning body-shot knockout, Dejdamrong announced his retirement on Facebook. It was a symbolic moment in which the Thai legend handed the flame to one of the sport’s most exciting up-and-coming strikers in Williams.
#4 The Heavyweight Division Keeps Growing
Odie “The Witness” Delaney stepped into the Circle with a strong grappling pedigree, and he flashed those skills under the bright lights of the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Once the bout hit the canvas, the American worked diligently to advance his position against Thomas “The Last Viking” Narmo. Delaney grabbed control of his opponent’s left arm, and as the Norwegian rolled onto his left side, “The Witness” secured a modified hammerlock to attack his foe’s shoulder.
Narmo was quick to tap as the submission became too much for him to withstand.
With his decorated background, the American Top Team athlete had a debut to remember, and it served as a warning to other elite heavyweights that he has arrived on the global stage.