5 Big Takeaways From A Historic Night At ‘ONE On TNT I’
The stars of “ONE on TNT I” continued to make 2021 a memorable year for ONE Championship with a historic evening on Wednesday, 7 April.
Six outstanding bouts, including a showdown for the ONE Flyweight World Championship, captivated the global audience from start to finish. Now that the final bell has rung, it’s time to ruminate on all that transpired and consider what it means moving forward.
Take a seat, grab a snack, and let’s reflect on what we learned during ONE’s massive prime-time event on United States television.
#1 Moraes Is The World’s Best Flyweight
The defending ONE Flyweight World Champion may have entered his World Title fight against Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson as the underdog, but Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes left no doubt that he is the best flyweight mixed martial artist in the world.
Nobody had ever stopped Johnson in 14 years of competition, but that all changed on Wednesday night.
The second-round knockout – spurned on by a brilliant right uppercut that dropped the American before a crushing knee put a swift end to the bout – cemented “Mikinho’s” reign atop the weight class.
The Brazilian’s resume was already worthy of consideration, but after his star-making performance, it’s now indisputable. He sits atop that mountain alone, looking down at hungry challengers who are clawing their way toward their own shot at greatness.
With his emphatic finish against the GOAT, Moraes now has a clear path to usurp that moniker – if he can continue his brilliant run of dominance over the ONE flyweight division.
#2 We Need Alvarez vs. Lapicus II
The highly anticipated lightweight duel between mixed martial arts legend Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez and #2-ranked Iuri Lapicus did not go according to plan.
Just as the action began heating up, with Alvarez holding top control, errant strikes connected to the back of Lapicus’ head, resulting in a disqualification finish.
Neither Alvarez nor Lapicus wanted their clash to end in such fashion, and without a definitive result, a rematch is in order. The matchup had promised fireworks, but they were not given the proper chance to ascend and explode in front of the global audience.
Is it “The Underground King’s” destiny to fight for yet another World Championship, or can the hungry Moldovan earn another shot at glory? To find out, we must see these two superstars square off again.
#3 ‘Reug Reug’ Is A Bad Man
“Reug Reug” Oumar Kane is known as a Sengalese wrestling sensation, and on 24 hours’ notice, he was given a new opponent with a kickboxing background. But Kane was not afraid to display his developing striking arsenal against Patrick “Big Swiss” Schmid.
Heavy punches from the African star sent Schmid reeling backward. Only then did “Reug Reug” rely on his grappling prowess to seal the deal.
The brute-force striking from Kane sent a clear message to the heavyweight division. He is not just a wrestler anymore. Instead, the hulking Senegalese star is an improving mixed martial artist who’s committed to adding every tool needed to become a World Champion.
Meanwhile, the first-round finish left fans on social media clamoring for more. It’s clear the sky is the limit for “Reug Reug.”
#4 ONE Super Series Always Delivers
Mixed martial arts was not the only thing on display in prime time on TNT. Two outstanding matches between four of the best strikers in the world showcased what makes ONE Super Series so great.
Featherweight kickboxers Enriko “The Hurricane” Kehl and Chingiz “Chinga” Allazov continued their well-matched rivalry in a three-round thriller that saw both men land impressive shots. In the end, Kehl narrowly edged his rival to pick up the split decision.
And in a featured showdown to close out the show, ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon welcomed “Mini T” Danial Williams to The Home of Martial Arts. Williams brought the action right to “The Iron Man” in this non-World Title bout, which made their three-round battle a memorable one.
Despite the tough challenge from his tough-as-nails opponent, Rodtang walked away with the unanimous decision win, pushing his record in ONE to 10-0.
Two bouts. Six rounds. Nonstop action. The four men involved left everything inside the Circle and highlighted what makes ONE Super Series absolutely incredible.
#5 Magomedaliev Is Ready For Abbasov
In a hard-fought battle to see which welterweight deserves to challenge reigning king Kiamrian “Brazen” Abbasov, Russian rising star Raimond Magomedaliev emerged as the victor.
The Eagles MMA representative was sharp against American grappling ace Tyler McGuire, defending takedowns with incredible balance and wearing his foe down inside the clinch.
When the United States Airman did get the match to the canvas, Magomedaliev quickly flashed his counter-attacks and reversals.
The Dagestani athlete was patient in picking his spots and never looked to be in any real danger. The complete performance against a tough, determined opponent raised his stock to the top of the division. And with his third consecutive impressive win, Magomedaliev proved that he’s ready to meet Abbasov for the ultimate prize in the sport.