5 Big Takeaways From ONE On Prime Video 2: Xiong Vs. Lee III
This past Friday, ONE on Prime Video 2: Xiong vs. Lee III ignited the Singapore Indoor Stadium with a nine-bout card that featured thrilling action from start to finish.
Headlined by two historic World Title fights, the star-studded spectacle delivered a plethora of dizzying moments – from jaw-dropping knockouts to back-and-forth wars and impressive debuts.
Now that we’ve taken some time to catch our collective breath, here are five of the biggest takeaways from a truly memorable night of martial arts.
#1 Xiong-Lee Trilogy Belongs In The Pantheon Of MMA History
Some rivalries feature one classic battle, but strawweight queen “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan and atomweight queen “Unstoppable” Angela Lee have given fans three mind-blowing World Title matches that somehow keep getting better.
Their trilogy bout looked like it would end early when “The Panda” battered Lee with strikes and came close to a first-round finish, but “Unstoppable” rallied back and pushed Xiong to the limit.
Both women had their moments over the next four rounds and then closed the show with a thrilling gut check.
While Xiong ultimately retained her ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title via decision, it’s clear that few trilogies in mixed martial arts come close to this one.
All three contests came down to the bitter end and featured plenty of drama, whether it was a last-round knockout, a last-second submission, or Friday’s razor-thin decision.
Moreover, Xiong and Lee will forever be linked to one another, with fans clamoring to see another show-stopping match on the global stage.
But even if they never step inside the Circle together again, their set of mesmerizing battles will have a special place in the sport’s history.
#2 Musumeci Takes Submission Grappling To New Heights
In Friday’s co-main event, BJJ superstars Mikey Musumeci and Cleber Sousa settled their own trilogy inside the Circle.
The series was tied 1-1 after a pair of clashes in 2017. Five years later, it was Musumeci who took the advantage – and the inaugural ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Championship.
The performance was made even more special with Musumeci becoming ONE’s first-ever submission grappling king on a global platform live in North American primetime.
“Darth Rigatoni” showed how exciting the sport can be with his nonstop aggression and search for a finish against Sousa. The 26-year-old was constantly attacking, and although he could not secure the submission, there was never a dull moment.
ONE’s global submission grappling rule set emphasizes legitimate submission attempts and aggressiveness. Musumeci certainly exemplified that criteria, and he looks primed to elevate the sport into a new stratosphere for years to come
#3 Stamp-Meksen Set Stage For Heated Mixed Rules Super-Fight
Before they even stepped foot inside the Circle for their respective bouts, Stamp Fairtex and Anissa Meksen were already slated for an MMA x Muay Thai mixed rules super-fight on January 13 at ONE on Prime Video 6.
And after their dominant victories on Friday, things got a little spicier.
Meksen delivered another standout performance in her Muay Thai bout against Dangkongfah Banchamek before taking to the microphone and taking a shot at Stamp.
“She’s a dancer. I’m a real fighter,” the seven-time Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Champion proclaimed.
Later on the main card, Stamp came through with a strong performance of her own against Jihin Radzuan – which also featured plenty of dancing – and made sure to offer a rebuttal.
“She says I’m only a dancer, but has she won anything in ONE Championship, like a World Title?” the former ONE Atomweight Muay Thai and Kickboxing World Champion said of Meksen.
Their January tussle was a must-see matchup upon announcement, and after the two superstars poked each other on Friday, it got even more interesting. Make sure to have your popcorn ready.
#4 Freymanov Asserts Himself As Featherweight Contender
ONE newcomer Ilya Freymanov did more than put the featherweight MMA division on notice with his first-round TKO victory over Martin Nguyen. He also became an instant factor in the World Championship picture.
The weight class was blown wide open when Tang Kai claimed the belt in August, so contenders were looking to make a statement at ONE on Prime Video 2.
And while fellow debutant Oh Ho Taek earned a narrow split decision over #5-ranked Ryogo Takahashi on Friday’s lead card, Freymanov shined brilliantly on the main card with a sensational win over the division’s former king.
The 26-year-old’s stellar striking prevented Nguyen from getting into a rhythm and eventually overwhelmed the Vietnamese-Australian star. The finish earned the Russian a US$50,000 performance bonus and thrust him into the thick of things.
There are still many moving parts in the featherweight division, but a matchup between Tang and Freymanov is a mouth-watering prospect. Their recent victories might be a precursor to an inevitable and explosive meeting inside the Circle.
#5 Amir Makes Instant Impact In Lightweight Division
Turkish phenom Halil Amir burst onto the global stage with a second-round knockout of #3-ranked lightweight MMA contender Timofey Nastyukhin to open the ONE on Prime Video 2 main card.
Nastyukhin’s all-out aggression turned into his Achilles’ heel in the second round when Amir stunned him with a stiff overhand right and then swarmed for the finish.
That onslaught never gave the Russian a chance to recover, and referee Herb Dean was forced to halt the bout.
In a division where new challengers need to make noise to grab attention, Amir sent shockwaves with a dominant KO that kept him undefeated in MMA and emphatically announced his presence on the scene.