5 Highlights From ONE 161: Petchmorakot vs. Tawanchai

Senegalese MMA star "Reug Reug" Oumar Kane flexes hard before his fight

ONE 161: Petchmorakot vs. Tawanchai delivered on all promises last Thursday in Singapore.

The 11-bout lineup delivered a diverse array of martial arts excitement inside the Circle before capping off the proceedings with the coronation of a new World Champion.

Here, let’s relive the best action from ONE 161 with five of the most electric moments.

Tawanchai’s Crowning Moment

Tawanchai PK.Saenchai has long been lauded as a generational talent.

And in Thursday’s main event, the 23-year-old realized those prophecies with a unanimous decision win over Petchmorakot Petchyindee to claim the ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Championship.

The collision of top Thai stars offered up five rounds of elite striking – and a matchup that hung in the balance until the very end.

Tawanchai was sharp in the early rounds with stinging left hands and quick combinations. Petchmorakot responded, but the challenger’s strikes delivered more impact. The defending king then rallied in the fourth frame to set up the dramatic conclusion.

In those last three minutes, the trademark left hand and thudding kicks from Tawanchai put him ahead for good.

As a result, all three judges awarded the bout to the rising phenom, who slung the 26.4-pound ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title belt over his shoulder to mark a new era in the division.

Kryklia’s Power Translates Perfectly To Heavyweight

If there were any concerns that ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion Roman Kryklia would have any problems in a heavier division, he shut them down with a 52-second knockout of Guto Inocente in the ONE Heavyweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix semifinals.

From the opening bell, the Ukrainian superstar advanced forward into the face of his opponent. Unbothered by the strong kicks coming toward him, he threw strike after strike while trying to break through the Brazilian’s guard.

Less than a minute into the first round, Kryklia feinted with a right jab and then flattened his foe with a brilliant straight right hand to the jaw. Inocente answered the referee’s count, but he was on wobbly legs, and the bout was waved off after a follow-up head kick connected flush.

The performance was worthy of Kryklia’s status as the tournament favorite and earned him an additional US$50,000 bonus. Next, he’ll carry a 12-fight winning streak into the tournament final against Iranian slugger Iraj Azizpour.

Teo Puts Lee On Notice In Atomweight Debut

Former two-time ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title Challenger Tiffany Teo announced herself as a serious threat in the atomweight division with a dominant first-round submission victory over Indian wrestling star Ritu Phogat.

After struggling to find any rhythm on the feet, Phogat brought the bout to the canvas. However, Teo quickly reversed the position, took her opponent’s back, and began hunting for opportunities.

Although Phogat defended the early choke attempts, the Singaporean was relentless and began dropping knees that forced her foe to open up. Once Teo was able to trap the left arm with her leg, she got under the chin and secured the bout-ending rear-naked choke.

With the emphatic win in her atomweight debut, Teo wasted no time calling out reigning divisional queen Angela Lee in her post-match interview.

Reug Reug Looks Better Than Ever

“Reug Reug” Oumar Kane returned to the Circle with a vengeance and scored a second-round TKO win over Batradz Gazzaev in their heavyweight MMA battle.

After suffering his first career loss in April 2021, “Reug Reug” was dead set on showing he’s made the necessary improvements to rejoin the ONE Heavyweight World Title picture. Looking in the best shape of his career, the Senegalese wrestling sensation backed up his words.

Kane showed tremendous strength and balance as he defended Gazzaev’s wrestling attack in the opening round while flashing his improved stand-up skills.

After defending another takedown in the second round, “Reug Reug” moved into mount, where he rained down heavy ground-and-pound to get the referee stoppage.

The crucial victory put “Reug Reug” back on a path toward the top with his perfect 100 percent finishing rate.

Marello Makes History With 15-Second Submission

BJJ star Rodrigo Marello etched his name into the record books in his promotional debut with a lightning-quick submission of sambo specialist Ruslan Bagdasarian in their bantamweight submission grappling bout.

As soon as the bell rang, Marello took the action to the canvas while lacing up his opponent’s leg. Bagdasarian tried to keep control of the Brazilian’s hand, but he couldn’t prevent him from grabbing an ankle lock.

After just 15 seconds of action, the Russian tapped, and Marello secured the fastest victory in ONE submission grappling history.

The record-breaking win showed the power of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and also netted Marello US$50,000 in bonus cash. Next, we’ll see what he can do for an encore.

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