5 Highlights From ONE Fight Night 8: Superlek Vs. Williams
ONE Championship returned to the hallowed halls of the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, March 24, for ONE Fight Night 8: Superlek vs. Williams on Prime Video.
Ten bouts fueled the event with nonstop martial arts excitement, and the winners of the two headlining matchups displayed exceptional World Championship skills. The memorable event showcased the present and future of martial arts across four different disciplines.
Having said that, here are five of the most outstanding highlights from another night in “The Lion City.”
Superlek’s Destructive World Title Defense
Danial Williams showed his warrior heart by stepping up on short notice to battle Superlek Kiatmoo9 for the latter’s ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Championship, but the Thai superstar proved he is on another level.
“The Kicking Machine” exemplified his nickname in the first round as his kicks menacingly echoed off the Singapore Indoor Stadium’s walls. His output only picked up from there.
To Williams’ credit, he continued to march forward in the third round, seeking a monumental upset. Instead, he found Superlek’s knee as the flyweight champion launched a head kick toward him. “Mini T” somehow managed to meet the referee’s count, but the end would soon follow.
Sensing the finish was near, Superlek turned up the heat with an electric combination of strikes, finishing with a right cross that put Williams down and out for good.
The third-round knockout marked Superlek’s first defense of the ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Championship and earned him a US$50,000 bonus from ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. Superlek’s aura of invincibility is growing, making the already arduous task of unseating the champion seem impossible.
Rodrigues’ Inspiring Return To The ONE Circle
Heading into ONE Fight Night 8, Allycia Hellen Rodrigues wanted to inspire mothers worldwide, and she accomplished that mission with a memorable five-round war against Janet Todd. It was a bout that ended with the Brazilian becoming the undisputed ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Champion.
Rodrigues — the defending ONE Women’s Atomweight Muay Thai World Champion — started slow but began finding her rhythm in the third frame. The 24-year-old’s stinging punches piled up and left Todd wearing the damage as the match entered the championship rounds.
The Phuket Fight Club representative only got better as the action went into deeper waters. Her crisp combinations found their mark, and when the clinch came into play, her elbows and knees battered the interim titleholder in Todd.
After more than two years away, Rodrigues returned with a sterling performance like she never missed a day from the gym. She remained perfect on the global stage and improved her overall record to 32-6 as the unquestioned atomweight queen.
Abdullaev’s Blistering 44-Second Debut
Akbar Abdullaev entered the Circle with a perfect professional record and a perfect 100 percent finishing rate. Forty-four seconds after the bell rang for his featherweight MMA bout against Oh Ho Taek, he kept those credentials intact.
As the two featherweights quickly mixed it up, Abdullaev rocked his South Korean foe with a huge uppercut. As Oh attempted to regain his footing, the 25-year-old pounced with furious ground-and-pound strikes.
The Kyrgyzstani’s flawless debut was a star-making moment for the newcomer, who instantly became someone to watch in 2023. The featherweight division was forced to take notice of another exciting athlete joining its ranks.
The swift victory also caught the eye of Sityodtong, who awarded Abdullaev an additional US$50,000 for his lightning-fast ONE debut.
Zhang’s Redeeming Moment
“Fighting Rooster” Zhang Peimian sent a message to Jonathan Di Bella that he is ready for a ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Championship rematch after putting on a nine-minute striking clinic against Torepchi Dongak.
The Chinese teenage sensation’s speed, accuracy, and aggression were captivating. Although Dongak showed warrior’s spirit, there was little he could do to catch up on the scorecards. Following three action-packed rounds, Zhang got the clear-cut unanimous decision.
“Fighting Rooster’s” rib-roasting body shots, leaping knees, and whirlwind combinations left the Singapore Indoor Stadium crowd and global viewers marveling at his skills.
His tenacious performance earned him the night’s first US$50,000 performance bonus, pushed his professional record to 17-2, and kept him at the top of the contender’s list.
Abasolo’s Stunning Victory
Eddie Abasolo was sharp from the opening bell in his 158.5-pound catchweight Muay Thai contest against Niclas Larsen, ending the match with a right elbow that crashed into Larsen’s eyebrow. With early damage showing on the #5-ranked featherweight contender, Abasolo was off to a hot start.
Although Larsen seemed like he was going to turn the tide after landing a clean left hook on the American, “Silky Smooth” immediately responded by stepping in and crushing the Dane with a straight right that ended the bout at 2:14 of the second round.
Abasolo’s first win on the global stage improved his striking record to 14-4. The impressive stoppage sent a message to the top featherweight strikers that a new power player has arrived, and his intent is to shake up the division.