5 Key Takeaways From ONE Fight Night 22: Sundell Vs. Diachkova

Sinsamut Klinmee Dmitry Menshikov ONE Fight Night 22 43

ONE Fight Night 22 on Prime Video gave fans in Bangkok, Thailand, a well-balanced diet of martial arts action topped off with five highlight-reel finishes.

The event went down on Friday, May 3, and featured 11 thrilling submission grappling, kickboxing, MMA, and Muay Thai bouts that aired live in U.S. primetime from Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.

That said, here’s what we learned after the last of ONE’s passionate fan base shuffled out of the iconic arena.

Sundell Is A World Champion At Heart, Belt Or No Belt

Smilla Sundell Natalia Diachkova ONE Fight Night 22 77

Nothing came easily for Smilla Sundell during ONE Fight Night 22 event week, but “The Hurricane” still showed an indomitable spirit. She scored a second-round TKO finish in her main event clash with Natalia Diachkova, making up for a major setback the day before.

After coming in a pound and a half over at weigh-ins, Sundell was stripped of her ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Title and had to instead compete in a 126.5-pound catchweight bout against the Russian.

Being stripped of the belt before a World Title defense could have crush some athletes — but not Sundell. It sparked a new determination in the 19-year-old Swedish star.

Although Diachkova damaged Sundell with hammering strikes at the start of the fight, Sundell began to back her opponent down before landing a rib-roasting body hook. More punches and knees forced “Karelian Lynx” through the ropes, and the referee waved off the action.

Sundell may have celebrated the victory without the belt over her shoulder, but she showed the ability to meet adversity head-on with class and prove she is still a World Champion at heart.

Abdullaev Is Ready For A Top-Five Ranked Featherweight

Before Halil Amir moved down to featherweight to face Akbar Abdullaev, the former finished all three of his lightweight matches by knockout and was looking to transfer that power into a new division.

Instead, Abdullaev stunned the crowd by scoring a second-round KO of Amir, proving he is ready for one of the featherweight division’s top-five ranked contenders.

After the two men separated from a scramble in round two, Abdullaev leaped at Amir with a left hook to the jaw. His rival crashed to the canvas and the Kyrgyz star walked off with his arms in the air.

In doing so, Abdullaev kept his record at a perfect 11-0 and collected his third US$50,000 performance bonus. He also called for a shot at ONE Featherweight MMA World Champion Tang Kai.

While he’s not guaranteed a title shot, Abdullaev is positioning himself as one of the most dangerous threats to Tang’s featherweight throne.

Menshikov Is Prime To Run It Back With Eersel

Sinsamut Klinmee Dmitry Menshikov ONE Fight Night 22 62

After losing to ONE Lightweight Muay Thai World Champion Regian Eersel in just 46 seconds last June, Dmitry Menshikov has been on a mission to prove that he is better than what that highlight-reel clip suggests.

He entered ONE Fight Night 22 against former title contender Sinsamut Klinmee having scored back-to-back knockouts over Rungrawee Sitsongpeenong and Mouhcine Chafi — and Sinsamut was next on his hit list.

The Thai started strong, using leg kicks to steal points on the scorecards. But despite Sinsamut appearing in command, Menshikov reversed his fortunes after landing battering body blows, dagger-like knees to the chin, and skull-splitting elbows.

The bout-ending combination put Menshikov on a three-bout knockout streak that makes him the clear-cut top contender for Eersel’s lightweight Muay Thai crown.

Wei Is A Nightmare For The Bantamweight Kickboxing Division

In his promotional debut, K-1 Champion “Demon Blade” Wei Rui proved to be an instant threat to the ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title by edging past former divisional king and top-contender Hiroki Akimoto.

Akimoto controlled the early portion of the contest, but Wei worked himself back into action as the bout unfolded. It made for a razor-thin result that could have gone either way, but all three judges gave the nod to “Demon Blade.”

Wei’s debut showing put him at the top of the title chase, where he could find himself facing Jonathan Haggerty for divisional gold.

However, “Demon Blade” has to keep a close eye on Akimoto. Given the slim margin of victory, he could have unfinished business with the Japanese kickboxing ace sooner rather than later.

Basilio Is On The Road To Redemption After History-Making Victory

Nanami Ichikawa Bianca Basilio ONE Fight Night 22 35

Multiple-time BJJ World Champion Bianca Basilio told ONE that her match against Nanami Ichikawa would end even quicker than her record-setting ONE debut.

She was right.

When the bell rang, Basilio took Ichikawa to the canvas and climbed on her back in the blink of an eye. As if on autopilot, the Brazilian sunk in a rear-naked choke before Ichikawa even had a chance to defend.

In a blistering 35 seconds, Ichikawa went to sleep, and Basilio bested her previous record of 47 seconds. The speedy performance put Basilio back in the win column, but her prior loss still occupies a place in her mind.

Basilio used her win to call for a rematch with old foe Tammi Musumeci. Netting the fastest ONE women’s submission grappling finish to date will go a long way with helping her cause.

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