On Friday, 24 September, the stars of ONE: REVOLUTION treated fans to another epic night of martial arts action filled with knockouts, submissions, and back-and-forth contests.
But he wasn’t the only athlete to shine, as 10 other competitors produced stellar performances at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
That said, here are five key takeaways from ONE: REVOLUTION.
#1 Ok Claims Gold, Resets The Lightweight Division
Ok accomplished what no other ranked lightweight contender could do: he defeated Lee and left the Circle with the ONE Lightweight World Title.
“The Warrior” had ripped through the top of the weight class and just needed to beat the #3-ranked contender to clear out the division. But ultimately, it wasn’t meant to be.
Whether it was striking or grappling, the South Korean had an answer for everything the division’s former king threw at him throughout the five-round thriller, and he engaged with the Singaporean-American right from the opening bell. In the end, all three judges scored the contest in his favor.
Ok has defeated three consecutive MMA World Champions, having previously bested both Marat “Cobra” Gafurov and Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez. And now with the win over Lee, the “Legend Killer” is clearly the man to beat at lightweight.
But also, this victory resets the entire division and instantly creates fresh new matchups for the top-ranked contenders who were unable to dethrone the dominant Singaporean-American.
#2 Malykhin, Kim Earn Well-Deserved World Title Shots
And as a reward for their brilliant knockouts, ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong confirmed that both men will be next in line to challenge their division’s respective World Champions.
Malykhin was the first to secure a World Title shot, having the last laugh against Iranian superstar Amir Aliakbari. The hulking Russian sent his foe crashing to the canvas with an enormous left hook at the 2:57 mark of the opening frame.
With that, he punched his ticket to a clash with ONE Heavyweight World Champion Arjan “Singh” Bhullar next.
In the following matchup, Kim countered #1-ranked featherweight contender Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen’s classic overhand right with a short right hand that landed cleanly onto the Vietnamese-Australian’s jaw. He then unleashed ground-and-pound to close the fight at 3:15 of the first stanza.
“The Fighting God” can now sit back as he waits for his next bout – the winner between ONE Featherweight World Champion Thanh Le and #3-ranked Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon, who collide at ONE X on 5 December.
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#3 Pacio Is Simply Unstoppable
ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio did what he does best inside the Circle and left his opponent on the canvas with yet another marvelous performance.
Pacio ensured that he was at his sparkling best in the trilogy fight with old nemesis Yosuke “The Ninja” Saruta and utilized everything in his striking arsenal to break the #1-ranked strawweight contender’s defense.
The winning moment came when the 25-year-old superstar caught Saruta perfectly with a left hand. He then continued his assault on the Japanese athlete until the referee stopped the contest at 3:38 of the opening round.
That victory cemented the Filipino as the undisputed king of the division and marked him as the best strawweight mixed martial artist on the planet.
Pacio has outclassed every opponent since reclaiming the gold from Saruta in April 2019, and one has to wonder if there is anybody who can dethrone him.
#4 ‘Buchecha’ Shines In MMA Debut
One of the most anticipated bouts of the night featured 17-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, who finally made his long-awaited mixed martial arts debut.
The grappling legend’s first test was against his compatriot Anderson “Braddock” Silva, who had the MMA experience and world-class striking to ruin his big premiere on the global stage.
But “Buchecha” wasn’t fazed and didn’t break a sweat, as he eased his way to a submission victory. Within seconds of the heavyweight clash, Almeida took his countryman down and methodically worked his way to a north-south choke to force the tap at 2:55 of round one.
Almeida crushed his first assignment in the all-encompassing sport and there’s no doubt his next fight will be more challenging. However, if “Buchecha” can continue to utilize his elite grappling to perfection, then there could be no stopping him at all.
#5 ‘The Prodigy’ Is Ready For A Step Up
Undefeated teenage phenom Victoria “The Prodigy” Lee secured another statement win in her women’s atomweight bout against unbeaten promotional newcomer Victoria “Vick” Souza, seeing off her foe with crushing fists and elbows to go 3-0 in her young career.
The 17-year-old athlete has turned heads with her performances so far and appears to be getting stronger with each outing. And following this exemplary showing, it’s quite clear that Lee is ready for a big step up in competition.
It’s no secret that the division is stacked with elite talent, including her sister, ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee.
However, “The Prodigy” has already proven she can hang with the veterans in her rookie year, and she seems poised to make the jump in 2022 and compete against the contenders.