It was no surprise that ONE: DAWN OF VALOR delivered some outstanding martial arts action on Friday, 25 October, but some of the results certainly opened a few eyes.
The fans at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia, saw some athletes rise to the occasion like never before, and elevate their position on the global stage with some brilliant performances that taught us a lot about what they can achieve.
These are five key lessons we learned from watching them go to battle at ONE Championship’s latest live event.
#1 Kiamrian Abbasov’s Grappling Is On A Different Level
Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam won and defended the ONE Welterweight World Title by shutting down powerful grapplers and putting his world-class Muay Thai to work. Against Kiamrian “Brazen” Abbasov, he could not do that, and a new top dog emerged in the division.
The athlete from Kyrgyzstan was happy to trade some strikes, but the story of the contest was his ability to take his rival from Sweden for a ride in the first four rounds – with powerful double-leg takedowns, well-timed trips, and even a spectacular lateral drop.
Down on the canvas, he exerted almost complete control, which neutralized Kadestam’s best weapons and sapped the defending World Champion’s strength. That meant he was far less explosive with his strikes and more vulnerable to another takedown on the rare occasion he was on his feet.
If “Brazen” can establish his wrestling game against any of his challengers, he has the potential to dominate the ONE welterweight division through 2020.
#2 Eersel Is The Future (And Present) Of His Division
Regian “The Immortal” Eersel doubled down on his dominance of his division as he defeated the legendary Nieky “The Natural” Holzken for the second time to defend his ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Title.
The Dutch martial arts icon was expected to return with a new fire and show all the skills that made him a seven-time World Champion, but his compatriot put on an even more convincing performance in this rematch.
The first time they met, Eersel deserved his victory, but the match was competitive throughout. This time, he executed his game plan perfectly to shut down any attempts by Holzken to gain a foothold in the contest, and ran away with a wide unanimous decision.
For more than half a decade, “The Natural” was considered to be the division, but now the torch has been well and truly passed, and his compatriot’s bulletproof composure, unwavering confidence, and a spectacular array of striking techniques suggest it is going to take an elite athlete at the peak of their powers to dethrone him.
#3 Indonesian Talent Continues To Rise
It was a big night for Indonesia as a clutch of rising stars produced memorable performances in front of a passionate local crowd.
Six athletes walked away with victories on home soil in Jakarta, including the first lady of the country’s mixed martial arts scene, Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol, who thrilled the crowd in a back-and-forth battle with Bozhena “Toto” Antoniyar to take a hard-earned victory by decision.
There was also a first win inside the Circle for National Freestyle Wrestling Champion Eko Roni Saputra, while strawweight contender Stefer “The Lion” Rahardian bounced back with the kind of dominant performance that saw him rise to prominence.
Earlier in the evening, national bantamweight champion Abro “The Black Komodo” Fernandes took the spoils in a flyweight contest to claim his first win on the global stage, and there were also wins by first-round stoppage for young rising stars Elipitua “The Magician” Siregar and “Zenwalk” Adi Paryanto.
If these competitors continue to improve, fans in the nation’s capital should have plenty of their compatriots’ wins to cheer when The Home Of Martial Arts comes to town throughout 2020 and beyond.
#4 Wang Could Gatecrash The ONE Super Series Elite
Chinese kickboxing phenom Wang Junguang ???? KNOCKS OUT ???? Federico Roma in a dominant ONE Super Series debut!????: How to watch ???? bit.ly/ONEDAWNVALOR????: Book your hotel ???? hotelplanner.com????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? bit.ly/ONESuperApp????: Shop Official Merchandise ???? bit.ly/ONECShop
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, October 25, 2019
“Golden Boy” Wang Junguang delivered an outstanding display of striking in his ONE Super Series debut to announce his arrival as a serious threat to the best strawweights on the global stage.
The Chinese athlete showed why he is an Enfusion kickboxing World Champion as he put on one of the most impressive individual displays of the night to take out Federico “The Little Big Man” Roma inside a round.
He exhibited a cool head to contend with the two-division World Kickboxing Network Champion, and then stunning punching power that could set him apart from many of his peers in the strawweight division.
The weight class is still in its infancy, but you can expect the man from Henan to be in the running for its inaugural World Title if he continues to perform like this. Before that, the prospect of the extravagant 24-year-old going toe-to-toe with more of the best strikers in the world is a mouth-watering one.
#5 Tokudome Looks Reborn At Lightweight
Japanese ???????? star Kazuki Tokudome snags a unanimous decision win over a debuting Johnny Nunez!????: How to watch ???? bit.ly/ONEDAWNVALOR????: Book your hotel ???? hotelplanner.com????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? bit.ly/ONESuperApp????: Shop Official Merchandise ???? bit.ly/ONECShop
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, October 25, 2019
Before Kazuki Tokudome joined ONE, he had earned a reputation as a high-caliber competitor thanks to his reign as Pancrase Lightweight World Champion.
However, when he began his campaign in the world’s largest martial arts organization, he faltered against two of the best featherweights on the planet.
He has now put those results behind him and showed that he is at his best at lightweight thanks to a pair of impressive victories – including his domination of Johnny Nunez in Jakarta to earn the 20th win of his career.
Despite “Johnny Boy’s” extensive wrestling background, the Japanese veteran controlled the grappling for all three rounds. That built on the 32-year-old’s impressive striking display in May to show he is firing on all cylinders.