ONE: FULL BLAST II kick-started the weekend with four incredible martial arts contests.
In each of the Muay Thai, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts matches, athletes delivered standout performances to put their respective divisions on notice. It was a testament to the incredible depth of talent at every weight class in ONE Championship.
Following the fast-paced, hard-hitting event, here are five critical takeaways from a fun night in Singapore, which aired on Friday, 11 June.
#1 Mongkolpetch Is A Top-Five Flyweight
The Petchyindee Academy athlete was crisp throughout Friday’s main event, and his quick counter straight right scored the bout’s lone knockdown in the second frame. Throughout his 12 rounds of ONE Super Series action, Mongkolpetch has been nearly peerless.
The latest victory also displayed the depth of ONE’s flyweight strikers. Even at 3-0, the Thai athlete had not yet cracked the list of top five contenders – all of whom are chasing ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon.
Of course, that’s sure to change when the new rankings are released. Mongkolpetch made a major statement when the lights shined brightest.
#2 ‘Spear’ Could Become A True Threat At Lightweight
The American mixed martial artist entered ONE with an undefeated professional record and a 100 percent finishing rate that included four consecutive rear-naked chokes.
However, “Spear” gave him a rude welcome to the global stage with an outstanding performance that puts him right in the thick of the stacked division.
The Mongolian striker showed his progression as a complete martial artist in his last outings against Eduard “Landslide” Folayang and Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai. And against Wilhelm, he used a perfect game plan to frustrate the grappling star and keep the match standing.
The tip of the “Spear” is ever-sharpening and ready to pierce the division’s upper echelon.
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#3 Yoon Shows Elite Potential By Outgrappling A Grappler
The performance was not only significant for the victory. In a surprising development, the feared striker showed the world a new element to his game, outgrappling a Chinese National Freestyle Wrestling Silver Medalist in an expedited fashion.
The rest of the featherweight division will surely take notice of Yoon’s victory and realize they will be in peril no matter where the action takes place. As he continues to add more weapons, the South Korean is quickly becoming one of the most exciting athletes in his weight class.
And “The Big Heart’s” growth as an overall mixed martial artist means he will be a major factor in the division for many years to come.
#4 Naito Could Make A Run At Ennahachi
Taiki “Silent Sniper” Naito has been flirting with the official ONE Athlete Rankings for some time. And after his three-round victory over Chinese star “Metal Storm” Wang Wenfeng, the Japanese striker is poised to finally crack the top five.
There will be no more debate about Naito’s status in the division, as he punched a ticket into the rankings by knocking off the #4-ranked flyweight kickboxing contender in the evening’s opening contest.
The pivotal victory also puts a potential matchup with ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion Ilias “Tweety” Ennahachi in “Silent Sniper’s” crosshairs.
The road to glory is filled with obstacles, and Naito passed this crucial test with flying colors. Now, he sits at the precipice of his ultimate goal and has the ability to reach the summit.
#5 A Game Of Inches
ONE: FULL BLAST II was another example of how small the margin of error is across all martial arts.
One critical moment in any contest can change the landscape of a division, which was evident as Mongkolpetch used a lone second-round knockdown of Mahmoudi to completely alter the course of their main event clash.
And in the match between Yoon and Ma, it was a tight window of opportunity during a scramble that allowed “The Big Heart” to wrap his arm around the throat of his Chinese counterpart to get the submission.
In both cases, a fraction of a second was all it took.
Martial artists have to be nearly perfect in every single match, or it can all fall apart. One tiny mistake is often the difference between immortality or moving to the back of the line.
Read more: The Best Pictures From ONE: FULL BLAST II