An astonishing month of events concluded with “ONE on TNT IV” on Wednesday, 28 April.
The smell of a new era wafted throughout the Singapore Indoor Stadium, as Reinier “The Dutch Knight” de Ridder captured two-division gold and Ok Rae Yoon toppled a living legend of mixed martial arts.
After another wild evening in “The Lion City,” here are five takeaways from “ONE on TNT IV” and the incredible athletes who left everything inside the Circle.
#1 ‘The Dutch Knight’ Reigns Supreme
Six months later, on short notice, De Ridder stalked the Myanmar superstar across five rounds and took his ONE Light Heavyweight World Title to become the only undefeated two-division World Champion in history.
It was clear from the onset that De Ridder’s first victory was not a fluke. He dominated Aung La N Sang throughout the contest with unstoppable takedowns followed by complete control and various submission attempts.
By the end of Wednesday’s main event, the torch had been passed, and a new era that began in October had its validation. With that, the list of contenders who once eyed “The Burmese Python” at middleweight and light heavyweight will now have to contend with “The Dutch Knight’s” dominant grappling.
#2 Ok Enters The Lightweight World Title Conversation
The 30-year-old South Korean’s instant impact is a shining example of how to maximize your opportunities in The Home of Martial Arts.
In back-to-back events, Ok took out two of the division’s top athletes with impressive performances. In the process, he may have thrust himself to the front of the queue to challenge reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Christian “The Warrior” Lee.
While nothing is guaranteed in one of the sport’s most talent-rich divisions, Lee has officially been served notice of another man who’s looking to take his gold.
- The Best Pictures From ‘ONE On TNT IV’
- Reinier De Ridder Dominates Aung La N Sang, Claims Two-Division Gold
- Ok Rae Yoon Shocks Eddie Alvarez In Fiery Three-Round Thriller
#3 Aoki Is ONE’s Most Iconic Lightweight
With another dominant performance on Wednesday, Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki further cemented his status as ONE Championship’s top lightweight icon. This time, it was a first-round armbar of longtime rival Eduard “Landslide” Folayang that got the job done inside the Circle.
The finish from Aoki – the former divisional king and current #4-ranked contender – marked his ninth submission in ONE history, an organizational record.
Aoki’s grappling is mesmerizing to watch. His methodical movements on the ground come with grace, but his pressure and squeeze are otherworldly. The Japanese legend has done this throughout his ONE career, and while he no longer wears the crown, he continues to be a face of the division.
It does not matter if a World Title is on the line or even if he’s fighting on the main card. Whenever Aoki steps inside the Circle, it becomes a must-watch event. That is the true label of an icon.
#4 Buntan Makes Her Case For Inaugural Gold
When the inaugural ONE Women’s Strawweight Muay Thai World Championship is ready to be debuted, Jackie Buntan should be one of the two names called to compete for the ultimate prize.
The Filipino-American has made that crystal clear with a dominant showcase against Wondergirl Fairtex at ONE: FISTS OF FURY and then an impressive victory over the taller Ekaterina “Barbie” Vandaryeva at “ONE on TNT IV.”
Much like her famed Boxing Works teammate, ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Janet “JT” Todd, Buntan breaks down her opponent’s movements like a surgeon. On Wednesday, she calculated Vandaryeva’s every move, closed the distance with precision, and added a pivotal decision win to her record.
Buntan’s mastery of Muay Thai is beautiful to watch, and it should have her on the cusp of a World Title shot.
#5 Northcutt Is A Well-Rounded Mixed Martial Artist
As a multiple-time Karate World Champion, Colbey Northcutt is known for her dynamic striking. The tall athlete utilizes her reach to perfection and makes it hard for opponents to close the distance. However, she fully intended to show off other aspects of her mixed martial arts game at “ONE on TNT IV.”
In the end, that’s exactly what Northcutt did against Courtney “No Mercy” Martin inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The American was taken to the canvas early, but she was comfortable off of her back. Utilizing her full guard, Northcutt began throwing her legs up, searching for either a triangle or an armbar. Eventually, the arm presented itself, and she seized the opportunity.
With the quick submission victory, Northcutt showed that she’s a threat on the feet and on the ground. That well-rounded game is only getting better by the day, and it should make her a major factor in mixed martial arts for years to come.