5 Of The Biggest Upsets In ONE Championship
In 2022, ONE Championship continued to showcase the world’s best martial artists to a global fan base.
Across 20 thrilling events and four different sports, audiences were treated to no shortage of unforgettable moments, from highlight-reel knockouts to epic come-from-behind victories and everything in between.
Some of those spectacular moments came by way of upset – an underdog defying the odds to earn a victory when few would have expected it. Here, let’s revisit five of the biggest shockers from another memorable year in ONE.
Woo Obliterates Wakamatsu In 18 Seconds
In November at ONE 163, South Korean standout Woo Sung Hoon squared off with #3-ranked flyweight contender Yuya Wakamatsu.
Woo came into the bout as a sizable underdog, and for good reason. Despite an excellent showing on the regional scene before joining ONE, “Dynamic” was just 1-1 in the organization.
Wakamatsu, meanwhile, had just challenged for the ONE Flyweight World Title after reeling off five straight wins against elite competition.
Despite that pedigree, the South Korean gave Wakamatsu little respect from the opening bell. Woo consistently found a home for his sledgehammer of a left hand before dropping his foe and finishing the job on the canvas with a flurry of ground strikes.
The 18-second stoppage was ONE’s fastest MMA win of 2022 and the biggest victory of “Dynamic’s” career to date.
Lasiri Shocks Prajanchai To Claim Muay Thai Gold
Italian-Moroccan striker Joseph Lasiri started his ONE Championship career with four heart-breaking losses.
So, even though he’d won two straight to land a shot at ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Champion Prajanchai PK.Saenchai at ONE 157, few people outside of Lasiri’s camp expected a victory.
The task was especially difficult given Prajanchai’s decorated resume. The Thai is considered a legend of modern Muay Thai and carried an absurd 338-51-3 career record into this matchup.
But over the course of just three rounds, “The Hurricane” completed his Cinderella story, bloodying the defending king’s face with piston-like jabs and applying endless pressure, constantly forcing Prajanchai on the defensive.
Ultimately, the Thai superstar succumbed to the beating and called it quits on his stool after the third round, giving Lasiri the ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title and an iconic upset victory.
Mattheis Blasts Former Strawweight King Silva
Indonesian MMA star Adrian Mattheis came into ONE: LIGHTS OUT with four victories in his past five fights, but never before had the 29-year-old faced an opponent of Alex Silva’s caliber.
Silva is a former ONE Strawweight World Champion who’s long been a fixture atop the division, feared for his world-class grappling and submission skills.
In the first frame, Mattheis would survive the Brazilian’s dangerous ground game, narrowly escaping a number of seemingly deep submission attempts.
Then in the opening seconds of the second round, “Papua Badboy” landed a thunderous right hand that will live on in highlight reels for years to come, melting the former strawweight king to the canvas and scoring a monumental upset.
Sinsamut Stuns Holzken At ONE X
Sinsamut Klinmee was given a stiff test – to say the least – in his ONE Championship debut.
In March at ONE X, the 27-year-old Thai athlete took on iconic Dutch striker Nieky Holzken, a multiple-time Kickboxing World Champion who came into the bout following a pair of sensational knockouts.
That night, though, Klinmee showed little fear of his legendary foe. The strikers went tit for tat throughout the first round and a half, trading kicks and punches at a furious pace.
The shocking finish then came midway through the second. In the midst of a wild exchange, “Aquaman” caught Holzken with a jaw-shattering right hand that sent the Dutchman crashing to the canvas, clearly unable to continue.
The incredible victory shot Sinsamut to instant fame and helped propel him to a ONE Lightweight Muay Thai World Title shot later in the year.
Loman Beats Fernandes At His Own Game
At ONE on Prime Video 4 in November, Filipino star Stephen Loman shocked the world by dominating former longtime ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes from bell to bell.
Although his prodigious talent was already obvious, Loman had only fought twice in the world-class proving ground of ONE Championship.
Fernandes, on the other hand, is the most decorated MMA World Champion in promotional history and held the #3 bantamweight ranking.
The Filipino sensation found success on the feet early in the bout, but the most shocking aspect of his victory was that he outgrappled the accomplished BJJ black throughout the second and third rounds.
Loman’s previously unseen ground game powered him to an incredible upset over Fernandes and clearly established him as a legitimate World Title threat in the division.