5 Takeaways From ONE Friday Fights 22
On Friday, June 23, Lumpinee Boxing Stadium hosted one of the year’s most extravagant events. ONE Championship lit the fuse for another evening of nonstop fireworks in Bangkok, Thailand, with 11 tremendous martial arts bouts.
ONE Friday Fights 22 featured a who’s who of stars from top-to-bottom, and every athlete came to leave their mark inside the Thai capital’s most esteemed combat sports venue.
With the lights turned off and the seats empty after another night of action, here are five of the biggest takeaways from ONE Friday Fights 22.
Malykhin Remains An Unstoppable Force
The two-division ONE World Champion pressured “Singh” to the point where he was off balance and unable to put together combinations, and Bhullar had no answer in return.
Even when Bhullar attempted to make it a grappling affair, Malykhin pushed him away with ease and popped him with jabs and straight rights. Eventually, it was all too much for the Indian-Canadian.
Malykhin put him on the canvas in the third round and unleashed heavyweight hammers until the referee stopped the bout. With the victory, “Sladkiy” moved to 13-0 with 13 finishes and bagged another US$50,000 performance bonus from ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.
Keeping a spotless professional record is difficult. Stopping everyone along the way is even more arduous. However, Malykhin has been making it look easy against elite competition in every bout.
That said, will anyone be able to stop the ONE Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight World Champion? The question gets tougher to answer with each passing day.
Prajanchai Moves Closer To Redemption Match Against Lasiri
Prajanchai PK Saenchai edged out Sam-A Gaiyanghadao by majority decision to capture the ONE Strawweight Muay Thai Word Title in their first meeting in July 2021. Nearly two years later, the 28-year-old asserted his dominance with a shocking second-round knockout of the legend, this time to win the division’s interim crown and pocket a US$50,000 bonus.
It took one round to figure out Sam-A’s timing, but when he did, Prajanchai found a home for his powerful boxing combinations, particularly his straight left.
In fact, the PK Saenchai star used one of those punches to knock Sam-A to the canvas. Once the Thai icon was back to his feet, Prajanchai stormed him with blitzing strikes before leaving him face down on the canvas following a crushing right elbow.
The emphatic end was a definitive conclusion to his battles with Sam-A, and it was a stern warning that he is coming for revenge against the man who captured his ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World title — Joseph Lasiri.
Superlek Makes Strong Case As Pound-For-Pound King
The Algerian’s tall frame was a chalkboard for the ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion, who wrote a tough lesson with his trademark leg kicks and pulverizing body blows.
In round one, “The Kicking Machine” unleashed a crushing right hand that careened into the teenager’s body, leaving him unable to continue. After just 123 seconds, the bell rang and school was out, proving once more that Superlek is operating at a different level.
After that kind of performance — one that earned him a US$50,000 bonus — the #1-ranked flyweight Muay Thai contender could be the pound-for-pound best striker on the planet.
Sitthichai Didn’t Skip A Beat In Muay Thai Return
Superlek wasn’t the only Thai superstar to make a successful return to Muay Thai action on June 23. Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong slid on the 4-ounce gloves for the first time in two years for a featherweight clash with Eddie Abasolo.
Sitthichai’s return signaled a lot more than just another W on his record. The #2-ranked featherweight contender stifled his battled-tested American opponent en route to a unanimous decision victory by using a vast array of exquisite techniques.
The systematic yet gritty victory was certainly a shot felt by ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Champion Tawanchai PK Saenchai.
After all, Sitthichai has already defeated his compatriot on the global stage, securing a split-decision win at ONE: BATTLEGROUND III in August 2021. Now, it’s apparent that Sitthichai is looking to repeat history with higher stakes on the line.
New And Established Stars Wow In Bangkok
Each week, ONE Friday Fights electrifies the martial arts world with thrilling action and memorable finishes. ONE Friday Fights 22 continued that trend in epic fashion when another wave of athletes maximized their opportunities.
Fan favorites Seksan Or Kwanmuang and Thongpoon PK Saenchai continued their winning streaks in Bangkok with two rip-roaring decision victories, embodying what makes this series so special. To add, Thongpoon earned a US$100,000 contract to ONE Championship’s main stage for his performance.
On a card loaded with two title tilts, pound-for-pound greats, and legendary stars, these athletes seized the moment at the historic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.