The world’s best strikers duked it out in some thrilling battles that showcased exactly why ONE Super Series is the premier platform on the planet for the striking arts.
It wasn’t easy to whittle it down, but here are the five best stand-up bouts that took place on the global stage from April to June.
#5 Santino Verbeek Vs. Miles Simson
The pair from the Netherlands wasted no time getting into it, as Simson fired a variety of kicks at Verbeek, while his countryman took aim with powerful punching combinations.
The Sokudo Gym product continued to rip heavy hooks at his foe throughout the bout, but “The Punisher” stood his ground with kicks and knees to the body. Verbeek scored with a gut-munching knee of his own, but the durable Simson pushed through the danger.
After three thrilling rounds, Simson found the energy to rally with a furious salvo in the closing moments and threw everything in his arsenal at Verbeek to get the win. Though he could not stop his foe, he did do enough to score a big victory in his debut bout in ONE Super Series.
#4 Taiko Naito Vs. Wang Wenfeng
Taiki “Silent Sniper” Naito and “Metal Storm” Wang Wenfeng brought a fast pace to the Circle in their flyweight kickboxing contest at ONE: FULL BLAST II, but one look at Wang’s left leg was indicative of how the match went.
Japan’s Naito took charge in round one, as he smashed shin after shin into “Metal Storm’s” thigh. Undeterred, the Chinese star threw heavy leather in his rival’s direction in a bid to find his own route to victory.
Though Wang did have occasional success with his hands, the real masterclass came from “Silent Sniper,” as he used his head movement to evade most of the attacks that came in his direction and continued to tenderize “Metal Storm’s” legs with his low kicks.
The former ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title challenger never gave in, but Naito’s surge was unstoppable in the final round. Ultimately, the bout ended with “Silent Sniper” earning a unanimous decision win — and most likely a spot in the top-five rankings.
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#3 Mongkolpetch Petchyindee Academy Vs. Elias Mahmoudi
In arguably his best ONE Super Series performance to date, Mongkolpetch Petchyindee Academy overcame a spirited challenge from Elias “The Sniper” Mahmoudi in their catchweight main event tussle at ONE: FULL BLAST II.
The Petchyindee Academy man tore into his foe’s lead leg in the opening stanza, which forced Mahmoudi to try to clinch. Mongkolpetch wrestled free and stung the French-Algerian with stiff right hands.
Mahmoudi started to find some momentum with his punches, but in round two, the star from Bangkok halted it. He slipped and blocked most of the incoming strikes and then let rip with a crunching right hand that floored “The Sniper.”
Though the Frenchman tried his best to come back into the match in the third, Mongkolpetch used his experience to tie his rival up in the clinch and continually dumped him to the mat en route to a majority decision victory.
The Thai star moved to 4-0 in The Home Of Martial Arts and pushed himself closer to a potential matchup with ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon.
#2 Chingiz Allazov Vs. Enriko Kehl
The preliminary card of “ONE on TNT I” kicked off the groundbreaking series in style, with the standout bout being the featherweight kickboxing slugfest between Enriko “The Hurricane” Kehl and Chingiz “Chinga” Allazov.
Kehl got some redemption against his old foe after three hard-fought rounds that included multiple shifts in momentum.
They shared the spoils in the early running, with Kehl’s sharp boxing finding holes in “Chinga’s” defenses, but the Belarusian fired back with high kicks and uppercuts.
“The Hurricane’s” boxing began to set him apart as the rounds wore on though, and his accurate combinations repeatedly jarred Allazov and snapped his head back.
The German’s confidence grew and he sealed his victory with a jumping knee and some hard hooks in the final frame, earning a massive win by split decision to move himself into the upper echelon of the featherweight division.
#1 Rodtang Jitmuangnon Vs. Danial Williams
When fans see Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon on a card, they know they’re in for a treat. However, it also took the valiant effort from promotional newcomer “Mini T” Danial Williams to create the Muay Thai spectacle that took place at “ONE on TNT I.”
Rodtang took a more measured start to the bout and swapped kicks with the Australian, but that gave Williams a chance to let his hands fly — with one shot even off-balancing “The Iron Man” and putting him on the seat of his pants.
Seemingly bored of the tactical approach, Rodtang came out firing in round two and the pair went toe-to-toe, with a thumping left hook from the Thai sending his foe to the canvas. “The Iron Man” went after his rival with elbows, but “Mini T” showed his grit and stuck in there.
Williams came out for the final frame and popped his foe with a pair of stinging shots, which promoted another frantic exchange inside the pocket. Rodtang was in his element and got the best of the trades, but Williams’ ability to take the shots and fire back was incredible.
“The Iron Man” went after “Mini T” with everything he had, but he couldn’t put the Aussie away, and in the end, he had to settle for a unanimous decision win in one of the greatest bouts of 2021 so far.