ONE Super Series featured some of the world’s greatest stand-up martial artists during the third quarter of 2021.
Muay Thai and kickboxing stars from across the globe competed in the all-striking league and rose to the task when faced with elite-level opposition inside the Circle – resulting in some truly compelling battles.
As we turn the page to October, here are the five best Muay Thai and kickboxing fights that took place from July to September this year.
#5 Taiki Naito Vs. Petchdam
Petchdam tends to charge forward to attack with powerful kicks and punches, while Naito is content to bide his time, use his footwork, and find opportunities for counters.
“The Baby Shark’s” aggression paid off early, as he dropped his rival with a straight left in the first round. But “Silent Sniper” rebounded in the second with fast combinations that stifled his opponent’s ability to score with big strikes.
Petchdam, the former ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion, pressed forward in search of more power shots in round three, but the Japanese athlete’s volume and accuracy kept him one step ahead.
In the end, that skill and resilience brought Naito back from the brink, and he earned a split decision from the judges after the final bell rang.
#4 Anissa Meksen Vs. Cristina Morales
The world’s top pound-for-pound female striker made her ONE Super Series debut at ONE: EMPOWER in September – and she did not disappoint.
Although she was stopped in round two, Morales was not simply cannon fodder and stood toe-to-toe with “C18” from start to finish.
Meksen unleashed volleys of punches at her foe in the opening frame, but the Spaniard fired back, finding a home for some body shots as she absorbed the damage coming her way.
Morales continued to press forward in the second and threw with intent, though the French superstar never looked fazed and got back into her groove. After a brief pause for a clash of heads, Meksen connected with a right high kick that wobbled her rival and set up the finish.
Knowing the end was near, “C18” unloaded a furious barrage of punches that overwhelmed Morales and sent her to the canvas. The Spaniard got back to her feet, but she was unable to continue, which brought an end to the epic two-round encounter.
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#3 Capitan Vs. Mehdi Zatout
The French-Algerian veteran slugged it out with the defending World Champion for five rounds in their ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title battle at ONE: REVOLUTION in September.
Capitan blasted his challenger with hard punches throughout the contest, but “Diamond Heart” showed that his chin is also plenty strong, as he ate clean shots with a smile.
Meanwhile, Zatout came forward with his own hands at every opportunity, but “One Punch Man” was undeterred and continued to apply pressure.
In the championship rounds, Capitan added rib-splitting kicks to his output, and things got tough for the weary contender, who showed his character by staying in the fight.
It was a spirited performance from “Diamond Heart,” but ultimately, Capitan’s power and output were too much, and he retained his belt with a unanimous decision.
#2 Sam-A Vs. Prajanchai
Sam-A had crushed all of his opponents in both kickboxing and Muay Thai, but the PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym athlete took the gold in “the art of eight limbs” from his veteran rival.
Prajanchai showed that he meant business from the opening frame when he dropped Sam-A with a hard right hand. But the Thai icon regained his feet and got himself back into the match.
The challenger outboxed Sam-A with accurate jabs and tight combinations, though he couldn’t escape the World Champion’s famous left kick and straight left counters.
Prajanchai’s surge in the first three stanzas put him in a good position, but it was the Evolve man’s experience that came to the forefront in the championship rounds, and he applied a ton of pressure with counters and sweeps.
However, it wasn’t enough. After five scintillating rounds, the judges rendered a majority decision in favor of the challenger, crowning Prajanchai as the new ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Champion.
#1 Sitthichai Vs. Tawanchai
“Killer Kid” didn’t miss a beat despite spending so many years competing under kickboxing rules, while Tawanchai pushed his Thai compatriot hard across three closely contested rounds.
The PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym representative took the early initiative with his long-range punches and kicks. Conversely, Sitthichai sat back and read his foe before finding his range to go on the offensive.
Once he did, the eight-time Kickboxing and Muay Thai World Champion went after his rival’s body with thudding kicks and even brought his elbows out for the occasion.
But slick and stylish Tawanchai caught and countered “Killer Kid’s” kicks and tried to blast forward with his knees in the razor-close battle of Muay Thai mastery.
After nine minutes of technical brilliance, there was very little to pick between the two men. But Sitthichai got the nod by split decision and showed that he can still compete with the best in “the art of eight limbs.”