The world’s greatest strikers showcased their skills on the global stage over the past six months, and the results were certainly been entertaining.
From shocking upsets to back-and-forth thrillers, the ONE Championship Circle has featured some incredible Muay Thai and kickboxing fights since the calendar flipped to 2022.
Here, we count down the top five all-striking contests so far this year.
#5 Lasiri Scores Massive Upset Over Prajanchai To Claim Gold
That’s exactly what happened when the two men faced off at ONE 157 on 20 May, as the confident challenger took the fight to Prajanchai and walked away with the ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title.
After vowing to make the defending king “quit mentally” leading up to their bout, “The Hurricane” employed a well-crafted game plan, nullifying Prajanchai’s vaunted power with intelligent pressure.
That led to a close first round, but in the second, Lasiri bombarded Prajanchai with his entire offensive arsenal.
With the proud Thai’s face showing immense damage, the challenger constantly looked for the finish until the bout was stopped when Prajanchai quit on his stool before the fourth-round bell.
It was a shockingly dominant victory for the Italian, who was awarded a US$50,000 performance bonus and became ONE’s new strawweight Muay Thai king.
#4 Petchmorakot Uses Key Knockdown To Fight Off Determined Vienot
The Petchyindee Academy product had already made four successful ONE World Title defenses and fully expected to continue that momentum.
However, Vienot was looking to turn the tables and immediately posed problems for the defending titleholder.
It was an intense back-and-forth affair from the first round onward, with the challenger’s height and length allowing him to land more strikes. By the third round, it had become increasingly evident that he was simply too big for the Thai star.
However, Petchmorakot refused to give in. He turned up the heat in the fourth stanza and dropped Vienot with a powerful right hook.
That dramatic strike scored major points with the judges and completely changed the complexion of the fight.
The fifth round was close, but Petchmorakot’s fourth-round knockdown was enough to earn the split-decision victory and keep him atop the division.
#3 Superbon Avenges Loss By Overwhelming Grigorian
ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Champion Superbon Singha Mawynn was fresh off a career-defining knockout of legendary striker Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan when he met former adversary Marat Grigorian at ONE X on 26 March.
Grigorian had previously defeated Superbon outside of ONE Championship, and the Armenian superstar fully expected to make lightning strike twice.
But a much-improved Superbon had other plans and was determined to seize his moment at ONE Championship’s historic 10-year anniversary event.
Behind a relentless stream of his signature left body kicks and well-placed knees to the midsection in close quarters, Superbon overwhelmed the #1-ranked contender from start to finish and walked away with a dominant unanimous decision victory.
The Thai superstar’s performance erased the bitter memory of defeat, as Grigorian couldn’t match his expert timing and precision in the rematch.
#2 Akimoto Dethrones Capitan With High-Octane Performance
Japanese upstart Hiroki Akimoto came into his fight against Thai star “One-Punch Man” Capitan Petchyindee at ONE X full of determination. After all, Capitan’s ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title was on the line.
But great fighters always rise to the occasion, and Akimoto proved that he’s become one of the greatest strikers on the planet.
The #2 contender was aggressive from the sound of the opening bell, bringing the fight to Capitan, who struggled to find his rhythm as the bout moved into the later rounds.
The frustrated Thai even received two yellow cards in the third frame for excessive clinching. He was then docked another point in the fifth for the same infraction.
By then, it was clear Capitan had no answer for the Japanese athlete’s insane work rate, laser-like precision, and flawless game plan.
All three judges agreed, as Akimoto won the firefight by unanimous decision, scored a monumental upset, and claimed the bantamweight kickboxing throne.
#1 Harrison Topples Muangthai In Epic Five-Knockdown Round
Liam “Hitman” Harrison only knows how to fight one way – moving forward with bad intentions. And when he met “Elbow Zombie” Muangthai PK.Saenchai at ONE 156 on 22 April, the two warriors put on a show.
With five knockdowns in the first round alone – an absolutely wild statistic – fans were on the edge of their seats for the entire contest. Of course, it didn’t last very long, given that both high-level strikers were aggressive from the opening bell.
Muangthai dropped Harrison with an early head kick and then sent him crashing to the canvas once more with a sharp left hook. It appeared that “Hitman” was only seconds away from defeat – but the English legend came roaring back.
First, Harrison hurt Muangthai with a furious boxing combination along the Circle Wall, sending him down for the count. When the PK.Saenchai Muay Thai Gym representative got back up, the Englishman scored a second knockdown behind another powerful punching combo.
With the Thai fighter reeling, Harrison kept coming and delivered a third knockdown to secure the epic TKO win.
It was one of the wildest rounds ever seen in Muay Thai, and it earned “Hitman” the next shot at ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao.
Plus, Harrison took home a hefty US$100,000 performance bonus for his heroic comeback effort.