ONE Championship is gearing up for its biggest event of 2020.
The world’s largest martial arts organization will hold ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, 30 October, and fans are in for a real treat.
What’s more, most of the athletes on the card are known for their highlight-reel knockouts. With that in mind, here are five of the best KOs from the stars of ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX.
Aung La N Sang Stops The Heavyweight King
Two-division ONE World Champion Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang earned the biggest victory of his career – quite literally – when he knocked out the promotion’s reigning heavyweight king last year.
In October 2019, the Myanmar sports icon defended his light heavyweight strap against ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera at ONE: CENTURY PART II, and he denied the Filipino-American his own dream of wearing two World Title belts.
After the combatants traded shots during a competitive first round, the action heated up in the second.
And though each warrior charged forward with powerful flurries in the stanza’s opening moments, Aung La N Sang was able to put the heavyweight king on the back foot by the halfway point.
With Vera near the Circle Wall, “The Burmese Python” spun around, dodged his opponent’s forward elbow, and connected with a back elbow right into the Filipino-American’s temple. “The Truth” tried to respond with a spinning back elbow of his own, but the Myanmar star dodged it, landed a right hook to the chin, and tossed his dazed challenger to the ground.
From there, Aung La N Sang trapped Vera against the Circle Wall and kept throwing left hands until the referee waved off the action.
At ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX, “The Burmese Python” will move down a weight class to defend his ONE Middleweight World Title against the next man on our list.
De Ridder’s Dangerous Knees
Black belt judoka Reinier “The Dutch Knight” de Ridder may be known for his submission prowess, but the unbeaten ONE Middleweight World Title challenger is just as dangerous with his strikes.
De Ridder produced a terrific opening stanza in that battle, as he hit takedowns, worked for submissions, and utilized his reach to throw punches from distance.
But the Dutchman’s most brilliant handiwork came in the second round.
Just seconds into the frame, De Ridder led with a jab and then tackled his Brazilian foe to the canvas. He then easily passed to side control, started setting up what appeared to be a D’Arce choke, and cleanly launched a knee to the head.
As Galvao tried to stand up, “The Dutch Knight” threw another knee that dropped his rival back to the canvas. A final knee flattened the Brazilian and forced him to tap out.
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Nguyen Goes Airborne
ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen has always been one of the most feared knockout artists in his division, but he opened even more eyes during his second title defense.
During the first round, he fearlessly exchanged with the Mongolian hard-hitter and made good use of his devastating leg kicks. Then in the second, Nguyen took things to another level.
Although Jadambaa controlled the action and pressed forward with calculated strikes, “The Situ-Asian” remained patient, calmly defended, and connected with another fierce kick to his opponent’s left leg.
The Mongolian mixed martial arts pioneer started hobbling and threw strikes while backing away. However, Nguyen cleverly kicked the left leg once again, which forced Jadambaa to bounce backward toward the Circle Wall on his right leg with a clear grimace on his face.
At that moment, the Vietnamese-Australian stared at his prey, ran forward, leaped into the air, and connected with an epic flying knee that put Jadambaa down for good.
Now, Nguyen will attempt to deliver another stellar performance against the Vietnamese-American contender below.
Le Finishes A Former ONE World Champion
Vietnamese-American phenom Thanh Le became the promotion’s #3-ranked featherweight mixed martial arts contender by earning three consecutive knockouts against top-shelf competition.
The most impressive stoppage may have been his win over former ONE Lightweight World Champion Kotetsu “No Face” Boku at ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD in August 2019.
The two fighters opened that contest with kicks, but after just 50 seconds, Le rushed in with a left cross and then threatened his Japanese foe with another left cross and a head kick.
Boku took the center of the Circle and tried to time his attack, but the Vietnamese-American quickly ruined those plans. Le stepped in with a massive left body kick that smacked his adversary’s ribs and then followed with a short right that dropped Boku to the mat.
A final blow to the head forced the referee to stop the contest and award the 88-second victory to Le.
There’s no doubt the Vietnamese-American will try to replicate that outstanding performance against Nguyen on 30 October.
Xiong Hands The Atomweight Queen Her First Loss
“The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan quickly claimed the ONE Women’s Strawweight World Title and then defeated every single challenger in her path.
Along the way, she defended her gold against ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee at ONE: A NEW ERA in March 2019. That victory also saw Xiong ruin the Singaporean-American’s perfect record and her dream of becoming a two-division ONE World Champion.
Both athletes were competitive in the first three stanzas, but Lee used her world-class grappling in the fourth to put “The Panda” on defense. The atomweight queen attempted a plethora of submissions, including a reverse triangle and an armbar that threatened Xiong’s reign.
However, the Chinese star survived to see the fifth round, where she took full advantage of the exhausted Lee.
“The Panda” attacked the Singaporean-American with overhand rights, left hooks, and kicks. Then, it was a body punch that temporarily stopped Lee in her tracks.
Once Xiong saw that opening, she rushed forward with a body kick and a barrage of jab-crosses to the head. A pair of body kicks caused Lee to turn away, and a slew of right hands to the head forced the referee to stop the bout.
Next, Xiong will defend her ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship in a rematch with #1-ranked contender Tiffany “No Chill” Teo at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX.