The punch is the most common, but often the most devastating weapon in a striker’s arsenal.
The ONE Championship ranks are home to dozens of athletes that can shut down their opponents with one powerful and well-placed fist, and it is always exciting for the fans to see these competitors throw leather in the Circle – whether it is in mixed martial arts or ONE Super Series action.
There are plenty of courageous martial artists willing to go toe-to-toe in their search for victory, but if they come up against any of the following big hitters, it might not be in their best interest.
Tarik “The Tank” Khbabez earned his nickname because of his unstoppable forward-marching style. When he moves into close range, he rips hooks and uppercuts to the head and body of his opponents, and only the toughest warriors survive to see the end of a match with him.
The Dutch-Moroccan slugger boxed as a teenager before he switched his focus to kickboxing, and he has earned four wins in ONE Super Series mostly due to his relentless pressure and power punching.
He stopped Alain “The Panther” Ngalani and Ibrahim “Mr. Cool” El Bouni in his first two appearances, and then dropped Anderson “Braddock” Silva to the canvas in his last outing on his way to a dominant unanimous decision.
“The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan began her life in combat as a boxer on the Chinese National Boxing Team, and when she made the switch to mixed martial arts, this skill set became her biggest asset.
Xiong exploded into ONE with a first-round knockout of April Osenio, and then a relentless four-round battering of the durable Tiffany “No Chill” Teo to win the ONE Strawweight World Championship via TKO. In both bouts, it was her hard, looping hooks that found the mark.
In her last match, a crunching straight right to the body signaled the beginning of the end for “Unstoppable” Angela Lee as her rival sealed a comeback win over the previously-unbeaten ONE Atomweight World Champion.
Simply put, no woman in The Home Of Martial Arts hits as hard as this the punching “Panda.”
Russian striking specialist Timofey Nastyukhin has knocked out seven opponents in 13 wins as a professional mixed martial artist, including four on the global stage.
He has a varied arsenal, but his left hook, in particular, has proven to be an extremely effective weapon. Both Yusuke Kawanago and Rob Lisita fell victim to the shot in his earlier bouts in the Circle.
It was also in play as one of the many shots that contributed to the signature victory of his career against Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez, when a swarm of strikes finished the four-time mixed martial arts World Champion.
Smokin Jo Nattawut
“Smokin” Jo Nattawut has a different style to many of his countrymen in the sport of Muay Thai. He does have powerful kicks in his locker, but it is when he throws his hands that the magic really happens.
The two-division Lion Fight World Champion started his martial arts journey in his homeland, but he became an international success story when he moved from Thailand to the USA.
Whether it is in 4-ounce mixed martial arts gloves or 10-ounce boxing gloves, “Smokin Jo’s” clubbing right hand is a devastating tool, and when he has his opponent on the ropes, he doesn’t let up.
Yohann Fairtex Drai and Sasha Moisa have both felt the force of Nattawut’s rapid-fire fists, and that could be his biggest asset when he returns to action in the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix semifinals.
Saygid Gusyen Arslanaliev
Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt with excellent submissions and an explosive wrestling repertoire. However, there is no respite for his rivals on the feet because he is also adept at finishing bouts with his fists.
He has ended six of his eight career victories with punches, and three straight first-round knockouts have led him to a place in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix final.
Multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion “The Boxing Computer” Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex earned a reputation as one of the most dangerous kickers in martial arts before he joined ONE Super Series, but his punching is arguably just as dangerous.
When he started to compete around the world, the cerebral striker worked diligently to add more tools to his boxing offense, and now it is one of his biggest threats.
His emphatic finish over Luis Regis started with a straight jab-cross combo, and then ended with a volley of three uppercuts.
He followed that with a clinical dismantling of his old rival Andy “Souwer Power” Souwer that ended with a blistering straight left to the chin.