The Best Bouts In ONE Championship History: #80-71
We’re 20 bouts down, with another 80 to go in our countdown of the greatest, most entertaining contests in the history of ONE Championship.
At first look, it is amazing how some of these 10 encounters are not higher in the pecking order, but as future installments will reveal, the competition is high.
Whatever the rank, there are plenty of knockout performances, submission specials, and back-and-forth battles to justify repeat viewing – no matter how long it has been since you last enjoyed them.
#80 Mitch Chilson VS Eric Kelly
ONE: CHAMPION VS CHAMPION was where it all began for The Home of Martial Arts, and the athletes competing at the organization’s premiere put on 10 captivating bouts.
One of the picks of the bunch was Eric “The Natural” Kelly’s first-round rear naked choke of Mitch “The Dragon” Chilson, which he earned after a striking battle, and then a sneaky back-take from up against the fence.
#79 Nobutatsu Suzuki VS Brock Larson
At ONE: WAR OF NATIONS, Nobutatsu Suzuki, survived an early onslaught from Brock Larson, then roared back to life to complete an incredible comeback with a fine display of takedown defense and striking.
It was an incredible display of heart from the Japanese athlete, who competed hard for 25 minutes to earn the inaugural ONE Welterweight World Championship make history.
#78 Jeremy Miado VS Robin Catalan
Robin “Ilonggo” Catalan wanted to get this contest at ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY to the mat, and quickly. He did just that with a high-octane takedown, but he did not have things go his way for long. He then had to endure takedowns and heavy strikes from Jeremy “The Jaguar” Miado.
However, Catalan managed to get back inside the reach of his opponent and find more success as the fight wore on. At the end of an incredibly close 15 minutes, he got the split decision verdict in his favor.
#77 Shannon Wiratchai VS Amir Khan
It was always going to take someone special to hand Amir Khan his first ONE Championship defeat, and Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai fit that bill at ONE: WARRIOR’S QUEST.
Wiratchai had to weather an early storm from the young Singaporean, but the Thai hero’s crisp counterstriking – at range and in the clinch – was the difference after 15 minutes. Both men absorbed more than their fair share of punches, kicks, knees, and elbows, but Wiratchai’s hand was raised when two of three judges gave him the split decision.
#76 Tyler McGuire VS Luis Santos
A recent addition to our list, as Tyler McGuire made a tremendous first impression in his ONE debut by outfoxing one of the most experienced veterans in all of mixed martial arts.
Despite Luis “Sapo” Santos’ takedown ability, submission skills, and knockout power, the American showed no fear at ONE: PURSUIT OF POWER, and got creative with his strikes and grappling to take a deserved unanimous decision at the end of three rounds.
#75 Yang Sen VS Li Kai Wen
“The Underdog” Li Kai Wen is always up for a toe-to-toe battle, and this bout against his Chinese compatriot was one of his best.
Thought the Tianjin Top Team product couldn’t find one of his trademark finishes at ONE: DYNASTY OF CHAMPIONS in Changsha, he did walk away with a well-earned unanimous decision.
#74 Yoshitaka Naito VS Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke
Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito knew he had to get multiple-time Muay Thai world champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke to the ground at ONE: KINGDOM OF CHAMPIONS, if he were to have any chance of taking the ONE Strawweight World Title.
The Japanese grappler did everything he could to execute his game plan on his opponent’s home turf of Bangkok, Thailand, including sacrificing dominant position to the champion, and it finally paid off in round four. At the 4:00 mark, he made “Kru Rong” tap to a rear naked choke.
#73 Mei Yamaguchi VS Jenny Huang
This battle of former ONE Atomweight World Title contenders was a must-win match for both women if they wanted to get back to contention.
Mei “V.V.” Yamaguchi used a combination of aggression and veteran savvy to chase down Jenny “Lady GoGo” Huang, and finished her with a rear-naked choke at 4:00 of round two at ONE: LIGHT OF A NATION.
#72 Igor Subora VS Alain Ngalani
Pure, unadulterated power from Alain “The Panther” Ngalani. This contest at ONE: PRIDE OF LIONS did not last long, but for almost every instant of its 1:09 duration, the Cameroonian unleashed a relentless torrent of strikes.
He first hurt Igor Subora with a thunderous kick to the body, before dropping him with a clean right hook and finishing him with ground and pound.
#71 A Sol Kwon VS Eduard Folayang
The first ever ONE Championship main event set the standard for everything that followed, and South Korea’s A Sol Kown went toe-to-toe with future ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang.
Both men seemed to enjoy themselves as they went back and forth for the full 15 minutes without a moment for reprieve. He had to persevere through a broken nose, but Folayang emerged with the unanimous decision after a thrilling striking battle.