ONE Championship ended 2018 in style, with six spectacular events across some of Asia’s biggest cities.
In the mixed martial arts ranks, fans witnessed 16 knockout finishes in the final quarter of the year as striking specialists thrived from October to December.
Here are five of the best finishes courtesy of the fists and feet of the heroes in The Home Of Martial Arts.
Kadestam’s Last-Minute Winner
Zebaztian "The Bandit" Kadestam takes home ONE gold with a thunderous KO of Tyler McGuire at 4:32 of Round 5!TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, November 17, 2018
A little more than a year after he first challenged Ben Askren for the belt, the Swede took his second shot. He met American Tyler McGuire for the vacant strap, and showed the improvements in his defensive wrestling over five rounds to keep the contest on his terms.
Deep into the fifth stanza, Kadestam found the energy in his reserves to land a leaping right hand on McGuire, which sent him crashing to the canvas. With remarkable initiative, he swiftly followed it up with a knee to the head – prompting referee Olivier Coste to swoop in and stop the contest.
“The Bandit” handed McGuire his first ever defeat and became World Champion with yet another stunning knockout win.
Engelen Comes Back With A Bang
Anthony Engelen returns to ONE with a BANG as he knocks out Cambodia's Meas Meul at 0:39 of Round 1!Watch the full event LIVE & FREE on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, November 9, 2018
Anthony “The Archangel” Engelen returned to the global stage for martial arts at ONE: HEART OF THE LION in Singapore, and showed why he belongs among the elite with a head kick knockout after just 39 seconds.
Engelen faced off against Meas Meul and used his kickboxing skills to overcome the dangerous 28-year-old.
The Dutch-Indonesian hero looked sharp from the opening bell – feinting and waiting for Meul’s lunges into range. As the Phnom Penh native launched in with a right hand, he dropped his left and walked straight into the Dutch-Indonesian athlete’s perfectly timed shot.
Engelen’s shin landed right across Meul’s chin and dropped him face-first onto the canvas for a memorable knockout victory.
Santos’ Unstoppable Shins To The Body
Luis Santos finishes Daichi Abe with a CRUSHING liver kick at 0:33 of Round 1! Watch the full event LIVE & FREE on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, October 26, 2018
Powerful southpaw Luis “Sapo” Santos has amassed a huge array of tools in his 78-bout professional career. One of those is a fearsome left kick, and within the first 10 seconds of his bout with Daichi Abe at ONE: PURSUIT OF GREATNESS, his Japanese adversary felt its effects.
Abe is a former kickboxing champion and no stranger to the stand-up game, but he was immediately taken aback by the force “Sapo” generates.
Clearly wary of the danger, Abe backed away, but the Brazilian walked him down. A second kick was blocked on the arms, but at the 30-second mark, Santos aimed at the mid-section once again and landed a thunderous kick to the liver.
There was a slight pause before the blow reverberated through Abe’s body and he crumbled to the mat. No follow-up strikes were required, as referee Olivier Coste immediately called off the bout after 33 seconds of the opening round.
Miado’s Emotional Uppercut
Jeremy 'The Jaguar ' Miado lit up Manila!Download the ONE Super App now ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, November 24, 2018
Jeremy “The Jaguar” Miado entered ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS fueled by something bigger than just the will to win. The Filipino had lost his father days earlier, and he wanted to take victory on the global stage for martial arts in his memory.
Peng Xue Wen’s best efforts could not stop him. The champion wrestler – who has acquired a penchant for defeating opponents with his evolving striking game – struggled to land his takedowns or strikes on “The Jaguar.”
Instead, Miado continued to turn up the heat – landing solid punch combinations with increasing frequency. The Manila man sent Peng down briefly with a looping right uppercut, and then stuffed the frantic takedown attempt from his Chinese foe.
He sensed the finish was close and charged at Peng with a jumping knee, and then landed another right uppercut to the chin, which again dropped the Chinese national wrestling champion.
Miado swarmed for the finish, and showed courage by competing, and winning, under the most difficult circumstances.
Vera’s One-Punch Return
Who should Brandon Vera defend his ONE Heavyweight World Championship against next?Download the ONE Super App now ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, November 30, 2018
On paper, Italian Powerhouse Mauro “The Hammer” Cerilli was a stern test for returning ONE Heavyweight Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera. In reality, the surging Filipino striker was one step ahead of his latest rival for the short while their championship contest lasted at ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS.
“The Truth” had not competed for two years, but before his hiatus, he had three straight knockout victories inside the world’s largest martial arts organization. He was in the mood to extend that streak.
When the bell rang to signal his return to action, Vera did not look a step off the pace. He attacked with powerful kicks, and then saw an opening when Cerilli tried to advance.
He let “The Hammer” come towards him, and stayed cool as the colossal Cerilli advanced on him to time a left hook when the Italian overextended on a big swing of his left hand.
The stunned challenger immediately fell to the mat, and the referee stepped in to halt the action. Vera maintained his grip on the heavyweight gold, and promised he would not make his fans wait so long again.