ONE Championship is set to showcase some of its heaviest hitters.
When the world’s largest martial arts organization brings ONE: BIG BANG to the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, 4 December, the global fan base will witness the promotional debuts of famed knockout artists Marat Grigorian, Islam Abasov, and Amir Aliakbari.
While those elite talents will finally make their long-awaited premieres in the Circle, the stacked card also features ONE veterans who’ve delivered massive KOs on the global stage.
Here, we look back at five of the most unforgettable knockouts from the stars competing at ONE: BIG BANG.
Kryklia Stops ‘The Tank’ To Claim Gold
???? WE HAVE A NEW ONE WORLD CHAMPION ????Ukrainian giant Roman Kryklia ???????? knocks out Tarik Khbabez in Round 2 to avenge a past loss and become the inaugural ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion!????: How to watch ???? http://bit.ly/ONEAODHOTW????: Book your hotel ???? bit.ly/ONEhotelplanner????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? bit.ly/ONESuperApp????: Shop official merchandise ???? bit.ly/ONECShop
Posted by ONE Championship on Saturday, November 16, 2019
Roman Kryklia has enjoyed the ideal start to life in The Home Of Martial Arts.
In his promotional debut last November, the Ukrainian colossus seized the opportunity to claim the inaugural ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Championship against Dutch-Moroccan powerhouse Tarik “The Tank” Khbabez – a difficult foe who’d beaten him four years earlier.
Following an extremely competitive first round, Kryklia took over in the second. A massive head kick staggered the forward-moving “Tank” and a pair of short uppercuts put him to the canvas for the first knockdown of the stanza.
Once Khbabez returned to his feet, he stepped back into the fray and got stuck in the clinch. Kryklia unloaded a barrage of left hooks and right uppercuts, which overwhelmed his European rival and forced him to turn away. This prompted the referee to administer the second eight-count of the contest.
Khbabez answered the count and wanted one more shot at his old rival, but Kryklia wouldn’t give him the chance. An uppercut stopped “The Tank” in his tracks, a monstrous overhand right sent him staggering toward the ropes, and a final uppercut to the head forced the referee to stop the fight for good.
Matsushima KOs The Former Featherweight King
Koyomi “Moushigo” Matsushima sent a loud message to the featherweight division when he made his debut in September 2018.
The Japanese wrecking ball went toe-to-toe with former ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat “Cobra” Gafurov, and in the blink of an eye, he derailed the Dagestani star’s journey back to the title and took a massive step forward on his own path toward the gold.
The two grapplers were comfortable exchanging on the feet early in the opening stanza, but Matsushima soon utilized his wrestling background and briefly put “Cobra” on the canvas. Gafurov then returned to his feet and even threatened with a wild right hand that forced the Japanese athlete to back away.
Everything changed at the midway point of the first round, however. The Dagestani fighter rushed forward with a right leg kick and swung his left arm down to add more power to the strike.
Noticing a clear shot to the head was ripe for the taking, Matsushima cracked Gafurov with a right hook that immediately crumpled the former titleholder. The Japanese rising star then hit the dazed “Cobra” with a knee and a few more punches, which caused the referee to intervene and stop the match.
Matsushima, now the #3-ranked featherweight contender, will hope to capture another highlight-reel moment in “The Lion City” against the #5-ranked contender below.
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Tonon Flips The Script In Debut
Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon stepped onto the global stage as the premier submission grappler on the planet, but in his mixed martial arts debut, he focused less on his world-class Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu credentials and more on his vast striking arsenal.
That grand premiere came against Muay Thai striker Richard “Notorious” Corminal in March 2018, and in a surprising twist, the American used his developing stand-up game to stun the Malaysia-based Filipino.
Tonon willingly engaged with his rival on the feet, where he landed a few solid punches and ate a couple of shots. Then, in the final minute of the opening stanza, he unleashed a jab-cross that spun Corminal around and dropped him to the canvas.
Despite raining down ground-and-pound, the American couldn’t finish the Filipino before the bell rang to end the round.
“The Lion Killer” wouldn’t be denied in the second stanza, however. Tonon was able to take Corminal down to the canvas and unload his devastating assortment of ground strikes, and while “Notorious” tried his best to escape, the American was just too powerful.
Ultimately, Tonon advanced to full mount and finished Corminal off with punches and elbows at 1:18 of round two.
Phogat’s Dominant First Victory
Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat may be known for being a Commonwealth Wrestling Championships Gold Medalist and for her family inspiring the Bollywood blockbuster “Dangal,” but she also hopes to become recognized as India’s first Mixed Martial Arts World Champion.
Phogat measured the distance with her jab early in that matchup but then immediately resorted to her world-class wrestling and hit a takedown. Although “The Indian Tigress” allowed Nam to stand back up, the South Korean didn’t stay on her feet for long; the wrestling icon ate a body kick and then promptly took her foe back to the canvas.
“The Indian Tigress” mostly worked in half-guard and threw clean punches to the head while trying to advance to side control.
And while Phogat would stand up, she charged back at her grounded opponent and slid into side control before “Captain Marvel” could return to her own feet. The wrestler then trapped Nam’s arm between her legs and unloaded short punches on her defenseless rival’s head, which forced the referee to stop the match.
On 4 December, Phogat will aim to keep her undefeated streak intact and earn another dominant victory against the woman below.
The Slam Heard Around The World
After dominating her first three opponents, Jomary “The Zamboanginian Fighter” Torres faced her toughest challenge yet in Team Lakay’s April Osenio back in January 2018. It was a major step up in competition, but Torres passed the test with flying colors.
The two Filipinas had a brief feeling-out process before Torres threw a right hand, grabbed hold of the body clinch, and tried to hit a takedown. Although the Catalan Fighting System product got her opponent to the ground, the Team Lakay star set up a guillotine choke and pulled guard.
Once Torres popped her head out, she postured up and unloaded right hands at her foe. But Osenio positioned her body sideways, threw her legs around her compatriot’s right arm, and tried to lock in the armbar.
As the Team Lakay athlete was attempting to secure the submission hold, Torres locked her hands together, stood up, elevated Osenio in the air, and slammed her to the mat. That instantly broke the hold, and a few follow-up right hands ensured that the seasoned veteran was knocked out.
It took all of 40 seconds for Torres to get that win – a stunning result she will attempt to replicate at ONE: BIG BANG.