July, August, and September played host to five spectacular ONE Championship events, and passionate martial arts fans were treated to world-class action inside the ring and cage across Asia.
While striking specialists shone with some highlight-reel knockouts, perhaps the past three months will be best remembered by some unorthodox and unforgettable finishes by grappling experts.
Here are five of the best submissions that showcase excellence and innovation en route to victory in The Home Of Martial Arts.
#1 Ariel Sexton’s Two-Pronged Attack
Ariel Tarzan Sexton took creativity to the next level with this submission!Download the ONE Super App now http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, August 19, 2018
Ariel “Tarzan” Sexton (12-4, 1 NC) is a well-rounded mixed martial artist, but as a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, he is best known for his ground game and unorthodox grappling techniques.
After hurting the Japanese athlete with strikes on the feet and on the ground, the Costa Rican countered his single-leg takedown attempt by stepping over him and onto his back.
Instead of trying to establish his hooks and work for a rear-naked choke, Sexton latched his right leg over Shimoishi’s shoulder and locked on a reverse triangle choke.
That was not the end of the Japanese lightweight’s troubles, however. “Tarzan” cranked hard on his rival’s isolated left arm to double up his first submission hold with a shoulder lock to get the finish in round three.
# 2 Joshua Pacio Unveils “The Passion Lock”
Joshua Pacio pulled off this WILD submission at ONE: REIGN OF KINGS.Download the ONE Super App now http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Monday, July 30, 2018
Muay Thai champion Pongsiri “The Smiling Assassin” Mitsatit (9-1) entered ONE: REIGN OF KINGS in July with an undefeated record, but he left the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines with his first career blemish after meeting Joshua “The Passion” Pacio (13-2).
The Team Lakay man knew his best route to victory was likely to be on the ground, and he established a takedown early in the first round. He then forced the Thai to give up his back after raining down hard punches and elbows.
After initially threatening with a rear-naked choke, making Mitsatit focus his attention on protecting his neck, the Filipino grabbed his opponent’s left arm and then attacked with a two-on-one grip for added strength.
He wrenched Mitsatit’s arm behind his back and pulled upwards for a kimura-like shoulder lock he dubbed “The Passion Lock.”
#3 Robin Catalan Takes Adrian Mattheis’ Leg
This is how Robin Catalan got us hooked Bangkok | 6 October | 5:30PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/oneheroes18
Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Robin “The Ilonggo” Catalan (8-4) has continually leveled up his grappling game after entering the world of mixed martial arts as a Muay Thai World Champion.
When he met Adrian “Papua Badboy” Mattheis (7-5) at ONE: BATTLE FOR THE HEAVENS in Guangzhou, China in July, he dominated with takedowns and ground control. Using his top position to set up strikes, Catalan never stopped looking to land punches and elbows on his Indonesian rival.
Mattheis tried to stem the flow of strikes by using a knee shield to keep “The Ilonggo” at bay, but the Filipino sat back and isolated a limb with his legs, and used his hands to grab onto a leg lock.
Catalan set to work on “Papua Badboy’s” knee, and within seconds had torqued with a heel hook to get the tap in round two.
#4 Keanu Subba’s Slick Armbar Of Xie Chao
Keanu Subba's back in action on 26 October!Yangon | 26 October | 6:00PM | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onegreatness18
Posted by ONE Championship on Monday, October 8, 2018
It was Subba who initiated the takedown in their featherweight bout in his hometown of Kuala Lumpur at ONE: PURSUIT OF POWER, and he looked to work with strikes from top position.
After throwing some hard up-kicks, Xie tried to attack with a leg lock from the bottom, but Subba spun out and passed into mount. The Chinese athlete tried to bridge and escape, but the Monarchy MMA man was ready to counter.
He controlled an arm and allowed his opponent to roll right into the awaiting armbar. After some adjustments, he got the tap.
#5 Renzo Gracie Turns Back The Clock
Renzo Gracie's still got it!Download the ONE Super App now http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Brazilian jiu-jitsu legend Renzo Gracie (14-7-1, 1 NC) returned to action aged 51 after eight years away from the cage. He met Japanese veteran Yuki Kondo (60-35-9), who was younger at 43 and had remained active in mixed martial arts competition, at ONE: REIGN OF KINGS.
There were not many bursts of energy in round one as the elder statesmen got the measure of each other, but the action picked up at the start of round two. As soon as Gracie shot for a single-leg takedown, the end was near.
He would not finish the initial takedown, but instead used his years of experience to go a different route. The BJJ legend took Kondo’s back, thrust his right hook deep through his opponent’s legs, and tripped him onto the mat.
From there, he was in the Brazilian’s world. Gracie beat Kondo in a hand battle and locked in a suffocating rear-naked choke to pick up an inspiring victory.