The 2021 campaign got off to a hot start for ONE Championship, as ONE: UNBREAKABLE fired on all cylinders inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, 22 January.
A new World Champion was crowned, two records fell, and only one of the six bouts made it to the judges’ scorecards.
After an incredible night of fights, it wasn’t easy to pick out the top three highlights, but we’ve done our best. Each of the performances below set the bar incredibly high for the new year.
#1 Capitan Grabs Gold With Second-Round KO
There was no feeling-out process as the two warriors threw heavy leather as soon as the opening bell rang. Capitan’s confidence grew as the first round went along, and he peppered the defending titleholder with hard leg kicks and clean punches.
In the second frame, the Thai’s leg kicks set the stage for the finish. The Petchyindee Academy star battered Ramazanov’s legs with his signature right leg kick. The accumulated damage limited the Russian’s mobility and put him on his back foot.
As Ramazanov covered up against the Circle Wall in the face of constant pressure, Capitan dug a beautiful right hook into his body. “Babyface Killer” turned away, and Capitan landed a final straight right to the head that put his foe on the canvas.
Ramazanov was unable to answer the referee’s count, allowing Capitan to celebrate his World Title-winning performance.
The brand new ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Champion’s knockout finish officially came at 1:56 of the second round, and it comes four months after his record-setting six-second KO.
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#2 Aoki Becomes ONE’s All-Time Submission King
Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki now stands alone as the top submission artist in ONE history after notching another first-round finish – this time against former ONE Welterweight World Title challenger James Nakashima in the ONE: UNBREAKABLE co-main event.
The two grapplers were quick to get into the clinch, with Aoki having double underhooks. The masterclass of grappling was soon in session as “Tobikan Judan” slipped to Nakashima’s back.
Although Nakashima tried to prevent it at first, Aoki finally got his left hook in and took full control of the situation by jumping higher onto his foe’s back with a body triangle locked in place.
The #4-ranked lightweight contender smoothly moved his right arm across the face of Nakashima and squeezed with all of his might. The American tapped soon after as the pain from the neck crank was too much to bear.
Aoki earned his eighth career submission victory in The Home Of Martial Arts – breaking a four-way tie for first place – and snagged his third consecutive win. That victory has undoubtedly moved him back into ONE Lightweight World Title contention.
#3 Abdulaev Notches Fastest Welterweight Sub Ever
ONE Warrior Series alum Gadzhimurad Abdulaev jumped onto the global stage at ONE: UNBREAKABLE and immediately announced himself as a force in the welterweight division’s upper echelon with a shocking first-round finish of its former king, Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam.
Abdulaev waited for a low kick to shoot in for a takedown and then transitioned to Kadestam’s back during a scramble between the two European athletes.
Once the Russian had his opponent’s back, he stayed patient while looking for submission opportunities and locking in a body triangle to keep Kadestam from turning into top position.
Next, Abdulaev slipped his arm across the Swede’s face and tightened his grip. Although it was not under the chin, the Russian’s squeeze was so powerful that it left “The Bandit” with no other choice but to tap out.
The official time of the face crank came at 2:08 of the first round, becoming the fastest submission in ONE welterweight history.