The Top Highlights From ONE: BIG BANG II
At ONE: BIG BANG II on Friday, 11 December, the athletes held up their end of the bargain and delivered fireworks at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The previously recorded show featured incredible finishes and back-and-forth battles, as newcomers and veterans alike made major statements inside the Circle.
Which performances stood out above the rest? Let’s look back at the top three highlights from an exciting night in “The Lion City.”
#1 Holzken’s Walk-Off KO
Nieky “The Natural” Holzken cemented his status as the #1-ranked lightweight kickboxing contender with an effortless showcase in Singapore against #5-ranked Elliot “The Dragon” Compton.
Compton was active in the opening minute with his offense, but Holzken marched forward methodically. The internal calculations were being made, and “The Natural” was picking up the timing and distance he needed.
Then, just as the Aussie was picking up the pace, Holzken was ready for the show-stealing body blow.
Holzken threw a tight right uppercut that drew Compton’s defense upward, exposing his body’s right side. With the midsection left open, the Dutch legend dug a picture-perfect left hook into the liver, leaving “The Dragon” writhing and unable to answer the referee’s count.
The 96-second KO showed that Holzken is committed to chasing after the ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Championship once again.
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#2 Opacic’s Epic Debut
Welcome to The Home Of Martial Arts, Rade Opacic. The Serbian phenom made the impactful debut he was looking for with an epic highlight-reel finish of Errol “The Bonecrusher” Zimmerman.
Zimmerman opened the heavyweight kickboxing bout with hammering leg kicks, and Opacic responded by going to the body and landing quick, stiff jabs.
The 23-year-old Serbian continued stinging Zimmerman with jabs and leg kicks early in the second round before scoring an unforgettable knockout.
After a right leg kick from the Dutch veteran, Opacic feinted with a left jab and launched a spinning heel kick. As if pulled directly from an instructional video, the heel landed flush on the jawline.
“The Bonecrusher” somehow made it back to his feet before the count, but the referee called a stop to the bout, noticing he was still on wobbly legs after the devastating blow.
It was a memorable debut for Opacic, who announced himself as a force to be reckoned with in the ONE Super Series heavyweight kickboxing ranks.
#3 Kim’s Dominant Ground-And-Pound
In just under two rounds, “The Fighting God” Kim Jae Woong put on a commanding performance against #4-ranked featherweight contender Tetsuya “MMA Fantasista” Yamada.
Kim’s takedown defense and top control was evident early in the contest, but the victory was not without its momentary hardships.
Late in the first round, Yamada attacked with a kimura and used it to beautifully float into the mount. As Kim scrambled to get back up, the Japanese contender went for an armbar, but “The Fighting God” defended perfectly to end up on top, where he rained down heavy ground-and-pound.
It was more of the same throughout the second round, but Yamada would not escape to see the third frame.
After Kim let “MMA Fantasista” stand, they worked against the Circle Wall. Yamada tried another trip, but the South Korean’s base was too strong, and he landed on top again.
Numerous hammerfists forced Yamada to turn, and a straight left was waiting for him. After one more left hand, the Japanese star covered up until the referee stepped in to call off the action.
With his TKO of the #4 contender, Kim staked his claim to a spot in the stacked featherweight rankings. And immediately after the fight, he called for a matchup with former divisional king Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen.
Read more: The Best Pictures From ONE: BIG BANG II