ONE Super Series thrilled fans all across the globe with exceptional match-ups in its sophomore year.
The all-striking arm of ONE Championship has quickly established itself as the industry leader, thanks to the high-level matchmaking and sterling performances from its elite athletes.
There have been dozens of exciting bouts, but some stood out from the pack for their intrigue, drama, and fast-paced action.
Here are the 10 greatest contests of 2019 in the ONE Super Series Muay Thai and kickboxing ranks.
#1 Jonathan Haggerty vs. Rodtang Jitmuangnon
Jonathan “The General” Haggerty made his first ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title defense against Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon at ONE: DAWN OF HEROES in August, and the resulting encounter went all the way to the wire.
The English striker controlled the early running of the bout with his slick work from the outside. He kept Rodtang at bay with sharp jabs and push kicks, and it was a masterclass in how to use a reach advantage effectively.
However, true to form, Rodtang continued his relentless drive forward. The Thai hero started to have more success with his heavy punches and low kicks in round three, but Haggerty replied in the pocket as the pair went toe-to-toe.
In the ascendency, “The Iron Man” dropped the defending World Champion with a heavy right hand in the fourth, and it looked like he had taken control of the match-up. But in a final swing of momentum, “The General” battled back to win the fifth stanza.
After 15 minutes of intense back-and-forth action, the judges unanimously declared Rodtang the victor, and he claimed the gold in the ONE Super Series Bout Of The Year.
On 10 January at ONE: A NEW TOMORROW in Bangkok, Thailand, the two will meet in a rematch for the richest prize in the sport.
#2 Nong-O Gaiyanghadao vs. Saemapetch Fairtex
The challenger matched his rival in the opening stanza, as the pair traded hard punches and kicks. At first glance, it looked set to be a closely-contested battle for the gold.
However, in round two, Nong-O exploded into action and dropped Saemapetch to the canvas twice with his powerful boxing.
Most would not have made it to the third stanza, but the Fairtex representative got off his stool, came out firing, and showed he could not be written off just yet.
The resurgence lasted until round four, however. With less than 90 seconds remaining in the frame, Nong-O blasted his compatriot with a monstrous straight right, which left him spread-eagled on the canvas for an impressive KO victory.
#3 Jonathan Haggerty vs. Sam-A Gaiyanghadao
Sam-A Gaiyanghadao entered the ring for this clash as the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion at ONE: FOR HONOR in May, but a spellbinding Haggerty performance meant the Thai did not leave with the belt around his waist.
Though Sam-A entered with a massive experience advantage, it was the Brit who looked steady and composed in the early stages, unfazed by his rival’s credentials.
Haggerty landed punches, kicks, and elbows until the defending World Champion fired back with his trademark left kick and close-range boxing in the second round.
“The General” got his nose ahead when he briefly dropped the Evolve star in the third period, but Sam-A came back in the fourth with his strongest display yet. This surge left it all to play for in the final frame.
Somehow, a tiring Haggerty found a second wind and dropped his opposite number to the mat with another right hand, which all but sealed the match. Sam-A tried landing a shot that could turn it around, but he couldn’t, and the Brit picked up the biggest victory — and prize — of his career via unanimous decision.
#4 Ilias Ennahachi vs. Petchdam Petchyindee Academy
The hard-hitting pair met in the middle of the Circle and traded shots. Ennahachi poured it on the Thai, but “The Baby Shark” returned fire and scored with hurtful body shots.
With neither man willing to take a backward step, it was the Dutch-Moroccan’s heavy hands that made the difference in the third round. He rocked the Petchyindee Academy representative with a left hook and then unleashed a barrage of punches to send him down.
Petchdam did his best to continue, but a final salvo finished the job for Ennahachi, which earned him the World Title and put a stamp on one of the year’s most impressive debuts.
#5 Stamp Fairtex vs. Janet Todd
From the very beginning, Todd applied forward-pressure on the Thai, who countered her aggression with stinging counter-punching.
Still, the American kept up the pressure and landed an array of strikes. Stamp absorbed her rival’s shots and returned fire with her right hand, as well as strong knees in the clinch.
“JT” would not quit, however. She had her strongest showing in the fifth and final round, and it made things even more competitive. But ultimately, Todd’s valiant effort was not enough to sway the judges in her favor.
Stamp earned the unanimous decision to become not only the first-ever ONE Atomweight Muay Thai World Champion, but also the first-ever two-sport ONE World Champion in history.
The Best Of The Rest
- #6 Tarik Khbabez vs. Anderson Silva
- #7 Dzhabar Askerov vs. Enriko Kehl
- #8 Santino Verbeek vs. Juan Cervantes
- #9 Stamp Fairtex vs. Alma Juniku
- #10 Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy II
Read more: Top 10 ONE Super Series Knockouts Of 2019