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Top 5 Highlights From ONE: FIRE & FURY

ONE Championship’s first trip to the Mall Of Asia Arena in 2020 was an unforgettable occasion, and the promotion set off fireworks all throughout the night.

This past Friday, 31 January, the world’s largest martial arts organization thoroughly entertained the local crowd and global fanbase with ONE: FIRE & FURY, its second event of the calendar year.

New contenders emerged, hungry veterans continued to climb up the ranks, and the strawweight division’s reigning king secured his place on the throne.

Before we look ahead to our next blockbuster event, let’s reflect on the top highlights from a wonderful night in Manila, Philippines.

#1 Pacio Retains World Title In Five-Round Classic

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???? THE MAIN EVENT ????Joshua Pacio ???????? retains his ONE Strawweight World Title in a back-and-forth battle with Alex Silva! ????????????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? bit.ly/ONESuperApp????: Shop official merchandise ???? bit.ly/ONECShop

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, January 31, 2020

Fans across the globe were treated to a 25-minute classic between reigning ONE Strawweight World Champion Joshua “The Passion” Pacio and former titleholder Alex “Little Rock” Silva.

It was a styles clash featuring the striker versus the grappler, a central storyline that dominated the proceedings.

The home favorite peppered the challenger with low kicks, knees, and punches, whereas the Brazilian hunted for takedowns. “Little Rock” hit a few in the first two rounds, and came close to securing a head and arm choke late in the second frame.

In the third period, Pacio operated behind his boxing and launched knees when he could. Though Silva scored takedowns, he also pulled guard and continued to threaten with submissions like a kneebar in the fourth round. The Filipino’s defense was always on point, however, and he managed to escape.

“Little Rock” continued to lean on his prized grappling in the fifth and final round, but again, the Team Lakay product was never truly threatened.

Ultimately, Pacio’s formidable striking and much-improved ground awareness ensured he would claim the split decision victory, as well as the honor of being the only man to successfully defend the strawweight crown two consecutive times.

#2 Buist Upsets Folayang In Manila

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Pieter Buist ???????? upsets hometown hero Eduard Folayang ???????? in a lightweight thriller, winning via split decision!????: How to watch ???? http://bit.ly/ONEFNFWatch????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? bit.ly/ONESuperApp????: Shop official merchandise ???? bit.ly/ONECShop

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, January 31, 2020

Pieter “The Archangel” Buist answered the call to face local hero and former ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang on two weeks’ notice.

Despite the odds being stacked against him, the surging Dutchman ruined the icon’s homecoming and left the Philippine capital with the biggest victory of his mixed martial arts career.

In the opening period, Buist rattled the Filipino with a head kick and a right hook from range, and he nearly locked up a standing guillotine choke. Then, when the Team Lakay veteran jumped in his guard during the second frame, “The Archangel” nearly forced the home favorite to submit with a triangle armbar.

Folayang survived to bring the bout into the third and final stanza, but Buist rocked him with another head kick and tried to secure another standing guillotine choke. When “Landslide” escaped from the hold and separated from the ensuing clinch, the Dutchman used his range to threaten his rival some more.

Although the Team Lakay representative kept it competitive and landed some fierce strikes, he never landed anything truly significant. “The Archangel” seemed to be in control and, as a result, he took home the split decision.

#3 Sato Gets His Sixth Consecutive Finish 

Shoko Sato ???????? kicks off the ONE: FIRE & FURY main card!

Shoko Sato ???????? kicks off the ONE: FIRE & FURY main card with a ???? FIRST-ROUND RNC ???? against Kwon Won Il! ????????????: How to watch ???? http://bit.ly/ONEFNFWatch????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? bit.ly/ONESuperApp????: Shop official merchandise ???? bit.ly/ONECShop

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, January 31, 2020

Japanese sensation Shoko Sato earned his sixth consecutive finish by submitting “Pretty Boy” Kwon Won Il in the first round of their bantamweight mixed martial arts encounter.

Sato, a Shooto Bantamweight World Champion with more than 50 bouts under his belt, proved to be too savvy for the 24-year-old South Korean striking specialist.

Following a calculated stand-up battle, the Tokyo native ducked under a punch, went for a double-leg takedown, and drove his opponent to the Circle Wall. He outmaneuvered “Pretty Boy” to take back control, threw knees to the legs, and then dragged him to the mat.

The Japanese star locked in a body figure-four and threw punches at his foe’s head. Kwon tried to stand and escape, but when he did, he left his neck exposed.

Sato quickly slid his arm underneath his opponent’s chin to secure the rear-naked choke and the subsequent tap.

#4 Adiwang Brings The Thunder And Lightning

Lito Adiwang ???????? makes it 2-0 for Team Lakay!

Lito Adiwang ???????? makes it 2-0 for Team Lakay with a slick kimura submission against Pongsiri Mitsatit! ????????????: How to watch ???? http://bit.ly/ONEFNFWatch????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? bit.ly/ONESuperApp????: Shop official merchandise ???? bit.ly/ONECShop

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, January 31, 2020

Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang came out like a bolt of lightning and nearly finished Pongsiri “The Smiling Assassin” Mitsatit in the opening moments of their strawweight mixed martial arts bout.

The 26-year-old Benguet native quickly put his Thai rival on the back foot, furiously attacked him with punches, and dropped him with a left hook in the first minute of the tilt. He secured full mount and unleashed heavy ground strikes, but “The Smiling Assassin” did well to scramble free.

Adiwang, however, maintained his pressure and turned the contest into a grappling battle. While Mitsatit secured back control at one point, “Thunder Kid” grabbed his arm and rolled onto the canvas.

The Filipino eventually reversed position to get into half-guard, and then he stepped over his adversary’s head with his right leg and cranked on a powerful kimura.

With nearly two minutes remaining in the first round and no way to escape, “The Smiling Assassin” was forced to tap out.

#5 Rodlek Seals Victory With Late Knockdown

Rodlek ???????? plows through Chris Shaw ????????????????????????????

Rodlek ???????? plows through Chris Shaw ???????????????????????????? to earn the unanimous decision victory in ONE Super Series Muay Thai!????: How to watch ???? http://bit.ly/ONEFNFWatch????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? bit.ly/ONESuperApp????: Shop official merchandise ???? bit.ly/ONECShop

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, January 31, 2020

Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym and Chris Shaw stood toe-to-toe for three rounds in a closely-contested ONE Super Series Muay Thai bantamweight clash, but by the end of the battle, it was clear the Thai star would emerge victorious.

The Channel 7 Muay Thai World Champion attacked the Scottish warrior with left hooks to the body, right hands to the head, and kicks to the legs in the opening two stanzas.

Shaw did not back down, however. He frequently pumped the jab in the first round, and then he engaged in the clinch in the next frame, where he threw elbows and knees. The European striker even dumped his foe to the mat.

In the final round, the Glasgow native caused damage with uppercut elbows, but Rodlek walked through them with his nonstop offensive front.

As the final seconds ticked away, the Thai stunned his rival with a right hook to the body. Though Rodlek’s follow-up right hook was blocked, he connected with a left hook to the chin, which dropped Shaw to the canvas. That cemented his unanimous decision win.

Read more: Brandon Vera’s Next ONE Heavyweight World Title Defense Confirmed