ONE Super Series capped off 2019 with some incredible striking match-ups.
From October to December, elite kickboxers and Muay Thai specialists went to war in exciting, fast-paced battles that delivered on skill, drama, and highlight-reel finishes.
With the promotion’s all-striking branch now on a brief respite, we take a look back at the five best ONE Super Series contests from this year’s final quarter.
#1 Nong-O Knocks Out Saemapetch In Four-Round Thriller
Reigning ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao and his challenger Saemapetch Fairtex blew the roof off the Singapore Indoor Stadium in their epic title clash at ONE: EDGE OF GREATNESS in November.
After a closely-contested opening frame, Nong-O blasted his Thai compatriot with punches and dropped him to the canvas twice in round two.
It looked like the writing was on the wall for the Fairtex representative, but he returned fire in the third frame and seemed ready to turn things around.
However, Nong-O’s power separated the pair, as he landed a crunching right cross in the fourth stanza to halt his rival’s comeback in its tracks and retain his grip on the World Title.
#2 Mahmoudi And Lerdsila Put On Technical Masterclass
The clash of styles between Elias “The Sniper” Mahmoudi and Lerdsila Phuket Top Team at ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS in December was always going to deliver excitement, with the young French-Algerian’s dynamic offense matched up against the Thai legend’s world-renowned defensive skills.
Mahmoudi pressured his opponent at every opportunity. He came forward and used his reach advantage to land hard punches, kicks, and knees. But, in typical fashion, the Thai ducked and dodged out of danger, and he looked for his counters.
“The Sniper” was not deterred, however, and kept marching his adversary down. It became a finely-balanced battle of firepower versus counter-striking.
It was a purist’s dream, and Mahmoudi’s aggression eventually earned him the unanimous decision victory inside the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
#3 Rodtang Shows Grit To Retain His Crown
Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon put on another exciting five-round spectacle when he defended his ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title against Brazilian challenger Walter Goncalves at ONE: CENTURY PART II in Tokyo, Japan this past October.
He walked the challenger down relentlessly to use his heavy kicks and boxing arsenal, but his granite chin also had its part to play as he absorbed some powerful head kicks from the challenger.
Goncalves did not want to meet the heavy-hitting Thai head-on, and he did his best to move and counter. But when he had no other option, he was not afraid to bite down on his mouthpiece and fire back.
“The Iron Man” left the Ryogoku Kokugikan with the split decision nod, but the debuting Brazilian’s stock also went up thanks to his gutsy performance.
#4 Ramazanov Mixes It Up To Defeat Zhang
With the inaugural ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title on the line at ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS, powerful finishers Alaverdi “Babyface Killer” Ramazanov and “Muay Thai Boy” Zhang Chenglong gave it their all in a gritty 15-minute tussle.
The Russian striking ace worked with a more varied arsenal, which included his bread-and-butter Muay Thai game, as well as switch-hitting and spinning attacks.
He dropped Zhang in the third frame with a beautiful jab-cross combination, but the Chinese warrior came back with his damaging overhand right to try and claw the bout back in his favor.
“Muay Thai Boy” never let the Russian relax and kept him honest with powerful punching in the championship rounds, but “Babyface Killer” did more than enough to earn the crown.
#5 Kryklia Makes A Statement In His ONE Debut
Tarik “The Tank” Khbabez became a fan favorite with his ultra-aggressive style — and it earned him four straight wins on the global stage.
But he came unstuck when he faced off against old rival Roman Kryklia for the inaugural ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Title at ONE: AGE OF DRAGONS from the Cadillac Arena in Beijing, China this past November.
The Dutch-Moroccan waded into his foe with his usual vigor, but Kryklia utilized his jab and movement to stay out of a toe-to-toe battle. Khbabez continued to press, but in round two, Kryklia began to land cleaner shots, and with more frequency.
Even after getting dropped, “The Tank” plowed forward. But the Ukrainian colossus had his number, and he overwhelmed his adversary with punches and knees to win World Title gold in his promotional debut.