The first few ONE Championship events of 2020 have delivered some colossal kickboxing and Muay Thai contests packed with exciting action and stunning finishes.
From World Championship clashes to newcomers trying to make an impression on the global stage, ONE Super Series’ elite strikers have put it all on the line in search of victory whenever the Circle has arrived in one of Asia’s biggest cities.
The results were usually spectacular – particularly during these five matches, which were the most entertaining stand-up battles of the past three months.
#1 Stamp Fairtex Vs. Janet Todd
Old rivals Stamp Fairtex and Janet “JT” Todd pushed each other to the limit once again in a fascinating, back-and-forth battle for the ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Title at ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE.
Todd planned to go hard from the first bell to turn the tables and win their rematch, and she succeeded in making a fast start that by stepping on the gas from minute one. Her sharp boxing, kicks, and movement seemed to give her the lead and forced Stamp to adjust if she wanted to hold onto the gold.
The defending World Champion roared back into the contest with punishing low kicks and hard right hands, but the American kept her composure and continued to blast her foe with straight punches and high kicks.
It looked like it could be anyone’s match heading into the last round, but Todd put in a clinical final three minutes to dethrone Stamp and claim the first World Title of her career.
#2 Petchdam Petchyindee Academy Vs. Momotaro
The contrasting styles of the former ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion and his Japanese opponent made for a scintillating affair. Momotaro darted in with hard punches and fast kicks that hurt the Thai star, but as Petchdam found his feet, he started to fire back with his renowned left kick to the body, as well as knees and elbows in the clinch.
It came down to “The Baby Shark’s” power against his rival’s speed, and the judges decided that the Petchyindee man’s hard kicks were enough to earn him the nod via majority decision.
#3 Victor Pinto Vs. Adam Noi
Adam Noi and Victor “Leo” Pinto put on an exciting spectacle of striking in their bantamweight kickboxing tussle at ONE: A NEW TOMORROW as they went toe-to-toe from the word go – uncorking kicks and aggressive boxing combinations while barely taking a backward step.
The decisive moment came when Noi stayed cool under pressure against the ropes and responded to a “Leo” flurry with a lightning-fast head kick from close range to score a knockdown at the end of the first round.
That spurred Pinto on as he increased his aggression and attempted to restore parity on the scorecards, but his Algerian foe kept up his work rate and had an answer for much of the offense that came his way with punches and low kicks to seal an impressive decision victory.
Read more: Noi’s Head Kick Leads To Debut Victory
#4 Rodtang Jitmuangnon vs. Jonathan Haggerty II
Their encounter at ONE: A NEW TOMORROW could not quite match that because it was all over before the end of the third round, but these warriors still packed a ton of excitement into fewer than nine minutes in the ring.
Much of the entertainment stemmed from the Thai’s relentless offense, as he tried to finish Haggerty’s with a relentless assault of body blows. “The Iron Man” started well as he dropped the Brit with a left hook to the midsection in round one, but Haggerty showed great courage to recover and work his way back into the bout with his straight punches and push kicks.
However, Rodtang did not let up and “The General” could not deny him for long. The Jitmuangnon athlete dialed up the intensity even more in the third frame and hurt “The General” to the body again. Haggerty got up twice after he was caught with powerful body salvos, but he could not stop a final flurry that sealed the deal for the Thai, who kept hold of his ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship.
#5 Chris Shaw vs. Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym
Rodlek PK.Saenchaimuaythaigym’s furious forward march made for another epic contest in the bantamweight Muay Thai ranks, but Chris Shaw also played his role in the three-round slugfest on the ONE: FIRE & FURY lead card.
Shaw tried to keep his man at bay with an assertive jab, but Rodlek charged in to score to the head and body with powerful hooks. The debuting Scot seemed to accept that it would be impossible to keep “The Steel Locomotive” at range, so he stood his ground and started to exchange with him instead.
Shaw did some damage with his elbows in round three, but still could not keep the Bangkok resident back, and Rodlek cemented his victory when he dropped his man with a hard left hook in the closing moments.