The Muay Thai and kickboxing competitors in ONE Super Series never fail to deliver, but the standard was possibly higher than it has ever been in the second quarter of this year.
In every event, the world-class athletes have turned in some marvelous performances that rank as some of the best of their careers.
Faced with the most elite opposition ONE Championship can offer, some of the striking heroes have put on performances that may go down in history for their greatness.
These are the top five from an incredible three months of martial arts.
Michael’s Magnificent Debut
Muay Thai phenom Savvas Michael-ไมเคิล เพชรยินดี อคาเดมี่ outduels Singtongnoi in his ONE Super Series debut to claim an impressive unanimous decision victory!Watch the full event on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, May 10, 2019
Savvas “The Baby Face Killer” Michael was thrown into the deep end for his promotional debut, but he took to life in The Home Of Martial Arts like a duck to water.
Even though he was up against Muay Thai legend Singtongnoi Por Telakun at ONE: WARRIORS OF LIGHT, the 20-year-old showed maturity beyond his years to pick the Evolve representative apart over three rounds.
When the Cypriot from Petchyindee Gym in Bangkok was not taking the initiative to stun the Thai icon, he was answering attacks with fast counterstrikes, or putting his rival on his backside with superb sweeps.
Singtongnoi’s compatriots inside the Impact Arena were disappointed not to see their man win, but warm applause greeted the announcement of the unanimous decision for Michael in recognition for a fantastic display.
Even in the stacked flyweight division, he stands out as one of the leading contenders for a World Title shot, already.
Rodtang Runs Through Thy
“The Baby Face Killer” will have to wait for his shot at the gold because Rodtang “Iron Man” Jitmuangnon cannot be denied thanks to his fourth straight ONE Super Series win.
There was a lot of pressure on the 21-year-old to win after ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Jonathan “The General” Haggerty called him out the previous week, but the man from Phatthalung rose to the occasion.
Rodtang stalked Sok Thy from minute one, and smashed his front legs with kicks. Fans who had seen the Cambodian’s previous contests knew he was a skilled and tough competitor, but he could not stand up to that level of punishment and went down in the closing moments of round one.
He was saved from more damage by the bell, but when the action restarted, the “Iron Man” continued to plow through Thy’s defenses and finished him off at the 1:36 mark of the second stanza.
Nong-O Makes It Look Easy
The Japanese athlete came in with experience from more than 150 martial arts bouts, a Shootboxing Lightweight World Championship, and two excellent wins on the global stage, but he was completely overwhelmed by the Thai icon at ONE: WARRIORS OF LIGHT.
Nong-O unleashed his trademark right roundhouse kick early, and never stopped throwing it for five rounds along with a variety of other strikes. His Japanese rival had no answer, and continued to absorb massive damage throughout the match.
The Evolve representative greeted the final bell and a unanimous decision without a scratch on him in stark contrast to his challenger.
Samy Sana Shocks The World
The Frenchman entered ONE: ENTER THE DRAGON with an aggressive game plan that took advantage of his height and reach advantage to pull off a stunning upset and end the Thai legend’s eight-year winning streak.
Jaws were on the flaw in the Singapore Indoor Stadium and around the world when Sana dropped Yodsanklai with a left hook in the first round, but many expected that to be as good as it would get for the 30-year-old.
However, even though his rival stepped through the gears in the second and third rounds, “AK47” was more than equal to everything that came his way, and continued to snap the legend’s head back with punches and kicks, and slam knees into his body.
Regian Eersel Rises To The Occasion
Regian “The Immortal” Eersel was a proven, world-class kickboxer before he stepped up to face Nieky “The Natural” Holzken for the inaugural ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Title, but he had never hit these heights before.
The flying Dutchman took a round to find his groove, but once he did, he attacked his rival with a wide array of fast and furious strikes.
The highlight was a jumping knee that put Holzken on the canvas in round four, and gave him a near-unassailable lead on the scorecards heading into the final three minutes.
“The Natural” came on strong in the final stanza, and Eersel admits he was caught with a big liver punch, but he swallowed the pain, and continued to fire away until the bell to seal his victory via unanimous decision.
Now World Champion, it looks like he will take some beating to knock off his perch.