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Top 6 Highlights From ONE: DAWN OF HEROES

The sun has set on ONE: DAWN OF HEROES, and the action on display was worthy of being called the biggest event in Philippine martial arts history.

On paper, the match-ups were intriguing, and the athletes involved lived up to the hype inside Manila’s Mall Of Asia Arena on Friday, 2 August.

There was an incredible World Title defense, highlight-reel finishes, and back-and-forth battles that went all the way to the wire. A new World Champion was crowned, too.

Here are the six best highlights from a memorable night in the Philippine capital.

#1 Nguyen’s Knockout

ONE featherweight king ???? Martin Nguyen called his shot and came through with a stunning second-round knockout of Koyomi Matsushima!

ONE featherweight king ???? Martin "The Situ-Asian" Nguyen called his shot and came through with a stunning second-round knockout of Koyomi Matsushima!????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, August 2, 2019

Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen kept a firm grasp on the ONE Featherweight World Title and cemented his status as the most dominant athlete in his division’s history with the third defense of his crown.

Challenger Koyomi “Moushigo” Matsushima put the pressure on the Vietnamese-Australian in the opening frame with his wrestling, but Nguyen adjusted in round two and began to land his powerful strikes.

Some thudding body shots took the wind out of Matsushima’s sails and an overhand right wobbled him. Another barrage of punches in the corner of the ring left the Japanese athlete no choice but to try and shoot for a takedown.

Nguyen evaded it, however, and then struck again. He got on top of Matsushima and dropped heavy leather until the referee intervened with just seconds remaining in the second stanza.

#2 Rodtang And Haggerty’s Five-Round Thriller

???? A NEW KING IS CROWNED ????

???? A NEW KING IS CROWNED ????Rodtang Jitmuangnon outstrikes Jonathan Haggerty in a five-round thriller to clinch the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title via unanimous decision!????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ????http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, August 2, 2019

Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon proved his aggression and punching power can overcome any style of opponent.

He rallied in the third and fourth rounds to score a decisive knockdown, which helped him take the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title from Jonathan “The General” Haggerty.

The Englishman’s sharp striking and reach controlled much of the early action, but as “The Iron Man” upped the tempo, his hard hooks to the head and body took their toll.

A left hook-right hand combo felled the defending World Champion in round four, and it proved to be the crucial moment of the bout.

“The General” mustered up all of his courage to come back in round five, but the damage had been done. Rodtang’s non-stop forward pressure and punishing boxing output impressed all three judges, who awarded him the unanimous decision and World Championship gold.

#3 Alvarez’s Miraculous Comeback

Eddie Alvarez overcomes Eduard Folayang’s fearsome wushu striking to score a submission victory and a spot in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix finals!

Eddie Alvarez overcomes Eduard Folayang’s fearsome wushu striking to score a submission victory and a spot in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix finals!????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ????http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, August 2, 2019

Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez’s superhuman ability to rebound from punishment is now well documented, but the Filipino fans got to witness it firsthand in Manila.

Hometown hero Eduard “Landslide” Folayang dropped the American to the canvas with a crunching low kick, and he laid it on thick with ground and pound.

He appeared close to a finish, but somehow “The Underground King” survived and found a way out with a well-timed sweep from the guard.

Once he was on top, it was Alvarez’s turn to attack. He passed to mount and then forced “Landslide” to turn away from his strikes and give up his back.

The multiple-time mixed martial arts World Champion flattened Folayang out immediately and cinched up a tight rear-naked choke to get his first victory in The Home Of Martial Arts.

#4 Flyweight Dynamos Deliver Scintillating Semifinal

???? "THE KING" CONQUERS "LIGHTNING” ⚡

???? "THE KING" CONQUERS "LIGHTNING” ⚡In a back-and-forth thriller, hometown hero Danny "The King" Kingad edges a game Reece McLaren by split decision!????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ????http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, August 2, 2019

Exciting flyweight stars Danny “The King” Kingad and Reece “Lightning” McLaren went back-and-forth for three rounds with a ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix final spot at stake.

Their never-ending gas tanks and well-rounded skill sets made for a fascinating battle that had stand-up, ground action, attacks, escapes, and shifts in momentum.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt McLaren had the lion’s share of position early and attacked for his renowned chokes, but “The King” showed the might of Team Lakay’s brand of Baguio Jiu-Jitsu to survive and then turn the tables.

Kingad’s best work happened in the final frame where his wrestling came to the fore, and his heavy ground and pound assault caught the eyes of the judges to get him a close split decision.

#5 Wakamatsu KOs A Former World Champion

Yuya "Little Piranha" Wakamatsu takes out former flyweight king Geje Eustaquio with an ⚡ ELECTRIFYING⚡ KO in a ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix alternate bout!

Yuya "Little Piranha" Wakamatsu takes out former flyweight king Geje Eustaquio with an ⚡ ELECTRIFYING⚡ KO in a ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix alternate bout!????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ????http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, August 2, 2019

It has been a long time coming, but Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu finally hit the thumping knockout he has threatened to deliver in the world’s largest martial arts organization.

The Japanese knockout artist went against another elite adversary in former ONE Flyweight World Champion Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio, but when his right hand lands flush, it does not matter who is on the receiving end.

He tested the distance with a left hand that grazed Eustaquio’s guard, but then his straight right pierced through the middle and landed on the chin to send the Filipino hero to the canvas.

The first follow-up shot landed accurately, and that was enough to seal the deal as the referee stepped in to halt the match with just a minute and 59 seconds gone in the opening frame.

#6 Takenaka Puts A Stamp On Storming Three-Rounder

Dangerous Daichi Takenaka finishes BJJ World Champion Leandro Issa with HEAVY ground and pound in Round 3!

Dangerous Daichi Takenaka finishes BJJ World Champion Leandro Issa with HEAVY ground and pound in Round 3!????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ????http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, August 2, 2019

Japan’s Daichi Takenaka and Brazil’s Leandro “Brodinho” Issa’s bantamweight battle was one of the most entertaining of the night, and both men had their share of success in this three-round encounter.

However, the Japanese athlete had the final say with an emphatic finish.

Takenaka landed a picture-perfect superman punch on the advancing Brazilian that sent him crashing to the canvas, and then he went to close the show on the ground.

The Osaka native drilled his knees and fists into his rival’s head until he could no longer defend himself, and with the win, he propelled himself into the upper echelon of a stacked division.