Five scintillating battles made up Part II of the enormous ONE X fight card on Saturday, 26 March, and there was barely a moment to take a breath throughout the relentless action.
There were a pair of ONE Super Series World Title belts on the line, along with three mixed martial arts contests that had major implications for their respective divisions.
Here’s a recap of each matchup at the Singapore Indoor Stadium as the world’s largest martial arts organization built up to its Grand Finale PPV card at this historic 10th-anniversary event.
Nong-O Continues Domination Of Bantamweight Muay Thai Division With KO Of Lobo
Lobo had recorded back-to-back upset wins in ONE Super Series, but the all-striking league’s most dominant World Champion never let his challenger into the match and secured his third straight KO finish.
Nong-O stabbed at the Brazilian with jabs and hard low kicks, while “Demolition Man” was left mostly hitting air as he struggled to connect on the Evolve MMA superstar. The Brazilian tried to turn it up in the third frame – but that led to his demise.
As Lobo looked to come forward with his jab, the Thai legend calmly stepped back to uncork a concussive right uppercut that separated “Demolition Man” from his senses at the 2:15 mark.
With his victory, Nong-O pushed his career record to a colossal 263-54-10, scored his eighth win in ONE, and recorded his fifth consecutive World Title defense.
Akimoto Claims Bantamweight Kickboxing Gold With Spectacular Win Over Capitan
“One-Punch Man” Capitan Petchyindee and Hiroki Akimoto promised to deliver excitement in their ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title fight, and they followed through with one of the most entertaining battles in ONE Super Series history.
In the end, it was #2-ranked Akimoto who dethroned the Thai star with a sensational performance across 15 minutes of nonstop action.
The Japanese phenom stayed in the pocket and broke down Capitan with his power, speed, and ruthlessness. He chopped the defending titleholder’s lead leg from the onset and hammered every inch of his body with various combinations and stinging kicks.
Capitan proved to be a tough nut to crack, though. His chin, ribs, and lead leg were tested on several occasions, yet he stayed strong and fought until the very end.
However, the Bangkok resident was also given a pair of yellow cards and a point deduction for excessive clinching, while the 29-year-old challenger executed a near-perfect game plan from start to finish.
Along with the new ONE World Title belt, Akimoto earned his fifth consecutive win on the global stage, moved to 26-1 overall, and nabbed a US$50,000 performance bonus.
Ham Leaves No Doubt In Rematch With Zamboanga
Third-ranked women’s atomweight contender “Hamzzang” Ham Seo Hee put the controversy behind her with a dominant win over #2-ranked Denice “Lycan Queen” Zamboanga in their three-round mixed martial arts clash.
The South Korean’s split-decision victory in their first matchup last September was the subject of much debate, but her wrestling and top control earned her a unanimous decision in their second tussle.
An early clash of heads looked like it might cause more drama, but Ham was cleared to continue. She then went after the Marrok Force star with punches and utilized a combination of takedown counters and trips to land in top position, where she controlled the majority of the match.
After moving to 25-8 with the victory, Ham will keep a close eye on the ONE X main event between ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee and challenger Stamp Fairtex, hoping for a shot at the winner.
Jihin Hands Hirata First Loss With Hard-Fought Decision
Many expected Itsuki “Android 18” Hirata’s judo skills to trouble Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan in their atomweight MMA contest, but the latter put on a valiant display and frustrated the undefeated Japanese star in that very department.
Throughout the entire 15-minute battle, Jihin had an answer for every trick the Krazy Bee athlete threw at her. Whether in the clinch, against the Circle Wall, or defending against Hirata’s ground game, the Malaysian sensation remained in control.
After a close and entertaining fight, the 23-year-old earned an impressive split-decision victory, spoiling “Android 18’s” perfect slate and upping her own record to 8-2.
Tang Knocks Out Kim To Make Case For World Title Shot
Tang Kai and “The Fighting God” Kim Jae Woong both claimed to be the better striker ahead of their heated featherweight mixed martial arts showdown, but it was the Chinese athlete who backed up that claim with a US$50,000 bonus-winning knockout.
The Sunkin International Fight Club product exchanged jabs and low kicks with his South Korean rival, but as the opening frame wore on, he started to land with more precision.
And when “The Fighting God” lunged in with a right hand, Tang countered with a devastating cross-hook combination that dropped his man to the canvas. Two follow-up shots sealed the deal for the #4-ranked contender at 2:07 of round one.
By taking out the division’s #1 seed and moving to 6-0 in ONE, Tang may have booked the next shot at ONE Featherweight World Champion Thanh Le, who appeared to accept a callout after the fight.