Chan Rothana Topples Gustavo Balart In Back-And-Forth Flyweight Thriller

Chan Rothana was pushed to the limits in his flyweight mixed martial arts encounter on Friday, 16 August, but he ultimately left the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand with the biggest victory of his career.

He engaged in a back-and-forth battle with Cuban grappler Gustavo “El Gladiador” Balart at ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD, and after three hard rounds, he earned a unanimous decision victory.

It was not an easy night for the Cambodian striker, however.

Cambodian ???????? hero Chan Rothana rallies back for a thrilling unanimous decision victory over a game Gustavo Balart!

Cambodian ???????? hero CHAN Rothana rallies back for a thrilling unanimous decision victory over a game Gustavo Balart!????: Check local listings for the global broadcast starting at 8:30PM (Bangkok time).???????? Thailand: สามารถรับชมได้ทางไทยรัฐทีวีช่อง 32 เวลา 21:30 น. วันที่ 16 สิงหาคมนี้???????? United States: Tune in to B/R LIVE at 9:30AM ET ???? Japan: 8月16日 午後7時 AbemaTV 生中継 ???? Philippines: Tune in to ABS-CBN S+A at 9:30PM.???????? Singapore: Tune in to Toggle at 9:30PM or Mediacorp Channel 5 at 10PM.???????? Malaysia: Tune in to TV2 or Astro Arena at 9:30PM.???????? India: Tune in to Hotstar or Star Sports Select 2 at 3:30PM.???????? Vietnam: Theo dõi trên kênh HTV Thể Thao vào lúc 20h30.???????? Myanmar: Skynet Sports 3 မွာ ညေန ၈နာရီ အခ်ိန္တြင္ တိုက္႐ိုက္ထုတ္လႊင့္ျပသ သြားမွာ ျဖစ္ပါတယ္။????: Watch on the ONE Super App ????

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, August 16, 2019

Balart — a three-time Pan American Greco-Roman Wrestling Champion — dominated much of the first two rounds with his grappling expertise.

The 32-year-old Cuban secured a pair of huge takedowns in the opening stanza and controlled the action from top position, where he frustrated his taller opponent.

Not only was he successful in closing the distance, but he also used his dangerous overhand left to keep Rothana on his toes.

Cambodian martial arts phenom Chan Rothana lands a roundhouse kick on Gustavo Balart

In the second round, Balart continued to push the action. But every time “El Gladiador” moved forward in search of a takedown, Rothana countered with knee strikes to the torso.

Despite the Cuban’s aggression, the 33-year-old Phnom Penh resident was undeterred. If anything, he seemed to be getting stronger.

Rothana turned on the heat in the final round. The Selapak representative pounced on his exhausted foe, and he landed all sorts of combinations — from straight rights to thunderous kicks.

Balart absorbed the shots, backed away, and tried to catch his breath, but the Cambodian refused to let up on his attack. “El Gladiador” hit a last-ditch takedown in the closing moments of the contest, but it would not be enough to secure the victory for him.

Chan Rothana poses with the Cambodian flag, the winner's medal, and the ring girls

After 15 minutes of back-and-forth action, all three judges unanimously awarded the victory to Rothana.

This is undoubtedly the biggest win of Rothana’s professional career, as he defeated an athlete who recently competed in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.

The victory elevated the Cambodian’s record to 7-3 and it put him on the first three-bout win streak of his career.

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