ONE Championship concluded its sensational NEXTGEN event series with a thrilling night of action on Friday, 26 November.
Across three different sports, 12 martial artists entered the Circle at ONE: NEXTGEN III and left us with plenty to think about. Former World Champions delivered first-round finishes, rising stars made their presence known, and new contenders emerged.
Before we move forward, here are three key takeaways from the spectacle that took place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
#1 Brooks Is A Threat To The Strawweight Elite – Including Pacio
In his highly anticipated ONE debut, Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks proved he can “talk the talk and walk the walk” with a dominant submission finish of #5-ranked strawweight MMA contender Lito “Thunder Kid” Adiwang.
Given the Filipino’s cracking power, Brooks’ best path to victory was to rely on his elite wrestling prowess – and that’s precisely what he did.
Adiwang simply could not stay on his feet, as the American took him down at any opportunity. “The Monkey God” then controlled “Thunder Kid” on the ground, nullifying his power and ensuring it would not be a factor.
That mastery continued until the latter half of the second round when Brooks locked in an arm triangle and forced his foe to tap.
The impressive win sent a loud message to the entire strawweight division, including reigning king Joshua “The Passion” Pacio. Brooks should be considered an instant World Title contender due to his lightning-quick takedowns, ability to control positioning on the canvas, and strong ground-and-pound.
And if Pacio ever defends his gold against “The Monkey God,” he should be prepared for one of the toughest fights of his career.
#2 Ramazanov Shines In Muay Thai Return
In his first bout since losing the ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title earlier this year, Alaverdi “Babyface Killer” Ramazanov returned to the Muay Thai ranks and looked as dangerous as ever.
Ramazanov’s unorthodox striking was a noted key to victory heading into the co-main event battle against Pongsiri PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym, and his awkward angles kept the Thai star from knowing where the next hit was coming from.
The constant movement frustrated Pongsiri. And when he charged forward in the dying seconds of the first round, “Babyface Killer” connected with a blistering uppercut down the centerline that decisively finished the fight.
The emphatic knockout showed that Ramazanov – who came into this bout as the #5 bantamweight Muay Thai contender – plans to play a major role in the division’s World Title picture in 2022.
#3 Lobo Is The Real Deal
Following a remarkable debut win over Yodpanomrung Jitmuangnon under Muay Thai rules last year, “Demolition Man” produced another upset victory with a three-round kickboxing masterclass against “The Steel Locomotive” Rodlek PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym.
The speed and precision of Lobo’s strikes stunned Rodlek early in the showdown and kept him from getting into a rhythm. From there, it was a systematic breakdown, as the Brazilian shut down the Thai star. By the final bell, there was no doubt about the judges’ decision.
We don’t know whether “Demolition Man” will prioritize Muay Thai or kickboxing in the ONE Super Series bantamweight ranks, but at this point, we can’t be surprised by any of his impressive performances.
The sky appears to be the limit for Lobo.