The bigger they come, the harder they fall.
Opacic entered this contest as the leading force in the division, but the 36-year-old Brazilian stopped his opponent’s ascent – and his dominant four-fight winning streak – with a stunning body knockout at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The big men took center Circle following the opening bell, as the 24-year-old Serbian moved forward and then laterally to cut off Inocente, who tried to feint and bait his rival.
A poised Opacic shielded himself behind his gloves and occasionally popped jabs at his foe, but the veteran danced, ducked, and delivered punch and kick combos.
Then, in a sudden turn of events, Opacic landed a straight right that spun the Brazilian sideways and onto the Circle Wall, where he was forced to backpedal away from incoming attacks.
Inocente found a brief respite in the clinch, but the Serbian continued to punish him with knees.
The combatants separated, and after a few exchanges, Opacic faked a right knee before stepping in with a left knee.
As he did, Inocente drove a sharp jab into his liver, sending the Serbian giant down to the canvas.
Opacic was unable to meet the eight-count, and referee Olivier Coste stopped the action at 2:33 of round one, awarding Inocente his second KO in two ONE Championship appearances.
The victory bumped the Brazilian legend’s combined striking record to 40-10 and showed that he’s a serious threat to claim the inaugural ONE Heavyweight Kickboxing World Title.