After an explosive start to the “ONE on TNT” event series last week, ONE Championship returned with the second edition on Wednesday, 14 April.
The three mixed martial arts contests that kicked off “ONE on TNT II” set the pace for the rest of the night, as fans were treated to a brilliant submission victory, a heated knockout win, and a controversial disqualification.
Here’s what went down during the Bleacher Report lead card.
Nakahara-Zoltsetseg Ends In DQ
Yoshiki Nakahara impressed from the opening bell, but he didn’t have the ideal victory after beating Shinegchagta Zoltsetseg via disqualification in the second round of their featherweight mixed martial arts fight.
A kick to a grounded Nakahara’s head near the end of the stanza proved to be the decisive call in the tilt.
The difference between the two mens’ styles was apparent from the onset, as the Japanese star quickly landed a takedown on the boxing specialist.
Zoltsetseg managed to power out, stand up, and throw Nakahara to the ground, which allowed him to bring the action back to the feet. That paid dividends, as the Mongolian landed a barrage of shots – including a clean straight right-left hook combo – before the opening frame ended.
The second round started with Zoltsetseg throwing wild, looping punches, but just like in the first frame, Nakahara wasn’t having any part of it. The Mach Dojo standout quickly went back to his wrestling, worked on his ground-and-pound, and even reached the mount position a couple of times.
Seeing an opportunity for a submission finish before the second round ended, Nakahara grabbed a leg and looked for a heel hook, which caught Zoltsetseg by surprise. Trying to move out of that precarious position, the Mongolian tagged his rival with an illegal kick, prompting the referee to halt the match and give Nakahara time to recover.
But with the Japanese athlete unable to continue, the referee had no choice but to hand Zoltsetseg a red card at 4:54 of round two, which disqualified him. The DQ win improved Nakahara’s record to 15-5 and gave him his second victory in the Circle.
Wang Returns In Style With Incredible Third-Round KO
The battle of striking specialists got underway with both men trading low kicks early in round one. For Wang, it was the only way to reach his much taller foe, while Kim was looking to maximize his height advantage.
The Chinese athlete continued to smash away at his rival’s lead leg, but Kim picked up his boxing output with assertive straight punches and also scored with some hard knees as the round wore on.
After coming on strong at the end of the opening frame, Kim was eager to stay on the front foot in round two. He dictated the pace with his reach and output, keeping his hands in Wang’s face and slamming in powerful low kicks.
“Little Whirlwind” replied with low kicks of his own but struggled to get inside the range with his punches. He capitalized on a brief slip from the Evolve man with a volley of shots, but Kim’s slick boxing to the head and the body was the most telling offense of the round.
Although little separated the two fighters, it seemed like the South Korean was edging ahead. And when the final round began, it appeared that Wang’s struggles to overcome his reach disparity were going to be compounded as Kim kept pressing behind his jab and long kicks.
However, the powerful Chinese athlete needed just one shot to turn the match on its head. As Kim tried to step in behind a long left hook, “Little Whirlwind” timed his crossing elbow to perfection and landed clean on the jaw. Kim hit the deck, and a few more punches sealed the deal.
Wang’s stunning finish came at 1:51 of round three, pushed his record to 13-4, and showed that he is ready to make the most of his second stint in ONE Championship.
Kamikubo Submits Chamale, Pushes ONE Record To 5-0
Shuya “Stealth” Kamikubo has been absolutely dominant since first stepping onto the global stage in 2018. And on Wednesday night, he continued his path of destruction in a bantamweight mixed martial arts clash.
The Japanese veteran ripped through surging Guatemalan-American debutant Mitchell “Mama’s Boy” Chamale, earning a second-round submission victory to kick off the show.
Kamikubo went for a double-leg takedown just seconds after the opening bell, and while “Mama’s Boy” initially used the Circle Wall to remain upright, the Kawasaki phenom would not be denied.
“Stealth” overwhelmed Chamale with a smothering top game, using his grappling to prevent the Guatemalan-American from returning to his feet. The 27-year-old veteran eventually secured side control, pinned Chamale’s arm down, and methodically landed punches and knee strikes at the end of the first stanza.
Kamikubo then charged out of his corner to begin the second, struck his rival with punches, and latched onto him in search of a takedown. Chamale eventually fended that off, but the Japanese bantamweight threw more punches, went back for a double-leg takedown, and after some persistence, dragged his rival to the ground and took his back.
From there, it was all downhill for Chamale.
“Stealth” sunk in his hooks, put in the body triangle, and softened up “Mama’s Boy” with punches until he could slide an arm under the chin to lock up the rear-naked choke. Chamale had no choice but to tap out at 2:13 of round two.
The lopsided victory elevated Kamikubo’s career record to 12-1-1, improved his promotional slate to 5-0, and could see him crack the next edition of ONE’s Athlete Rankings.