Kirill Grishenko came into the Singapore Indoor Stadium with little fanfare, but he walked out of it after making a name for himself.
Grishenko played spoiler to “Reug Reug” Oumar Kane by stopping the Senegalese wrestling sensation in the second round of their heavyweight mixed martial arts fight at “ONE on TNT IV,” which aired live in U.S. prime time on Wednesday, 28 April.
There was a lot of hype surrounding Kane after two impressive performances in ONE Championship, but Grishenko also came in undefeated and had other plans for their matchup.
The moment the opening bell rang, the Belarusian quickly made things uncomfortable for “Reug Reug,” taking the middle of the Circle and pushing his foe into the Circle Wall.
From there, Grishenko’s Greco-Roman wrestling background was on full display, as he used double underhooks and controlled Kane from that position while landing occasional knees and body shots.
The African phenom managed to get out of it, but Grishenko continued to cut the distance. He landed a few kicks to the leg and the head, and then he pushed his opponent to the Circle Wall once more.
Kane ultimately escaped the clinch, landed a leg kick, and scored a takedown before the end of the round, though the opening frame clearly belonged to the underdog.
It was pretty much the same game plan for Grishenko in the second round, as he effectively cut Kane’s movements by controlling the middle of the Circle and waiting for an opportunity to go for a clinch.
Once they disengaged, the Belarusian fired a spinning heel kick that failed to find its mark. However, “Reug Reug” also failed to capitalize and found himself in the clinch once more, where his European rival punished him with knees before being separated.
Kane finally landed his best shot of the night – connecting with a solid uppercut – but it didn’t seem to bother Grishenko, who responded with a Superman punch. The African phenom slipped the punch and went for the clinch near the end of the round, but just as the bell sounded, the unexpected happened.
Right when Kane seemingly threw a right uppercut, Grishenko connected with a short right hook that landed on the Senegalese wrestling sensation’s jaw just as referee Olivier Coste put a halt to the round.
“Reug Reug” immediately went down, and because the punch was thrown before the bell finished ringing, the TKO win was awarded to Grishenko after Kane failed to get up.
It was a big win for the undefeated Belarusian, who introduced himself to the loaded ONE heavyweight division, which includes longtime World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera and the likes of Arjan “Singh” Bhullar and “Mighty Warrior” Kang Ji Won.