It only took “The Underdog” Li Kai Wen 141 seconds to make up for 16 months of lost time at the Mall Of Asia Arena.
In his highly anticipated return to the ONE Circle, the 24-year-old stopped Paul “The Great King” Lumihi with a right uppercut in the first round of their bantamweight bout at ONE: MASTERS OF FATE in Manila, Philippines on Friday, 8 November.
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Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, November 8, 2019
Li came out of the gates with a flying knee that his opponent evaded, and Lumihi – having been baptized by fire – found himself in the thick of action.
Both athletes swung wildly looking for the knockout finish, but after a left head kick from “The Great King,” Li shot for a takedown and sent his opponent to the canvas.
The Tianjin Top Team representative came close to submitting Lumihi with an anaconda choke, but the Indonesian escaped and scored with a big knee to the head as they returned to their feet.
Once standing, though, Li took control of the bout, countering the Jakarta native’s spinning kicks with crisp left hands. He then closed the distance, wrapped his hands around his opponent’s neck, and drove a series of knees through the shell of Lumihi.
The Chinese martial artist followed his staggering Indonesian opponent and landed a left hand that snapped Lumihi’s head backward.
Immediately, “The Underdog” followed up with a right uppercut that sent “The Great King” down and out at the 2:39 mark of the opening round.
Li’s finish proved he is a top contender in the bantamweight division and pushed his record to 10-4.