Mark “Tyson” Fairtex Abelardo’s elbows turned out to be so deadly in his return to the ONE Championship Circle that he walked away from the Singapore Indoor Stadium with a new nickname – “Elbowlardo.”
Fittingly, it was a devastating tomahawk elbow that locked up an explosive knockout win over Emilio “The Honey Badger” Urrutia in their three-round bantamweight mixed martial arts bout at ONE: FISTS OF FURY II, which aired on Friday, 5 March.
Abelardo opened the match by stalking Urrutia and working his leg kicks while trying to cut the distance.
The American, on the other hand, measured up Abelardo with his jab while being content to land short uppercuts each time his foe tried moving into the pocket.
That sequence lasted most of the first round, with the Filipino-Kiwi applying pressure and Urrutia patiently waiting for “Tyson” to make a mistake.
However, it was Urrutia who blinked first.
With about 30 seconds remaining in the opening frame, Abelardo popped “The Honey Badger” with a solid straight right hand, sending him back into the Circle Wall with his legs wobbled.
Seeing a clear opportunity to finish, Abelardo swarmed, connecting on hooks and landing about ten unanswered elbows to his opponent, though Urrutia was a tough nut to crack and managed to survive as the bell rang.
Abelardo then picked up where he left off in the second round, as he looked more loose in letting his hands go, landing a right cross and a left hook as his opponent tried to engage.
Sensing that Abelardo was gaining momentum on the feet, Urrutia tried to change gears, dropping for a double-leg takedown, which Abelardo easily shook off.
“Tyson” continued utilizing his kicks on the feet while Urrutia looked for a takedown. He even caught Abelardo’s body kick and tried to turn it into a favorable position, but the Filipino-Kiwi wasn’t having any of it.
With plenty of confidence, Abelardo was happy to exchange punches on the feet, and while Urrutia responded with combinations of his own, the momentum was clearly in the Fairtex representative’s favor.
That set the stage for Abelardo’s highlight-reel finish, as he countered Urrutia’s looping left hook with a perfect tomahawk elbow that connected with the jaw and turned off Urrutia’s lights. Referee Muhammad Sulaiman stepped in and stopped the bout at 3:20 of round two.
It was a key bounce-back win for Abelardo, who will look to continue scaling the bantamweight ladder.