ONE 157: Petchmorakot vs. Vienot delivered nonstop martial arts action on Friday, 20 May, from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Two exceptional ONE Muay Thai World Title clashes bolstered the event and the quarterfinals of the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Grand Prix kicked off.
After another night of action in Singapore, here are the five biggest takeaways from ONE 157.
#1 Petchmorakot Found His Equal
Since December 2018 Petchmorakot Petchyindee has looked unstoppable in ONE Super Series Muay Thai, scoring victories over Liam “Hitman” Harrison, legendary “The Boxing Computer” Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex, and Magnus “Crazy Viking” Andersson.
That all changed at ONE 157, however, when Petchmorakot’s intensity was matched by Jimmy “JV01” Vienot, who nearly beat the Thai for his ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Championship.
Vienot got off to a hot start against the Petchyindee star, but Petchmorakot roared back in the third and fourth rounds. In fact, in the fourth canto Petchmorakot landed a crushing right hook that sent the Frenchman to the mat.
Although “JV01” answered the eight-count, the lasting impression made a difference in the judges’ eyes, as two of them scored the split-decision win for the reigning king.
While an immediate rematch may not come for the challenger, his ability to push Petchmorakot past his limits showed the world that another player is on the featherweight Muay Thai scene – and he’s nearly equal to that of the World Champion.
#2 Self-Belief Leads To Greatness
The mantra of “never give up” may seem like mere words to many, but Joseph “The Hurricane” Lasiri became the latest example of why nobody should ever count themselves out when things aren’t going well.
The Italian-Moroccan athlete began his ONE career with four consecutive losses. Five matches on the global stage later, and he has become the new ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Champion.
From the opening bell, Lasiri was the better man against Prajanchai PK.Saenchai. In fact, the wind coming off “The Hurricane’s” strikes blew so fiercely that the Saffir-Simpson scale may have registered it.
After three furious rounds of Muay Thai attacks from Lasiri, the World Champion told the referee that he could no longer continue and resigned from his stool after the third round.
Lasiri’s story is not simply inspirational; it’s a reminder that anyone going through tough times should continue to work hard because it usually pays off. Sometimes, it even pays off in gold.
#3 The Grand Prix Truly Features The Best Flyweights
The ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Grand Prix semifinals are set following dominant quarterfinal performances by four of the world’s most elite strikers.
On the lead card, Savvas “The Baby Face Killer” Michael and #2-ranked Superlek “The Kicking Machine” Kiatmoo9 cruised to unanimous decision victories against Amir Naseri and #4-ranked flyweight kickboxer Taiki “Silent Sniper” Naito, respectively.
When the main card began, #3-ranked flyweight kickboxer Walter Goncalves scored the lone knockout of the quarterfinals, dropping Josue “Tuzo” Cruz with a blistering body shot and two knees at the 0:35 mark of the first round.
The four stunning results will undoubtedly lead to epic semifinal clashes between the world’s top flyweights later in 2022.
#4 Grappling’s Next Generation Has Arrived
The lightweight submission grappling match between Tye Ruotolo and Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon was billed as a clash of generations. And, in less than two minutes, everyone found out that Gen Next has arrived in the sport.
Ruotolo shocked Tonon with a slick D’Arce choke at just 1:37 of the first round, in the process earning one of the four US$50,000 performance bonuses handed out at ONE 157.
Earlier in the evening, Kade Ruotolo defeated Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki by unanimous decision after attacking with multiple submission attempts and using the Circle Wall to take the Japanese legend’s back.
The new wave of submission grapplers such as the Ruotolos and Mikey “Darth Rigatoni” Musumeci are proving that this sport is just as exciting as MMA. These outstanding young grapplers will continue to shine on the global stage for years to come.
#5 Wondergirl Is For Real
The Thai sensation showed that she is much more than just a striker when she slapped on an armbar at the 1:22 mark of the first round.
The result was not nearly as impressive as how smoothly Wondergirl moved around the Circle, though. Her footwork, transitions, and vision to execute flawlessly showed why she is one of the brightest young talents in the world.
The 23-year-old displayed to the global fan base how quickly she has adapted to MMA. With much more room to grow, Wondergirl has limitless potential.