ONE Championship made its return to North American prime-time television on Wednesday, 7 April, with the first installment of the “ONE on TNT” event series.
The world’s largest martial arts organization kicked off the historic night with the “ONE on TNT I” preliminary card, which featured two tightly contested bouts and a first-round demolition.
Here, we recap all the exciting action from the prelims.
Magomedaliev Dominates Early, Nabs Third Straight Win
Raimond Magomedaliev continued his impressive streak in the welterweight mixed martial arts division with a unanimous decision victory over Tyler McGuire. The man from Dagestan started strong and then used his grit to hold on despite some late pressure from his American rival.
The first round was mostly dictated by the Russian’s dominance inside the clinch. Although it was McGuire who initiated the close contact, Magomedaliev did all the damage, as he constantly smashed his foe with knees and short elbows. The Sikjitsu and Apex MMA representative stuck to his rival like glue, but he could not find a way through the strikes to drag him to the canvas.
McGuire stayed true to his game plan of closing the distance behind punches in round two, but Magomedaliev showcased his own wrestling arsenal with some slick reversals and counters.
The Eagles MMA star continued to score in the clinch, but he seemed to lose some of his pop as the frame wore on. He missed with a late rolling thunder kick attempt, which gave the American his first chance to score from top position.
Magomedaliev was clearly feeling the effects of the battle at the start of round three, as McGuire dumped him to the canvas for his longest spell of control in the match. Still, the Russian fended off most of the attacks, eventually reversed the position, and found a gap for his short-range strikes.
The fatigued Magomedaliev then scored with a swift single-leg takedown and latched onto a guillotine for just long enough to see out the match and claim the hard-earned victory.
Kehl Edges Allazov In Kickboxing Banger
After three rounds of thrilling ONE Super Series kickboxing action, Enriko “The Hurricane” Kehl redeemed himself against old foe Chingiz “Chinga” Allazov, scoring a split-decision win over the Belarusian and evening a rivalry that dates back to 2016.
Allazov came out aggressive in the opening stages, but Kehl handled the pressure well and stuck stiff, powerful hands in his opponent’s face. He then fired off left punches and knees that repeatedly found their mark.
Halfway through the round, however, Allazov turned up the volume and punished the German kickboxer with uppercuts and high kicks.
Allazov continued to throw heat in round two, but Kehl came back to life, defended his rival’s blows, and chose his attacks smartly. He came at Allazov from every angle with punches in bunches, often snapping his opponent’s head backward. “Chinga,” on the other hand, had trouble landing and slowing down the rushing Kehl.
The highlight of the bout came in round three when Kehl threw a left hand and jumping knee, which stung his evasive foe. The German native followed that up with a crisp right-left hook combo that twisted Allazov’s face.
Had it not been for those big moments, the bout may have gone the other way. But the final gust from Kehl earned him the win and brought him closer to the top-five featherweight kickboxing rankings.
‘Reug Reug’ Steamrolls Schmid
“Reug Reug” Oumar Kane may have gotten a new opponent on 24 hours’ notice, but it didn’t faze him one bit.
The Senegalese wrestling star used his immense speed, brute force, elite grappling, and heavy punches to defeat kickboxing veteran Patrick “Big Swiss” Schmid in the night’s opening bout.
It was a tentative start to the heavyweight mixed martial arts contest, as Schmid took control of the Circle and had the African phenom moving along the Circle Wall.
But after the European threw a few cautious leg kicks, “Reug Reug” fearlessly moved forward and attacked like he was shot out of a cannon. Kane unleashed a barrage of crosses, hooks, and uppercuts, which had “Big Swiss” feverishly backing way.
The Senegalese behemoth then latched on for a body lock, instantly took Schmid down to the canvas, and unloaded hammerfists from side control. “Big Swiss” tried to defend and eventually pulled guard, but “Reug Reug” was relentless with his ground-and-pound.
Schmid made a last-ditch effort to escape, eventually getting to his knees, but Kane kneeled next to him and kept throwing punches until referee Mohamad Sulaiman stopped the contest at 1:48 of round one.
With the TKO win, “Reug Reug” continued his brilliant transition from Senegalese wrestling to mixed martial arts and proved his hands are dangerous – even against a world-class kickboxer.