Three exciting striking affairs took place on the ONE on Prime Video 3: Lineker vs. Andrade undercard this past Friday, October 21, and each one of them delivered on their promise.
A Muay Thai veteran scored an impressive TKO and announced his retirement, a Japanese striking ace returned to form, and a kickboxing great proved he wasn’t ready to let a young up-and-comer steal his shine.
Let’s relive the action from the night’s Muay Thai and kickboxing battles inside the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Sitthichai Storms Back After Early Scare From Boutasaa
Passing of the torch, changing of the guard – it happens all too often in combat sports.
The duo met in a featherweight kickboxing bout on the main card, and from the opening bell, Boutasaa stormed forward, swinging wildly and throwing heavy kicks at his Thai foe.
Midway through the contest, the Moroccan dynamo moved forward and pummeled Sitthichai, knocking him around with punches and dazing him with a kick to the neck.
The Thai’s experience saw him through that madness, however, and he began to pull ahead in the final stages of the fight. Staying true to form, the #4-ranked featherweight kickboxing contender kept the pressure on Boutasaa with punches, knees, and left kicks.
It was a grueling comeback for the Sitsongpeenong Muay Thai Camp standout, but he managed to convince all three judges that he had done enough to score his 127th career victory and hold his ranking in the deepest division in all of combat sports.
Naito Returns To Winning Ways With Decision Over Naseri
Taiki “Silent Sniper” Naito knew he had to bounce back after a disappointing showing in the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Grand Prix – and he did exactly that.
The Japanese star utilized his kicks and movement to return to the winner’s column with a convincing unanimous decision win over Amir Naseri in their flyweight Muay Thai battle.
Naito targeted his Malaysian-Iranian rival’s legs with stiff kicks in the first two rounds, regularly connecting on both the inside and outside of the legs, while occasionally going up top.
The 26-year-old also showcased his speed throughout the contest, as he moved out of Naseri’s reach and then countered whenever his opponent stepped forward to engage.
Not wanting to let his home country down, Naseri pushed the action in the final stanza and his aggression was initially paying off. But Naito was far too slick and quick to be caught by the Tiger Muay Thai athlete’s late hurrah.
After three rounds, the judges handed the victory to Naito, who improved his career record to 35-9.
Zatout Finishes Ten Pow, Announces Retirement
In the first all-striking fight of the night, Mehdi “Diamond Heart” Zatout met ONE Championship newcomer Asa “The American Ninja” Ten Pow in a bantamweight Muay Thai matchup, and not only did the ending surprise fans, but so did the announcement that followed.
Ten Pow pushed the French-Algerian veteran from the start, but the latter used his fight IQ to seek openings in the American’s guard and land sharp punches and kicks.
The pair engaged in scuffles, but the most dramatic exchange came at the end of round one when Ten Pow threw an overhand right. Zatout would counter that strike with a damaging one of his own.
“The American Ninja” covered his face and went on the back foot. The French-Algerian veteran followed his opponent, landed a series of jumping knees, and unloaded a flurry of punches. But before he could finish Ten Pow, the bell rang to end the round.
Ten Pow, however, had absorbed too much damage from the punch, and he couldn’t answer the bell for the second frame.
That first-round TKO victory earned Zatout a US$50,000 performance bonus and a few extra minutes on the mic with Mitch Chilson, which he used to announce his retirement with a heartfelt message to ONE Championship’s global fan base.
“I promised my wife, promised my mom, if I win, I have to stop [fighting]. I think, for sure, this is my last fight.”