Sunisa Srisen Upends Rika Ishige In Tight Three-Round Battle
The young Thai edged out her veteran rival by unanimous decision in their atomweight mixed martial arts bout at the previously recorded ONE: A NEW BREED III, which aired on Friday, 18 September.
The opening stanza saw both athletes feeling their way into the action and gauging the optimum distance to engage.
Srisen then found success in timing Ishige’s entries by responding with strong, thudding hooks to deter the Thai-Japanese athlete’s incoming offense. She also kept throwing leg kicks to help prevent “Tiny Doll” from finding any sort of a rhythm.
The contest heated up in the second frame when the Thai mixed martial arts pioneer found a home for a step-in straight right hand that allowed her to enter Srisen’s range.
Late in the second round, Ishige feinted with a left hand to draw out a reaction from the Mister Kok Gym representative. When that came, “Tiny Doll” changed levels for a takedown attempt.
Although Srisen grabbed a side headlock to stymie the Thai-Japanese star, Ishige snuck out from behind her, secured back mount, and nearly sunk in a rear-naked choke before the bell saved “Thunderstorm.”
With the contest hanging in the balance, the two atomweights got off to a tentative start in the final round. But before the halfway point of the frame, Ishige scored again with a step-in straight right hand and immediately transitioned to a body-lock takedown.
The Thai veteran landed in half guard, but Srisen utilized a headlock to reverse the position and used the hold to neutralize her compatriot from side control. Still, the lack of action warranted a stand-up from the referee and a brief pause in the match.
After being shown yellow cards for inactivity, the atomweight warriors began to throw strikes with more urgency.
“Tiny Doll” connected with an overhand right that echoed in the Impact Arena, and Srisen responded with powerful right and left hooks. The looping power shots of “Thunderstorm” resonated and kept Ishige from gaining further traction with her strikes.
However, the Thai mixed martial arts pioneer eventually went for broke. She burst forward with another step-in right cross and hit a final takedown in the waning seconds, but she could not capitalize before the end of the closely contested bout.
With that, Srisen’s early work and capable defense on the ground helped her earn the decision nod for her first victory in ONE.
She improved her professional record to 4-1 and established herself as a name to watch in the exciting women’s atomweight division.