Taiki “Silent Sniper” Naito was desperate to put himself in his division’s top five and, by taking out the #4-ranked flyweight kickboxer “Metal Storm” Wang Wenfeng, he’s surely done enough to warrant a coveted spot.
The Aichi, Japan, native stayed clear of danger and battered Wang’s legs with low kicks throughout their three-round contest to earn a unanimous decision victory at ONE: FULL BLAST II, which aired on Friday, 11 June.
Both athletes probed with range-finding low kicks to begin their matchup at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
After the initial feeling-out process, Naito took the lead in the exchanges and repeatedly attacked the inside and outside of his rival’s left thigh. The Chinese athlete tried to check and fire back with his hands, but “Silent Sniper” continued to land damaging shots to the legs.
Naito evaded most of the significant strikes as “Metal Storm” lunged in with punches, though the former ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Title challenger did connect with a solid left hook-right cross combination.
Still, it didn’t deter the Japanese striker, who continued to smash away with low kicks to Wang’s left leg.
Wang knew he had to start landing some leather on the Bell Wood Fight Team product in round two, and he came out strong with a left hook-right cross combination.
But Naito diligently kept to his game plan, slowing his foe down with low kicks. Wang tried to respond and chopped away with some of his own, but Naito’s were more consistent and punishing.
At that point, “Silent Sniper” started to time the Wuhan native’s lunges and threw him off-balance with inside low kicks while slipping away from the heavy punches that came in his direction.
As Wang tried to increase his output, Naito’s excellent defense and counters paid off. He left his rival hitting air and unleashed punches and kicks in return.
With ground to make up, “Metal Storm” opened the third frame with a change of attack, throwing some side kicks at his Japanese rival. Naito took the strikes and blasted back with low-kick counters, clearly confident that his game plan was the right one.
An eye-catching push kick to the face landed for Wang, but “Silent Sniper” pumped out his jab and kept slapping away at the lead thigh with his low kicks from all angles.
After a brief pause for an errant groin strike, the Xingbo Shengshi Fight Club representative tried to break through with punches and kicks, only to find open space as Naito remained elusive.
“Silent Sniper” drilled in another thumping low kick that finally got a show of emotion from Wang, who buckled and switched to the southpaw stance to protect his affected limb. Naito then upped the ante with more kicks to the body and head, and he closed the show with a spinning backfist at the final bell.
With Wang’s left leg looking like it had been through a meat grinder, it was clear the Japanese athlete had done the most damage. The judges agreed and awarded “Silent Sniper” the clear-cut unanimous decision victory.
That victory pushed Naito’s professional record to 33-9 and will surely insert him into ONE’s flyweight kickboxing rankings.