Tawanchai, Pacio, Musumeci Score Victories At ONE Fight Night 15
ONE Championship closed out a thrilling martial arts doubleheader with ONE Fight Night 15: Le vs. Freymanov on Prime Video in U.S. primetime on Friday, October 6.
The undercard card was filled with high-profile names in MMA, submission grappling, Muay Thai, and kickboxing, and they delivered exciting victories at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
Here, we recap the first eight matchups of ONE Fight Night 15 that went down ahead of the two World Title main events.
Tawanchai Outpoints Jo Nattawut In Competitive Kickboxing Battle
The 24-year-old Thai phenom continued his charge up the featherweight kickboxing ladder with a unanimous decision victory over his compatriot, who put up a valiant effort despite taking this matchup on short notice.
Ultimately, the powerful left kicks and the physical strength of Tawanchai were telling in this back-and-forth affair, as the southpaw striker continuously pressed forward and controlled the tempo.
The unanimous decision win was Tawanchai’s sixth straight triumph in ONE, adding to his crushing debut victory under kickboxing rules against Davit Kiria back in August.
His overall career tally now stands at an impressive 131-31, while he successfully defended his #5 spot in the featherweight kickboxing rankings.
Musumeci Submits Aoki With Masterful Leg Lock
In openweight submission grappling action, American BJJ superstar Mikey “Darth Rigatoni” Musumeci showed off his incredible submission prowess against Japanese martial arts icon Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki.
The reigning ONE Flyweight Submission Grappling World Champion wasted no time in attacking from his vaunted open guard, digging under his foe’s legs as he looked to entangle the former ONE Lightweight MMA World Champion.
Before long, Musumeci found himself deep on “Tobikan Judan’s” right leg, extended it, and twisted the limb to secure the “Aoki Lock” – his opponent’s own trademark submission.
The victory kept the 27-year-old undefeated in ONE and improved his career grappling record to 63-5.
Pacio Outlasts Malachiev In Fiery Strawweight MMA Showdown
Former ONE Strawweight MMA World Champion and current #1-ranked contender Joshua “The Passion” Pacio survived a gritty performance from #5-ranked Mansur Malachiev to score a hard-earned unanimous decision win.
The Filipino superstar put in strong work on the feet early, opening a cut on Malachiev’s eye and hurting his leg with kicks. The Russian wrestler finished the round strong, though, scoring a late takedown of “The Passion” and controlling him on the ground.
Pacio once again attacked Malachiev’s legs in the second frame, and after a brief scramble, found himself on top, where he landed clean knees. But like in the first, Malachiev took control by sweeping his opponent to end the round on top.
With the fight up for grabs in the third, Malachiev quickly shot for a takedown, but Pacio nearly got him with a tight guillotine choke. The Russian wiggled his way out and controlled “The Passion” from his guard, although the Lions Nation representative forced a stalemate and got back to his feet.
From there, Pacio landed a few more kicks before ending the contest with another choke attempt.
After 15 minutes of back-and-forth action, the former divisional king earned the nod from all three judges, improving his MMA record to 21-4 while handing Malachiev the first loss of his career.
In the process, the Filipino put himself in a good position to rematch reigning World Champion Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks.
Zhang Crushes Nastyukhin Inside One Round
Nastyukhin appeared to control the opening stages of their lightweight MMA tilt, until “The Warrior” dropped him with a huge overhand right.
The Russian quickly popped back to his feet and tried to fight his way out of trouble, but Zhang remained patient and soon hit another hard right hand that sent the former ONE World Title challenger stumbling back to the ropes.
From there, the Chinese star dropped Nastyukhin back to the canvas with a crushing uppercut and swarmed his stricken foe until the referee waved off the contest after 3:18 of round one.
It was the 26th finish of Zhang’s storied MMA career and bumped his overall record to 34-12. It also netted the 33-year-old a US$50,000 performance bonus, courtesy of ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.
Hu Runs Through Saputra For First-Round TKO
The Chinese star came out primed and ready to throw down, blitzing his foe with explosive strikes – including a high-flying knee – in the opening seconds.
A massive body kick followed by a flurry of punches put the Indonesian athlete on the canvas, and referee Herb Dean was forced to call off the fight after just 63 seconds.
With the highlight-reel victory, Hu improved his career slate to 12-4 and has now won three straight as he seeks to crack the top-five flyweight MMA rankings.
Phetjeeja Mauls Hansen En Route To Third-Round Stoppage
The Thai superstar was again aggressive from the start, throwing heavy punches that pushed Hansen to the ropes and made her ultra-defensive.
With the Australian heavy on her high guard in the second, Phetjeeja started going to the body more while mixing elbows into her deadly attacks, opening a gash just above the right eye of the Fairtex representative.
And while “The Best” was durable, the 21-year-old Thai was simply on another level as she added kicks to her blistering attacks in the final frame. A head kick opened another cut on Hansen’s nose, and it was bad enough for the ring doctor to end the fight at the 1:01 mark of round three.
With her latest dominant victory, Phetjeeja improved her incredible career slate to 206-6, scored her fourth knockout in four promotional appearances, and continued to establish herself as a dangerous ONE World Title threat.
Tetsuka Beats First-Round Buzzer With Slick Armbar Of Jin
“Japanese Beast” had to work past the jab of the rangy Jin, before taking the bout to the mat midway through the opening frame.
The pair appeared to be headed to a second round as they tied up on the ground, but Tetsuka sensed an opportunity and quickly spun for an armbar from side control. In the blink of an eye, it was over, as the South Korean tapped with just 15 seconds left on the clock.
The stunning submission was the 33-year-old’s third straight finish and pushed his overall mixed martial arts record to 12-4.
Al-Tekreeti Overcomes Kouyate In Tight Battle Of Debutants
Al-Tekreeti connected with a stiff right elbow midway through the first round – which decked Kouyate for the first and only knockdown of the match – putting him in the driver’s seat in what would be a tight contest.
However, the 26-year-old Iraqi had to survive some shaky moments, as he was stunned by a right hand late in the first round and was clipped by the Frenchman’s long right hand once again in the second.
But Al-Tekreeti was unfazed entering the final frame, taking the fight inside to negate Kouyate’s reach advantage and improving his professional striking record to 22-6.