The Japanese slugger bounced back up from the canvas to rally for a third-round TKO victory at ONE: NEXTGEN II, which aired from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday, 12 November.
Thani kept moving to stay away from “Japanese Beast’s” power in the first frame, but Tetsuka surprised the Malaysian by slamming him to the canvas when he got the chance to close the distance.
The Tochigi native used his powerful ground-and-pound to open up a route to his rival’s back on two occasions, but Thani slipped out and attacked with his own wrestling.
At the close of the stanza, “Alligator” landed a hard spinning elbow, but Tetsuka replied with a left hook that wobbled his foe just before the bell.
The second round was fought largely on the feet. “Japanese Beast” loaded up with power shots to the body and head, while Thani stuck to his movement-based game plan and popped off fast combinations on the counter.
“Alligator” landed flush with another spinning elbow, but it didn’t seem to faze Tetsuka. He hung tough and continued to find a home for his thudding punches.
The Japanese athlete then caught the judges’ eyes just before the bell, when he shoved Thani to the mat and landed some hard elbows of his own to close the round.
In the final frame, Thani looked like the smoother operator. The Malaysian peppered his opponent with slick combinations that beat the hard-hitting 31-year-old to the punch, and then he sent Tetsuka to the canvas with a right high kick.
Thani’s follow-up salvo couldn’t get the job done, however, and “Japanese Beast” fired back.
Tetsuka hurt his rival with a left hook and an overhand right to turn the tables, and then he followed up with a relentless barrage of punches against the Circle Wall that earned him the TKO finish at the 3:45 mark of round three.
With the win, “Japanese Beast” pushed his record to 10-4 – with seven of those victories coming by way of knockout – and proved that his power is a threat from the first bell to the last.