Thanh Le made quite a first impression in his ONE Championship debut on Friday, 3 May.
In front of a capacity crowd at the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia, he unleashed a devastating knee to knock out the Russian athlete just seconds into round two.
???? WHAT. A. KNOCKOUT! ????Thanh Le MMA makes a massive statement in his ONE debut, stopping Yusup Saadulaev at 0:12 of Round 2! ????Watch the full event on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, May 3, 2019
With a huge reach advantage, Le — an LFA Featherweight Champion — was trying to set up his striking attacks in the opening round by gauging his distance to prevent Saadulaev from getting inside for a takedown attempt.
The 33-year-old promotional newcomer managed to crack his rival with a massive right hand during an early exchange, but he could not prevent the powerful grappler from eventually dragging him to the mat.
Once the action hit the canvas, Saadulaev constantly threatened with submissions and unleashed thunderous ground strikes. In the process, he prevented Le from escaping his grasp and returning to the feet.
It was a commanding start for 34-year-old Russian, who did everything right during the first five minutes of the featherweight clash.
However, the momentum changed as soon as round two got underway.
Almost immediately after he was released from his corner, Le was on the attack and fired off a lightning-quick head kick, which caught his opponent’s attention. Saadulaev ducked down to try and take the action back to the ground, but the Vietnamese-American had other plans.
As Saadulaev moved in, Le threw another blistering kick.
This time, his knee blasted the Russian on the chin, which instantly crumpled him to the canvas. He followed up with a single punch to seal the deal.
Referee Olivier Coste stopped the contest just 12 seconds into round two, giving the Vietnamese-American a highlight-reel victory.
With the win, Le pushed his professional record to 9-2 and announced himself as a new threat in the promotion’s featherweight division.