“The Hunter” Xie Wei proved that he’s a serious threat to the flyweight elite when he dispatched former ONE World Title challenger “Holy Beast” Dae Hwan Kim in their mixed martial arts contest at ONE: BATTLEGROUND III on Friday, 27 August.
The burgeoning Chinese warrior added another stoppage victory to his resume – ending his rival’s night with a crushing body shot at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Both men showed intent on the feet at the beginning of the opening round. Xie threw heavy shots in reply to Kim’s low kicks and thrust a thudding elbow into his rival’s face. But “Holy Beast” showed his power could not be discounted when he sent the Chinese athlete to the canvas with an overhand right to counter an aggressive flurry.
This forced “The Hunter” to attack for a takedown. The South Korean stuffed it and drove in a knee to the head, but he ended up on his back following a failed guillotine choke attempt. When Kim got up, he landed a big slam into a dominant top position. Xie, however, took control again in a scramble and saw out the round on top.
The surging Chinese athlete began to assert his dominance in round two. But instead of pushing forward with the same urgency as the first, he patiently waited for openings to attack with punches and low kicks and countered Kim’s lunges with hard uppercuts.
Xie dialed up the aggression as the frame wore on, buckling the South Korean with low kicks and scoring with right uppercut-left hook combinations. The crowning moment of that round came when he dropped “Holy Beast” with a jab-hook. It was only Kim’s veteran experience that allowed him to avoid the worst of the follow-up barrage and make it to the bell.
Still, Xie did not let up in the final stanza, as he attacked his man with punches and a jumping knee. Kim tried to slow down the onslaught with a takedown, but “The Hunter” stuffed it and let rip with a volley of punches on his now-grounded rival.
When the Seoul native scrambled back up, Xie charged at him with shots to the head and body, while Kim bravely tried to fire back. “The Hunter” then easily shrugged off the South Korean’s clinch — a good indicator of their strength at this stage in the battle.
Kim’s heart never faltered, but Xie made sure his body did. The Chinese athlete plunged a devastating left hook into the liver of his waning foe, and then he finished off “Holy Beast’s” courageous showing with a couple of follow-up shots.
With the victory, the 24-year-old from Qingdao extended his professional record to 9-3, earned his biggest scalp to date, and now has a three-fight knockout streak to his credit in ONE Championship.