Yodkaikaew “Y2K” Fairtex edged Japanese star Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada by the narrowest of split decisions to claim the biggest victory of his young mixed martial arts career on Friday, 18 December.
The Muay Thai veteran was controlled for long spells of the match at ONE: COLLISION COURSE in Singapore, but the power of his kicks and knees in the late stages swung the contest in his favor.
Wada, a highly regarded Japanese Mixed Martial Arts Champion, wanted no part of “Y2K’s” striking from the opening bell and closed the distance straight away. He pushed the Thai fighter away and controlled his upper body to neutralize his best offense.
The Tokyo resident then used a standing arm-triangle setup to take the back and lock on a body triangle.
Yodkaikaew tried to spin around and go chest-to-chest when the action hit the mat, and although he did not recover position, he stayed low enough that he was never under threat from a rear-naked choke.
At the start of the second stanza, Wada immediately went to engage in the clinch, but “Y2K” broke free and fired kicks at his rival’s lead leg from the southpaw stance.
Unfortunately, one of those strikes landed low and required Wada to take a few minutes to recover, but it did little to stop him from pushing forward again after the match restarted.
Though “The Sweeper” dragged Yodkaikaew to the mat, the Thai star returned to his feet without taking much damage and then started to strike again.
The final round brought more of the same from Wada, who continued to try and stifle his opponent against the Circle Wall.
However, Yodkaikaew maneuvered into position to land some heavy knees to Wada’s left thigh.
When they separated, the Fairtex representative continued to unleash hard kicks at his rival’s left leg, which caused clear damage to the limb.
In the end, one judge scored the bout for Wada, but two favored Yodkaikaew, who earned his third straight promotional victory in his first five months in ONE Championship.