Chingiz Allazov remains the king of the featherweight kickboxing class after a headline win over Marat Grigorian. This was the third time these elite fighters entered a ring together – their first fight a decade ago was a no-contest, with Grigorian winning the rematch. This time the champion was undeniable as he had to put on an impressive performance to retain his gold and further cement his reputation as the best kickboxer in the world.
2. What can we do about Mikey Musumeci?
Five fights in ONE, five wins, and there’s no sign of Mikey Musumeci’s train slowing down. The last man to train and undo the American’s momentum was reigning MMA strawweight champion Jarred Brooks, but like so many before him, he was unable to snatch the title from Darth Rigatoni’s hands. Musumeci, one of the world’s top Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, was a constant threat throughout the competition as he attacked from close cover and constantly attempted to change the angles and focus of his attacks. Ultimately, thanks to a triangle armbar, Brooks was forced to put 7:30 into the fight and Musumeci’s flyweight submission grappling dominance continues.
3. Lineker back with a bang
The last 12 months have not been easy for John Lineker. He lost his ONE world bantamweight title and his troubles on the scales are well documented. There was never any doubt about his clout – and that was clearly evident on Friday evening. Despite losing weight again and competing with a catch weight of 151 pounds, Lineker’s “Hands of Stone” were clearly on display as he stopped Kim Jae Woong in exciting fashion. A massive left overhand and subsequent follow-ups were enough to stop this shot just seconds before the end of the final round. Lineker hopes this gets him back on track to take on bantamweight champ Fabricio Andrade – but he needs to win his fights on the scale first.
4. Another big challenger from Africa?
Bow down to Oumar Kane. Going into his fight with Marcus Almeida, it was easy to see that he would be considered an underdog. Almeida is a 17-time Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion and previously undefeated in MMA, but these heavyweights have pulled off a classic – and Kane provided a surprise finish. The fight was a mix of hard standing and a floor fight, but on the floor Senegalese sensation Kane really impressed. In the first round, he was able to use his wrestling skills to avoid danger and land some good punches. He also defended well when they went down on Almeida’s terms in the second lap. Ultimately, Kane was worth his unanimous win and a $50,000 performance bonus as he drew the attention of the rest of the division.
5. Teens impress on a big night out
ONE is blessed with some of the best young talent in global martial arts and that was once again evident in Bangkok. Ty Ruotolo secured the world title at the age of 20 when he defeated current second place lightweight MMA contender Dagi Arslanaliev. In this 180lb submission grappling contest, Ruotolo looked confident and aimed for his legs early before finishing with a clean rear naked choke for a next shot at the first ONE welterweight submission grappling world title secured.
Also impressive was 19-year-old Anna “Supergirl” Jaroonsak. She defeated Lara “Pizza Power” Fernandez by unanimous decision in a 118-pound catchweight kickboxing bout and, despite her tender years, now has a 40-6-1 record, which means big things are coming up.