ONE Championship: Aung La N Sang still middleweight champ
ONE Championship (ONE) returned to the iconic Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon for ONE: PURSUIT OF GREATNESS, featuring a series of bouts that left fans on the edge of their seats.
In the main event, “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang retained his ONE Middleweight World Championship in dominant fashion, toppling Mohammad Karaki of Lebanon by technical knockout in the first round. Aung La N Sang was the aggressor from the opening bell, unloading a barrage of strikes against the challenger, who tried in vain to take the bout to the ground.
A well-placed uppercut from Aung La N Sang stunned Karaki and signified the beginning of the end as he put his opponent away with a relentless volley of punches, forcing the referee to call a halt to the contest and award the victory to the hometown hero. His impressive performance earned him the GoDaddy Knockout of the Night.
“This is just the beginning. I’m going to keep getting better, and I guarantee that I’m going to put on better shows. Together, Myanmar, there are 60 million of us. If we unite and if we work together, we can achieve anything,” Aung La N Sang, ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion said.
In the co-main event of the evening, Malaysian standout Keanu Subba silenced the crowd at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium after submitting hometown favorite Phoe Thaw in the first round. Subba capitalized on an error by Phoe Thaw and fastened a deep guillotine choke, leaving his opponent with no other choice but to tap.
Two-time Superkombat Heavyweight World Champion Tarik Khbabez of the Netherlands outclassed Moroccan-Dutch striker Ibrahim El Bouni en route to a third-round technical knockout victory in an exciting, back-and-forth ONE Super Series Kickboxing contest.
Japanese submission specialist Masakazu “Ashikan Judan” Imanari put on a grappling clinic, needing only 83 seconds to submit Singapore’s Radeem Rahman with a crushing armbar.
Top King Muay Thai World Champion Han Zi Hao of China weathered an early storm from debuting Filipino kickboxer Ryan Jakiri to notch an astonishing first-round knockout victory. Jakiri came out very aggressive in the opening frame, clobbering Han with well-timed punches and lashing low kicks. However, it was Han who had the last laugh as he uncorked a counter right cross that instantly turned the lights out on Jakiri, claiming his second consecutive win on the ONE Super Series stage.
Two-time Lethwei Gold Belt Champion Ye Thway Ne of Myanmar overcame a gallant effort from countryman Mite Yine to score a unanimous decision victory. A tough three-round affair would end with all three judges scoring in favor of Ye Thway Ne.
Former ONE Welterweight World Title challenger Luis “Sapo” Santos of Brazil remarkably placed himself back on the winning track, making quick work of Japanese debutant Daichi Abe. Santos only needed 33 seconds to get the job done, pulverizing Abe with thunderous body kicks to clinch the knockout win.
Australia’s very own Josh Tonna took on Italian striker Joseph Lasiri in a spirited ONE Super Series Kickboxing contest, featuring plenty of action and excitement. In the end, all three judges ruled the bout in favor of Tonna, earning the 30-year-old Australian kickboxer a unanimous decision victory.
In a battle between two outstanding bantamweights, Afghanistan’s Ahmad Qais Jasoor emerged triumphant, claiming his first victory under the ONE Championship banner at the expense of Chinese opponent Ma Xu Dong. Switching his stance from orthodox to southpaw, Jasoor repeatedly caught Ma with staggering straight punches.
Setting the tone for an action-packed evening was a flyweight encounter between Rudy Agustian of Indonesia and Kaji Ebin of the Philippines. Agustian turned in a spectacular performance, submitting Ebin with a wrenching americana lock in the opening round.
Official results for ONE: PURSUIT OF GREATNESS
- ONE Middleweight World Championship bout: Aung La N Sang defeats Mohammad Karaki by TKO (Strikes) at 2:21 minutes of round 1
- Featherweight bout: Keanu Subba defeats Phoe Thaw by Submission (Guillotine) at 2:47 minutes of round 1
- ONE Super Series Light Heavyweight Kickboxing bout: Tarik Khbabez defeats Ibrahim El Bouni by TKO at 2:26 minutes of round 3
- Catch Weight bout (67.0kgs): Masakazu Imanari defeats Radeem Rahman by Submission (Armbar) at 1:23 minutes of round 1
- ONE Super Series Kickboxing Bantamweight bout: Han Zi Hao defeats Ryan Jakiri by Knockout (KO) at 1:39 minutes of round 1
- Flyweight bout: Ye Thway Ne defeats Mite Yine by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
- Welterweight bout: Luis Santos defeats Daichi Abe by Knockout (KO) at 0:33 minutes of round 1
- ONE Super Series Kickboxing Flyweight bout: Josh Tonna defeats Joseph Lasiri by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
- Bantamweight bout: Ahmad Qais Jasoor defeats Ma Xu Dong by Knockout (KO) at 2:16 minutes of round 2
- Flyweight bout: Rudy Agustian defeats Kaji Ebin by Submission (Americana) at 4:01 minutes of round 1