MMA News: Stamp the shocking Fairtex victory and other ONE: Winter Warriors takeaways
- Marcus Almeida’s win over Kang Ji Won proves he belongs to ONE Championship
- Stamp Fairtex takes on Atomic Weights Queen Angela Lee in 2022 after shocking victory over Ritu Phogat
- Regian Eersel maintains grip on ONE lightweight kickboxing title after beating Islam Murtazaev
ONE Championship kicked off the holiday season with a solid card in ONE: Winter Warriors on Friday, December 3.
Here are some key points from this massive event.
All eyes on ‘Buchecha’
Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner decorated with Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida proved that his first-ever mixed martial arts victory over fellow heavyweight Anderson Silva in September was no accident.
Almeida stepped into the cage against South Korean knockout artist Kang Ji Won and handed him his first-ever loss.
The Brazilian measured Kang’s striking range before shooting for an out that lifted the South Korean, entering Almeida’s area of ââexpertise on the pitch.
Almeida softened his opponent as he was in first position and as Kang stood up he kept control of his opponent and knocked him out with a choke on the back halfway through the first round.
âI don’t know, man. It’s just an honor to be here and to be a part of it all. This is only my second fight, so I just want to keep learning and growing day by day, step by step, âsaid delighted Almeida to commentator Mitch Chilson after the fight.
The Fairtex stamp proves its weight in gold
In what could be described as the surprise of the night, Stamp Fairtex took the victory over Indian wrestling phenomenon at Ritu Phogat in the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Grand Prix final wearing, among other things, an armband.
Both fighters were measuring each other’s abilities for the first part of the first round, and Phogat had Stamp against the cage and successfully took her to the mat soon after.
Phogat’s high energy production in the first round caused her to suck air between rounds, one of the few times fans have ever seen her so tired.
âThe Indian Tigressâ stuck to her game plan despite her apparent exhaustion and managed to take Stamp to the ground, but the former champion of both sports defended her perfectly and put her in an extremely deep triangle.
Stamp countered Phogat’s transition with an armband, fully stretching his enemy’s right arm, forcing the Indian heroine to punch.
A surprising close combat masterclass from the new ONE atomic weight grand prix champion has proven she’s not just a one-ride pony and will look to do the same when she takes on the Queen atomic weights in title Angela Lee in 2022.
Who can stop Regian Eersel?
In the main event, Regian Eersel proved he still is the man to beat in the ONE lightweight kickboxing division by successfully defending his title against very playful Islam Murtazaev.
As Eersel himself noted in the pre-fight hype video package, the Singapore-based promotion had to go looking for a worthy contender for their belt, which led to Murtazaev’s signing.
A deeply motivated Murtazaev sought to put pressure on Eersel to perform as the Russian completed a variety of strikes to keep the champion on his heels.
However, Eersel stayed in tune with Murtazaev as the latter’s energy levels began to drop.
The reigning king of ONE lightweight kickboxing put his foot on the gas and chased Murtazaev with all his might, beating the challenger for most of the third round.
âI am not satisfied with the result. I need to improve my skills. I’m not quite the fighter I want to be, âEersel told Chilson when asked about the split decision victory.
The 28-year-old’s winning streak now stretches to 18, with no potential challenger in sight.