Last year, when he faced John Lineker, Fabricio Andrade thought he was doing enough to become a world champion. One low blow, and a no contest later and he was left frustrated – and the bantamweight world title vacant. This weekend there were no questions left unanswered, as a stoppage on Lineker’s stool at the end of the fourth round handed Andrade the title. It was a thrilling encounter between two men willing to stand and trade heavy blows. This was the coming of age for Andrade and the sky’s the limit for this wonderfully talented Brazilian.
An easy first title defence
A fighter’s first title defence can often be a nervy affair. Facing the added pressure of being a champion can play tricks on an athlete’s mind. Try telling that to Tawanchai PK Saenchai. He made the first defence of his featherweight Muay Thai title in just 49 seconds. Jamal Yusupov found himself unable to continue after a chopping kick to leg rendered him practically immobile. It was another one to add to the Tawanchai highlight reel – and also worthy of a $50k performance bonus.
Kelly continues on
Danielle Kelly has made her intentions clear when it comes to ONE – she wants submission grappling gold. In her third fight with the organisation she was made to work for a tough decision win over Ayaka Miura – but ultimately took another step on the path to gold. This fight was not without its dangers, as Miura used all her experience to make life as difficult as possible for the American. However the Philadelphia native prevailed and now has her sights set on and old foe in Jessa Khan.
Former champ gets a big win
Martin Nguyen is assured his place in the history books. The former featherweight and lightweight world champion needs no introduction – but having three defeats in his last four heading into the weekend was not a place he wanted to find himself in. A crucial decision win over Leonardo Casotti has him back in the win column – and potentially back on the title trail one last time.
A new threat on the kickboxing scene
We all know what Saemapetch Fairtex is capable of in the Muay Thai arena – but this weekend he proved he is equally well versed when it comes to kickboxing too. He took on top-ranked bantamweight Muay Thai contender defeated “Muay Thai Boy” Zhang Chenglong, and fought to a convincing decision win with continued forward pressure, strong striking, and smart tactical approach. This may have been his first ONE kickboxing win, but already the bantamweight division is on notice.