The iconic Ryogoku Kokugikan witnessed a barnburner at ONE: ‘Century’ Part II. Aung La Nsang and Brandon Vera stood toe-to-toe from start to finish with the former emerging victorious courtesy of a second round stoppage.
La Nsang came out of the gates fast, peppering Vera with a torrent of heavy blows from different angles. Vera fired back in the first round, tagging the champion with elbows and lethal knees from closed-quarters
Drawing boisterous cheers from the raucous crowd, the two pushed each other to the limit in the second round. The pace seemed to take a toll on Vera, who hadn’t been to the second round since 2014 and slowed dramatically.
Capitalizing on his opponent’s exhaustion La Nsang landed a hard right hand and smashed him with a spinning back elbow. Vera copied and went for an elbow shot of his own, but he missed and paid for it.
La Nsang quickly pounced with a right hand that dropped the heavyweight champion to the canvas. The Burmese fighter rained down punches and all Vera could do was cover until the referee stepped in to wave it off a the 3:23 mark.
After another impressive title defense La Nsang improves his standing to 26-10-0-1 and is now riding high on a seven-fight winning streak. The second-round demolition of Vera also earns him his fifth-straight win by knockout.
On the other hand, Vera suffers his first loss in six years. The disappointing defeat was his first since signing for ONE Championship and his professional record currently stands at 16-8.
Bantamweight titleholder Bibiano Fernandes closed the chapter of his grueling rivalry with Kevin Belingon on a definitive note, submitting his Filipino arch-nemesis in the second round of their fourth cage meeting.
Following a brief feeling-out process between the two bantamweights, Fernandes hit a double-leg takedown and immediately operated in side control. Belingon tried tying the Brazilian up to nullify his attack, but the veteran still found ways to inflict damage on his rival.
Fernandes kept the quarters tight, punched the ribs with his left fist, and threw short right fists to the head. By the time ‘The Silencer’ returned to his feet, the bell had rung to end the round.
Belingon nearly tripped his Brazilian opponent with a monstrous leg kick, but Fernandes caught his second kick and drove him to the cage fence.
Despite the Filipino’s best efforts to keep his balance, Fernandes spun him around for a takedown. This time, the champion entered side control and was determined to finish the fight.
Belingon was in a precarious position and Fernandes recognized an opening. The champion swiftly hopped on his opponent’s back to fasten a rear-naked choke.
Once the squeeze was applied by Fernandes, Belingon had no other choice but to tap. The champion improves to 24-4 and avenges his only ONE Championship loss while the challenger drops to 20-7.
It was the beginning of the end for Banario when Aoki dropped him to the mat with a body-lock takedown right at the startof the round. The Japanese legend then caught the defenseless Filipino with an d’arce choke to force the tap.
Aoki (44-9-0-1) celebrated his scintillating submission victory over Banario (14-10) outside the cage, which drew a loud ovation from the hometown crowd. It is the Japanese’s fourth first-round win in the past two years.
Million dollar man
Italian-American superstar Giorgio Petrosyan continued to define his remarkable legacy as a world-renowned kickboxer by winning the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix against French striker Samy Sana.
Petrosyan was dominant from bell to bell, rattling Sana with precise combinations. The Frenchman managed to keep the bout competitive, but the once pound-for-pound king was always a step ahead in the three-round clash, notching a clear-cut decision win and take home the $1 million USD cheque.