Filipina Denice Zamboanga silenced the Malaysian crowd inside the packed Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. She pulled off a shock decision win over hometown darling Jihin Radzuan at ONE: ‘Mark of Greatness’.
Radzuan’s growing mastery in the grappling department was harshly tested by Zamboanga as the Filipina immediately took her to the ground and applied pressure with a sturdy top control to limit the Malaysian’s movement.
As Zamboanga advanced to better positions to smother Radzuan, the latter responded by applying different submission holds with the intent to disrupt her plan of attack.
Ground and pound
Unfortunately for Radzuan, Zamboanga kept her composure and stuck to the strategy of pinning the Malaysian on the canvas and landing serious ground-and-pound from bell to bell.
In the final round Radzuan threatened with submission attempts from her back. She was desperate to lock in a triangle choke or armbar but Zamboanga defended and remained in top position until the final bell.
At the end Zamboanga got her hand raised in triumph, improving her perfect professional record to 6-0. On the other hand Radzuan dropped to 5-2.
Hard earned victory
Agilan Thani (10-4) figured in a three-round welterweight battle with promotional newcomer Dante Schiro (6-1) with the goal to place himself back on the winning track. The Malaysian standout succeeded but did not come out unscathed as he had to earn victory the hard way.
Both men had their moments in what was a closely-competitive affair. Thani was able to rapidly control his American opponent on the mat for the majority of the opening salvo with his grappling arsenal.
However, the momentum took a drastic shift in the second round when Schiro found himself in Thani’s comfort zone on the ground and surprised the Malaysian with a rear-naked choke attempt that nearly secured him the submission win.
When the last round got underway, Schiro dug deep and elected to have gritty exchanges in the stand-up. But Thani’s boxing started to power him through the final minutes of the bout which probably played a pivotal role in securing a split decision win.
Best of the rest
Meanwhile, Bokang Masunyane (7-0) authored a stunning ONE Championship debut, keeping his immaculate record intact by outclassing Japanese stalwart Ryuto Sawada (12-5-1) over the course of three rounds en route to a unanimous decision.
In the main event of the evening the inaugural ONE kickboxing strawweight title was on the line and Sam-A Gaiyanghadao emerged triumphant courtesy of a unanimous decision win over Wang Junguang.
The co-headliner saw the coronation of Alaverdi Ramazanov as the first-ever ONE kickboxing bantamweight titleholder. He beat Zhang Chenglong via unanimous decision.