Garry Tonon cements title credentials at ONE: ‘Big Bang’
ONE: ‘Big Bang’ delivered an entertaining, revamped card despite various last-minute drop-outs due to Covid-19. In the featherweight division #5 ranked Garry Tonon secured the biggest win of his MMA career so far as he defeated Koyomi Matsushima via unanimous decision.
As a Shooto welterweight tournament champion, the Japanese star represented a significant test for the American who had finished all five of his previous fights since transitioning from BJJ. The #3 ranked Matsushima showed excellent takedown defense initially and showcased his formidable grappling prowess against the multiple-time BJJ world champion, but it was clearly only a matter of time until Tonon grasped the ascendancy.
He imposed his will in the opening round and took Matsushima’s back, looking comfortable and controlled as he sought the submission, but Matsushima did an admirable job of resisting several rear naked choke attempts.
The second round continued in a similar vein, with some high-level scrambles from both athletes before Tonon took control of Matsushima, taking his back and looking for the choke. Again, Matsushima showcased his resilience and fended off numerous submission attempts.
Matsushima was able to keep the fight standing more often in the third and found plenty of joy with the single right hook. Tonon, to his credit, looked relatively comfortable standing with the former title contender and was able to circle out of danger, landing a strong knee to Matsushima’s sternum.
Overall, it was a contest that clearly established Tonon as a significant threat to Thanh Le’s title. He extended his unblemished record to 6-0 while Matsushima drops to 12-5.
The knockout of the night undoubtedly came from South Africa’s Bokang Masunyane. The 26-year-old came into his strawweight clash with third-ranked veteran Rene Catalan looking to make a statement and he delivered just that.
With less than 40 seconds gone in the first round, he unleashed an incredible head kick KO on the break, looping his shin around Catalan’s neck to leave the Filipino out cold before his head hit the floor. He improves to 8-0 while his opponent drops to 6-4-0-1.
Phogat arrived looking to extend her undefeated 3-0 record and paved the way with an early takedown followed by some dominant elbows. She worked from side control, using her right leg to isolate the Filipina’s left arm and unleash another salvo of clean, unanswered elbows until the referee was forced to intervene and call a stop to the contest.
Phogat now boasts a 75% finishing rate and a 4-0 record. Torres drops to 4-5 and has not won any of her last six fights.
The other big clash at atomweight saw Jihin Radzuan (6-2) return to winning ways with a strong performance against popular striker, Bi Nguyen (5-6). The Malaysian looked impressive in all areas, showing some clean striking and aggressive takedowns.
At just 22-years-old Ridzuan certainly one of the most exciting talents to come out of Malaysia and was able to showcase her range well here. To her credit, Nguyen rallied well in the third, and let her hands go with some lovely one-two combinations.
As the rangier fighter, Radzuan responded in kind with some slick use of the teep, and although it was Nguyen who finished the contest with some tenacious work from the top position, Radzuan had done enough to impress the judges and secure the decision.