Kwon Won Il put himself firmly into bantamweight title contention with a second round stoppage win over Artem Belakh at ONE Fight Night 11 this morning. The Korean was ranked #4 heading into this event at Lumpinee Stadium and demanded a shot at the champion after a very impressive performance.

Belakh was ranked #4 and had clearly done his homework on Kwon. He kept his elbows tucked into his ribs to prevent the Korean landing his left hook to the body and was able to secure an early takedown.

He took Kwon’s back and secured a body lock before sinking both hooks in. But the Korean looked extremely relaxed and was able to escape and finish the round on his feet.

One way traffic

In the second stanza Kwon started to impose his striking game on Belakh. He was looking to land hard hooks to the body and elbows upstairs as the Russian tried to back away and cover up.

Belakh did land a left hand which cut Kwon. But other than that it was one way traffic and a left hook to the body folded the Russian, who desperately dived for a takedown.

Belakh survived but he was badly hurt and a straight right hand knocked him down. From there Kwon went to work, landing a knee to the head as his opponent tried to get up.

With Belakh on his back he landed a barrage of punches and elbows with the referee stepping in to stop the contest at the 3:57 mark.

Performance bonus

Afterwards Kwon demanded a rematch with reigning bantamweight champion Fabricio Andrade. The two met at ONE 158 with the Brazilian winning by first round KO.

Whether his request will be granted remains to be seen. But Kwon was handed a $50,000 USD performance bonus for the first time in his ONE Championship career.

With the win he improves to 13-4 and will surely move into the top three at bantamweight. Belakh drops to 10-3 and will probably drop out of the rankings after the first loss of his ONE Championship tenure.