ONE Championship veteran Mark Abelardo got back so winning ways at Lumpinee Stadium tonight. He was able to neutralize the wrestling of Taron Grigorian before finishing him with knees in the second round of their bantamweight bout.
Grigorian was relentless in pursuit of the takedown but Abelardo has clearly done his homework and repeatedly sprawled to stay on his feet. The New Zealander kept the action standing in the opening round and looked to land hard punches in the striking exchanges.
Abelardo pressed forwards at the start of the second, threatening with elbows and scoring with hard hooks to the body. Grigorian shot for another takedown but his opponent sprawled and started to land punches to the side of the head.
Grigorian was hanging on but he started to eat knees to the head. Eventually they caused him to give up on the takedown attempt and sit down but there was no stopping Abelardo who smelled blood.
He landed knee after knee and while Grigorian never looked badly hurt he was not in a position to return fire. The referee has seen enough and stepped in to stop the contest at the 2:56 mark.
With the win Abelardo improves to 21-10 and scores his first win since 2021 after suffering back to back losses last year. Grigorian drops to 6-2 after just the second defeat of his career.
Mark Abelardo 🇳🇿🇵🇭 storms Taron Grigorian with GROUNDED KNEES for the first knockout at ONE Friday Fights 15! 💥#ONEFridayFights15
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— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) May 5, 2023
Best of the rest
In the other MMA fight on the card Lucas Gabriel (7-1) and Ibragim Shaymano (5-4) went the distance. The Brazilian took the decision win to extend his winning streak to five.