Mauro Cerilli stops Abdulbasir Vagabov in the second at ONE: ‘Unbreakable’ Part II
Abdulbasir Vagabov arrived for his ONE Championship debut on a wave of momentum. The Russian heavyweight was riding a ten fight winning streak, with all of those triumphs coming by way of stoppage.
Enter, Mauro Cerilli. He had a point to prove having lost his last fight and he did it in style, stopping the Russian early in the second round at ONE: ‘Unbreakable’ Part II.
The 37-year-old uncorked some powerful right hands in the first round and showed good takedown defense. Vagabov did get the Italian down late in the round, but Cerilli found his feet quickly and delivered a slick high knee on the break.
Sealing the deal
The former title challenger looked bright and confident as he sealed the deal early in the second. He used the jab brilliantly to set up a storming leg kick that sent Vagabov tumbling. A right hook followed before some more finishing shots as ‘The Hammer’ wrapped up an impressive victory.
The finish came at the 0:36 mark and Cerilli extends his record to 14-4 while Vagabov slips to 12-2. Afterwards the Italian demanded a rematch with heavyweight champion Brandon Vera.
In the co-main event, Daichi Takenaka was back in action after missing all of 2020 and returned to winning ways against Brazil’s Ivanildo Delfino. The Japanese fighter was making his flyweight debut and put on a masterful display of jiu-jitsu, dominating his opponent on the ground before securing a rear naked choke in the third round.
Takenaka had taken his opponent’s back and looked for the same finish in all three stanzas, but was foiled initially by some incredible staying power from Delfino. The pressure was relentless, and with 2.50 gone in the third, Takenaka sunk the submission in deep to seal the fifth rear-naked choke of his career.
He climbs to 13-2-1 while Delfino slips to 8-2 after suffering the second successive defeat of his ONE Championship career.
Oumar Kane made an explosive start to his ONE Championship career as he scored the TKO victory, taking his professional MMA record to 2-0. Standing across from him was Hong Kong-Cameroonian striker Alain Ngalani who was looking to recover from a loss to Cerilli at ONE: ‘Reign of Valor’ in 2019.
Ngalani started the brighter of the pair and landed some solid left kicks to the body as Kane labored to find a decent striking range. It was a feeling out process that dragged as far as referee, Olivier Coste was concerned, and he called for more action.
It didn’t take long for Kane to oblige. Nicknamed ‘Reug Reug,’ the big man has a rich background in traditional Senegalese wrestling and certainly showed a glimpse of his awesome power.
Following an outside leg kick from Ngalani, Kane responded by marching forward as he let his hands fly. Throwing a torrent of wild shots on his way in, Kane pushed his opponent up against the cage with authority.
Ngalani was complaining that Reug Reug grabbed the fence, but the Senegalese star had soon taken him down and found top position.
With his left arm underhooking Ngalani’s right, Reug Reug then went to town, throwing more than thirty unanswered shots before the referee jumped in to call a stop to the contest.
Kwon Won Il and Chen Rui laid down a candidate for one of the best bouts of the year so far. It was a ferocious start from the first bell and both fighters landed clean shots as they stood in the pocket and let fly.
Kwon dished out the superior combinations before sealing the takedown. From there, the Korean laid down some venomous ground and pound. Showing precision and volume, he unleased countless unanswered strikes as the bout looked certain to be stopped. But somehow, with the clock running down, Chen was able to battle to his feet.
In the second, Chen showed a lovely, snapping jab as he sought to work his way back into the contest. ‘Pretty Boy’s’ response was devastating. He unleashed a salvo of clean, painful looking strikes as he utilized his own jab with some massive right hands, a stunning left uppercut, a right hook to the head, then to the body and a spinning back elbow that landed right on the button. Quite remarkably, Chen remained on his feet.
He did rally, somewhat, and was able to land some shots of his own. But the sheer volume of punishment he took from the Korean was concerning. Kwon continued to look impressive with his shot selection, slipping punches and digging to the body. He continued to land cleanly, but Chen’s resilience was super-human.
His team may have considered throwing in the towel before the third round, and it didn’t take long for Kwon to finally find the finish. As he went right back to piecing apart the Chinese warrior, the Korean started to focus once more on the body. Two big left hands to the liver were enough to at last drop ‘the Ghost’ to the canvas.
It was an astonishing fight, and one that sees Kwon extend his record to 10-3 while Chen slips to 9-2.