ONE Championship 27 took place in Singapore on May 22, 2015. In the two title fights that went the distance, Shinya Aoki retained his Lightweight belt and Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke won the inaugural Strawweight strap.
Shinya Aoki’s legend status stayed intact with a Unanimous Decision win over Koji Ando in his second Lightweight title defense. However, after 25 minutes of fighting, what will be most remembered – and gif’ed – will be Aoki’s showboating butt scoot in the waning moments of the final round. Aoki wasn’t able, or possibly simply chose not to finish with a submission the numerous times he had it on the ground, and Ando was never able to fire off anything more punishing than his machine gun jab.
Aoki spent a lot of time proving he knew how to high kick, but damage wasn’t done. His single spectacular submission attempt that came in the third – a mount transition to belly down arm bar – was staved off by the bell. Aoki’s most impressive performance came during his single leg takedowns. Ando’s defense is known to be excellent, but Aoki masterfully stuck, hunted, angled and pressured his way to take Ando’s legs out from under him. Watching Aoki keep his position while maneuvering his spider-like appendages to secure Ando’s ankles and force him onto his back was like watching the best instructional on the subject.
In Ando’s defense, it was his defense that shined during his match with the champion. A good defender can make a finisher look boring. Ando seemed to realize that any attempt to get inside for a throw would be 50-50 of leading to his own submission. And his well-timed jabs zinged Aoki over and over, but he declined to follow up with many potential combinations, staying cautious of Aoki’s reach and guard-jumping abilities. On the ground, Ando was indeed smothered, yet he kept active by attempting to recover guard and when mounted he shrimped and protected himself. Well, from the submissions, at least. Aoki smattered him with punches and elbows when he peeked out.
However, defense doesn’t win fights. Aoki once again went back to his bread and butter, put on a dominant performance, and retained his ONE Championship Lightweight title for the second time.
Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke and Roy Doliguez opened up the straw weight division with an immediate title match. While both men have short careers in MMA, outside the cage they’ve had substantial experience in Muay Thai and boxing, respectively. Doliguez proved to be tough as nails against the very heavy hitting Thai, and his shoots and ground work from MMA were evident. However, Amnuaysirichoke dealt with it. He was able to stuff or work out of the takedowns, except for a north south position that Dolinguez had on him that the ref quickly stood up.
Dolinguez got in his shots, but Amnuaysirichoke was the batterer of the evening throughout all five rounds. He used every bit of his striking arsenal to put away Dolinguez. Unfortunately it was an eye injury from either an early eye poke or a late elbow that caused Dolinguez to wave off his own fight. At that point it went to the judges, who all scored in favor of Amnuaysirichoke.
M-1 Featherweight Champion Marat Gafurov showed exactly how he earned the title with a one-sided man-handling of Ev Ting. Ting, notable for his speed, aggression and tenacity, ended up on his back after a huge throw but recovered his guard, worked for a reversal, and stood amidst the firepower raining down upon him. Gafurov didn’t care. He simply put Ting back down and proceeded to latch on a nasty RNC that forced a tap.
Lowen Tynanes and Kuat Khamitov didn’t put on the aggressive, prospect-hunting display that fans wanted, but their grappling clashes and Tynanes’ game plan were quite extraordinary. Khamitov’s wrestling has dominated lesser opponents, but against Tynanes, it was a puzzle he just couldn’t put together. Tynanes cooly mixed up a smattering of kicks while observing Khamitov’s single leg obsessiveness and escape ability, eventually finding the kryptonite at the end of the final round.
Tynanes creeps up the lightweight rankings with this one, while Khamitov exposed his limited bag of tricks. The Kazakh is indeed talented, and coming from his Alash team he has a surprising knowledge of striking, but needs to learn to mix it into a successful MMA style.
Eddie Ng, highly touted by Evolve MMA and highly promoted by ONE, made his awaited return to MMA after injury and loss to face a late opponent in Renzo Gracie black belt Ariel Sexton. The first very competitive round saw Ng out striking Sexton and doing a good job of neutralizing the latter’s attempts to take it into deeper waters on the ground. But in the second round, a monster came out of Sexton’s corner. That monster loaded up with a punch, went straight for the shoot, and latched on the fight-ending RNC before Ng could form a defense.
Two homegrown ONE regulars Shannon Wiratchai and Amir Khan met in a definitive “who’s better” match. Wiratchai hadn’t been seen fighting since 2013, and Khan was coming into the match with a 3-win streak of striking finishes, so the latter was definitely a favorite. Khan definitely put on the heat with dangerous striking in the first, but Wiratchai kept shrugging everything off, seemingly looking for a counter.
In the second, Wiratchai made his intentions clear. He caught those powerful kicks, and got inside with numerous damaging elbows, including fancy spinning ones. Cai’s striking, defense and creative baguazhang footwork made things interesting, and it made Khan mad. Khan made a last minute burst of power for a takedown and pounding from side control that swung the fight back in his favor. The fun fight saw Wiratchai edge out the favor of the judges 2-1.
Angela Lee entered ONE for the first time against Aya Saber, who looked much better in the lower weight class. Lee wasted no time taking Saber down out of her comfort zone and snapping on an arm bar within a minute.
In the prelims, Alateng Heili swarmed Stephen Langdown in the second to finish with soccer kicks and punches. Benedict Ang came out the definitive victor on the scorecards against a well-prepared Waqar Umar. Yang JianBing scrambled to finally get Ali Yaakub to submit in the second.
ONE Championship 27: WARRIOR’S QUEST
May 22, 2015
Singapore Indoor Stadium
Lightweight Championship bout:
Shinya Aoki defeats Koji Ando by Unanimous Decision
Strawweight Championship bout:
Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichok defeats Roy Doliguez by Unanimous Decision
Marat Gafurov defeats Ev Ting by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:30 minutes of round 1
Lowen Tynanes defeats Kuat Khamitov by Unanimous Decision
Ariel Sexton defeats Eddie Ng by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:10 minutes of round 2
Shannon Wiratchai defeats Amir Khan by Split Decision
Women’s Strawweight bout:
Angela Lee defeats Aya Saeid Saber by Submission (Armbar) at 1:43 minutes of round 1
A La Teng Hei Li defeats Stephen Langdown by TKO (Strikes) at 0:51 minutes of round 2
Benedict Ang defeats Waqar Umar by Unanimous Decision
Yang JianBing defeats Ali Yaakub by Submission (Armbar) at 0:49 minutes of round 2