On May 27th, 2016, ONE Championship had their first ever event in Bangkok, Thailand at the Impact Arena. The night included Gafurov defending his strap, Naito becoming the new Strawweight Champion and a whole lot of first round finishes.
Kingdom of Champions was an entertaining event to say the least. With 8 of the 9 fights ending in a knockout or submission and 6 of those in the first round. The fans in attendance at Impact Arena and the ones watching across Asia got to witness some beautiful violence.
In the main event, Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke had no answer to the overwhelming ground game of “Nobita” and was eventually choked out in the fourth session. D.S.A. did a decent job early on in the fight keeping it on the feet and landing from distance but the Japanese submission machine kept being persistent with his wrestling and got it to the ground for the finish. Naito Yoshitaka stays unbeaten and becomes the second ever Strawweight Champion in ONE history.
The co-main event did not go any differently expect for that the reigning champion kept his belt. Marat Gafurov dominated every aspect of the fight and showed why he is the featherweight king. In the second round, he went to his bread and butter to secured a rear-naked choke and squeezed it until the ref had to step in. “Cobra” stays undefeated and retains his title with relative ease. From the looks of it, he seems to be set on keeping the featherweight strap for a long time to come.
In the shocker of the night, gritty Australian “Ruthless” Robert Lisita took on Russian finisher Timofey Nastyukhin. They met at the center of the cage and in six seconds the fight was over. Nastyukhin threw a straight right, left hook combo that crumbled Lisita instantly and then went over to connect with a soccer kick to the dome. It looked like the fight was over before the soccer kick even landed since Lisita was stiff as a board. The Russian ties the record for the fastest finish in the ONE cage.
Earlier in the night, two young stars to keep an eye on stayed undefeated with impressive finishes in the first round.
The first is featherweight Christian “The Warrior” Lee, who dismantled Rocky Batolbatol with knees and punches on the ground. That makes it 5 straight wins and all of them in the first frame via knockout or submission. Now, he should be ready to take a step up in competition and face a solid featherweight like Timofey Nastyukhin or Ev Ting.
The other impressive youngster was Thai strawweight phenom Pongsiri “The Smiling Assassin” Mitsatit. He kneed the soul out of Ye Thway Ne and put the division on notice. “Piak” is currently on a seven-fight win streak with five coming by way of knockout. He seems to be in line to take on one of the more established fighters in his division to eventually fight for number one contender status.
ONE Championship:Kingdom of Champions
May 27th, 2016
Strawweight Title Main Event
Strawweight Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke vs Yoshitaka Naito
Winner:Yoshitaka Naito, 4R Rear Naked Choke (4:00) *NEW ONE Championship Strawweight Champion
Featherweight Title Co-Main Event
Featherweight Champion Marat Gafurov vs Kazunori Yokota
Winner: Marat Gafurov, 2R Rear Naked Choke (4:25) *STILL ONE Championship Featherweight Champion
Catchweight Match (-73kg)
Timofey Nastyukhin vs Rob Lisita
Winner: Timofey Nastyukhin, 1R Knockout (0:06)
Catchweight Match (-95.8kg)
Marcin Prachnio vs Leandro Ataides
Winner: Marcin Prachnio, Split Decision
Shannon Wiratchai vs Kyal Linn Aung
Winner: Shannon Wiratchai, 1R Rear Naked Choke (2:17)
Christian Lee vs Rocky Batolbatol
Winner: Christian Lee, 1R Verbal Submission from Strikes (2:14)
Catchweight Match (-62kg)
Yodsanan Sityodtong vs Khon Sichan
Winner: Yodsanan Sityodtong, 1R TKO (3:44)
Pongsiri Mitsatit vs Ye Thway Ne
Winner: Pongsiri Mitsatit, 1R TKO (2:24)
Kritsada Konsrichai vs Kev Hemmorlor
Winner: Kritsada Konsrichai, 1R TKO (1:58)