PERFECT strategy. Perfect timing.
Martin Nguyen waited patiently and when the opening came he struck with deadly precision to knock out Eduard Folayang and win the ONE Championship Lightweight World title Friday, November 10, 2017 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Nguyen, the ONE Championship World Featherweight titleholder, was waiting for his opportunity.
In the second round Folayang attacked with a swinging heel kick. Instead of stepping back to avoid the attack or standing still to block the kick Nguyen jumped forward as Folayang’s head and body spun around.
Just as Folayang swung into position Nguyen landed a punch on his face knocking out the Filipino titleholder.
Folayang went limp, fell backward and before Nguyen could administer more punishment the referee stopped the fight. “This is a special place for me. Last year, I came in and won fight of the night, right now it’s possibly the knockout of the night. I think coming into the fight, my main objective was a TKO or as a submission. Eduard, I still love you like a brother, I hope you’re fine and I hope you come back stronger. I’m still your number one fan,” said Nguyen after the shocking ending.
Nguyen became the first ONE Championship fighter to win two belts in multiple divisions after claiming the Featherweight title last August.
In the co-main event of the evening, Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes retained his ONE Championship title by submitting Filipino Danny Kingad with a rear-naked choke in the first round.
“This night was amazing for me. It was a tough fight against Danny Kingad. He has a big future ahead of him, but now it’s my time. This is my house, this is my belt, and this is my class,” said Moraes after the fight. Despite the two tough losses other Filipinos in the fight card were victorious. Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon prevailed by unanimous decision over South Korean-American dynamo Kevin “Oldboy” Chung.
Atomweight prospect Gina “The Conviction” Iniong extended her winning streak inside the ONE Championship cage by beating Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol. Joshua “The Passion” Pacio knocked out Roy “The Dominator” Doliguez in the second round with a swinging backfist.
In other fights of the evening previously unbeaten Japanese prospect Hayato Suzuki bowed to Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion black belt Alex “Little Rock” Silva. The Brazilian gained a submission finish in the first round, making Suzuki tap from an armbar.
Former world title contender Reece “Lighting” McLaren found success at flyweight by defeating Anatpong Bunrad. Late in the second round McLaren caught Bunrad in an anaconda grip and transitioned into a D’arce choke to force the tap. Chinese martial arts superstar “The Ghost” Zhao Zhi Kang submitted Cambodian standout Thai Rithy in the first round.
Zhao got the job done through a rear-naked choke to force the tap from Rithy.
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