The much-delayed, much-ballyhooed, in-the-end damn awesome show happens
Here we are finally at the magical multi-part ONE X after numerous delays, COVID and otherwise. The interest on Twitter seems surprisingly minimal, but it should be a wild and crazy (and long) night and morning of fights. The event is split into three parts, the first two of which are free on youtube in the U.S. and the last is PPV. I’m not super stoked about staying up and paying for a 6AM PPV; we’ll see how that goes.
We had some real questionable weigh-in results the other day with like half the fighters failing their hydration test - in ONE, fighters must have certain percentage of water in their bodies to prove they are not excessively cutting water weight - but no cancelled bouts or even catchweights to my knowledge. That’s ONE for ya! They totally fixed weight cutting! (Well, they tried.)
Robert Sargent @MMARisingAt the #ONEX ceremonial weigh-ins, most of the eight fighters who failed hydration three hours ago have magically passed it now. Exceptions are John Wayne Parr, who still has to pass hydration, and Seo Hee Ham, who did not appear at all. Ham vs Zamboanga may be off entirely.
I’m not sure how long I’m gonna last, but I’ve got my hydration so let’s get going.
Anticipated highlights for Part 1 include Fight Pizza P4P champ Reiner de Ridder in a grappling match, the finals of the featherweight kickboxing Grand Prix, Nieky Holzken doing Muay Thai, the Korean HW Kang Ji Won, and Lito “Awesome Filipino Haircut” Adiwang.
In the first fight of the night, two Japanese fighters face off (lots of Japanese on the card) and vet Senzo Ikeda pretty well smokes Team Evolve (Team Chatri - he’s the owner) fancy boy Ryuto Sawada and then does like a constipated Dragon Ball Z fireball with uncomfortable grunting. The second fight is the first woman’s submission grappling match in ONE history, woohoo, and sees grappling babe Danielle Kelly in control but unable to put away Mei Yamaguchi in 12 minutes. Chatri nonetheless gives her a 50K bonus, which he plans to present personally after the match. My newest favorite ONE fighter Kang Ji Won delivers a beauty against Paul Elliot that was like the Platonic ideal of HW MMA. 60 seconds of carnage and joy.
Next, ONE OG Amir Khan wins a split decision in a close, back-and-forth scrap against Ryogo Takahashi. Khan was getting his ass kicked in the first, but brought it back (even if I think he lost). I’m starting to fade during this Stephen Loman v Shoko Sato fight and may just got to bed until Part 3…zzz…ZZZ…
[Adiwang hurts his leg and basically surrenders in a fight he was winning. Abnormally large Thai man Klinmee murks Nieky Holzken. I’m now convinced no one ever wins in submission grappling. Allazov takes the GP title comfortably.]
[Tang Kai with the big knockout over Kim Jae Woong. Itsuki Hirata is like a hot Japanese female Jon Fitch. She loses unceremoniously to the little Malaysian helion Jihin Radzuan. Rematch next with “Hamderlei” Ham Seo Hee against Denise Zamboanga. Ham won the first fight controversially and has been pretty terrible in ONE after her awesome run in RIZIN. I’m not super confident she’s going to turn it around. Now she’s aiming for a no contest from an early headbutt she initiated. Bad look. Fight starts again and Zamboanga controlling much, but not all, of the fight in R1. Both fighters take some damage. I’m pretty zoned out at this point, but I guess Ham’s winning in R3. She wins. Busy, active kickboxing with some ridiculous over-involved reffing (much more later!) sees Akimoto take the BW kickboxing belt over Capitan. Nong-O Gaiyanghadao keeps his Muay Thai strap.]
What? Huh? Yeah, I’m up. 😴💤☕️
Last we saw Superbon, he murdered Giorgio Petrosyan. Tonight / this morning, he has Marat Gregorian, who he has lost to in the past. It’s a pretty close 5-round fight, but it seems like Superbon got it. And he did - definitely did more damage. Schiavello says it was “domination,” but I disagree. Could have been 3-2. Superbon sounds a little like a Thai Mike Tyson.
Eduard Folayang gets picked as the victim for John Wayne Parr’s retirement fight. I say “victim” as Muay Thai is not Folayang’s sport and he’s been bad lately, but we’ll see. Okay, in R1 JWP looks absolutely ancient and Folayang looks pretty damn good comparatively. JWP moves like he’s playing shuffleboard. It’s ugly. JWP has a brief flurry at the end like Eduard was loitering on his lawn, but it really shouldn’t be enough for win number 100. It’s not. Emotional retirement speech from JWP and on we go. Do not fight again John, unless it’s over a cruise ship buffet.
Akiyama v Aoki is pretty interesting visually and they’ve definitely been hyping it for ages on Japanese TV, but I gotta think Shinya rolls over Sexyama here. Aoki is active and still good. Akiyama has been effectively retired for years. Aoki spends the entire first round on Akiyama’s back and you have to wonder if this is going to be one of those fights that Aoki refuses to finish just to be annoying. But HAHAHA, Akiyama comes out like a house on fire to start R2 and finishes Aoki with strikes! Wow, didn’t expect that and almost think it’s a work, knowing Aoki. In any event, it’s pretty funny.
Yuya Wakamatsu goes for the title next against Adriano Moraes. Yuya’s great and has dynamite hands, but if you beat DJ as convincingly as Moraes did, you’re the favorite. The first round sees Yuya waiting around for the home run shot while Moraes touches him from out of range. Ref steps in twice to call for action, which was totally stupid. Similar R2 but a little more mixed up. Double yellow cards to start R3 is totally retarded. Moraes eventually wins one of the worst refereed fights in recent memory. The ref’s shitty choices totally destroyed the flow of the fight and negated the fighters’ choices. It’s like the ref wanted this to be one of those slap fights.
Alrighty, this is what we’ve been waiting for. I’ve flip-flopped on this one, but you’d think it’s gotta be either Rodtang in R1 or DJ in R2. Rodtang is loose and dancing to the circle. DJ is ready. It’s on. The first round is Muay Thai and DJ survives and even mixes it up with Rodtang a bit! I thought he would be running the whole time but he definitely engaged and landed. The MMA Round 2 begins and Rodtang is on his back foot and Mighty Mouse is patiently waiting for the opportunity for a takedown. He gets it and takes Rodtang’s back. Rodtang is fighting hard! Rodtang goes to sleep! DJ wins! What a fun fight! I really appreciate ONE going for shit like this. Makes up for a lot of their crap. Great stuff.
Now for the main event I don’t much care about. I expect Angela Lee to take this fairly easily but I’ve discounted Stamp Fairtex in the past and been proven wrong. Wow, I am again! Great first round! Stamp starts with some super takedown D and then a brutal body shot which almost finishes Angela, but Angela somehow survives and threatens Stamp. I miss the first minute of R2 and come in to see Angela with a triangle on Stamp. Angela eventually gets the inevitable sub, but Stamp once again did better than anticipated. They are both damn good fighters. 🙇♂️
Wow, so I started watching this 10.5 hours ago (and took a 5-hour sleep in the middle) and yeah, that was pretty great. Incredible showing from DJ and Rodtang. Hilarious defeat for Aoki. Tons of great action. Great job from ONE to try some different shit on this card and really put together a fun event. Some shitty reffing though. Now I’ll go back and watch the bits I missed. ✌️
If you missed RIZIN 34 you didn’t miss much of consequence in the world of Mixed Martial Arts, but there were a bunch of KOs and some good performances. Here’s a thread. RIZIN 35 and RIZIN Trigger 3rd should be both more interesting and more impactful, one desperately hopes. I’ll likely do a post on them.
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