3 things we learned from ONE: Destiny Of Champions
ONE Championship ended its 2018 events schedule on a high note.
The first event headlined by a ONE Super Series Muay Thai match-up did not fall short of expectations, as the card showcased exciting action from the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 7 December.
Here are three things we learned from ONE: Destiny Of Champions.
1 Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex Is Still Elite
“The Hero” Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex announced his retirement in June 2017, but he returned to active competition in February 2018 and showed last Friday that he is far from done.
The living legend was methodical in breaking down Luis “Soot Raaeng Geert” Regis in their main-event bout. He evaded the swift kicks of his Australian opponent and brilliantly closed the distance to unload his pinpoint attack.
Regis put up a valiant effort, but a jab-cross from “The Hero” wobbled him, and three rapid-fire uppercuts finished him off. What’s more, the Thai needed less than a round to get the job done.
After the match, Yodsanklai — who has not lost a bout in seven years — expressed his desire to compete again in 2019. With the win, the Thai may have put himself on a collision course with Evolve’s Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan, who is also considered one of the best strikers on the planet.
2 Alex Silva Is Still A Tough Challenge For Anyone
Former ONE Strawweight World Champion Alex “Little Rock” Silva may not have won his bout against Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta, but he certainly made the Japanese debutant work for every second of their match.
The Evolve product remained active throughout the contest, attempting several takedowns and submissions, all while absorbing the powerful strikes of his Japanese counterpart.
However, Saruta — a Shooto Strawweight World Champion — displayed incredible balance in fending off takedown attempts and tremendous skill on the ground against a third-degree BJJ black belt.
As the final bell sounded, “Little Rock” showed frustration in not finishing his opponent as he predicted, and he seemingly knew the Wajutsu Keishukai Hearts representative did enough to steal the victory.
Despite the loss, Silva displayed an aggressive side and a willingness to trade strikes, which is how he originally won the ONE Strawweight World Title just a year ago. If he can continue sharpening his stand-up skills, that would make the grappler even more dangerous in the future.
3 Angela Lee Should Take Notice of Jihin Radzuan
ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee looked to become a two-division World Champion before an injury forced her out of the historic match-up in November.
While she has been sidelined, a new star has risen in her absence.
Jihin “Shadow Cat” Radzuan delighted the home crowd by dominating her match against Jenny “Lady GoGo” Huang from start to finish.
The Johor Bahru, Malaysia native overwhelmed her Chinese opponent with precision striking and even went toe-to-toe with the black belt judoka and BJJ brown belt on the ground.
Huang, who challenged Lee for the gold in March 2017, shone with her grappling skills, but could not finish off the hometown favorite. She fell prey to the piercing blows of “Shadow Cat" and wound up losing via decision.
Still undefeated, Jihin is on her way to becoming a top contender for Lee’s World Title.