MANILA: It was a decisive counter overhand punch – an explosive right-handed hit which reverberated throughout the Mall of Asia Arena – that won the bout for Sydney-based Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen at ONE Championship's event in Manila on Friday (Nov 10).
In a stunning performance, reigning Featherweight champion Nguyen beat home favourite Eduard “Landslide” Folayang in front of a sold-out crowd in the main event of ONE: Legends of the World in the Philippines.
Victory for Nguyen in the second round meant that the Vietnamese-Australian has now won Folayang’s Lightweight title belt, in addition to retaining his own Featherweight crown.
EXPLOSIVE SECOND ROUND
The first round saw neither martial artist pulling away on the cards. Folayang's early strategy meant picking his shots from the outside, while Nguyen was intent on laying back and looking for the counter.
In the second round, however, it was a completely different story as the activity picked up. After Nguyen missed with a wild left hook to start the round, Folayang answered back with a furious combination off the fence.
As the bout wore on, it became clear what Nguyen’s game plan was - to time the Filipino with the same overhand punch that spelt the end of many of his previous opponents.
Catching Folayang spinning from another wushu side kick, “The Situ-Asian” uncorked a monstrous overhand right that exploded on the Filipino’s jaw, turning the lights out on the Filipino fighter instantly.
Referee Olivier Coste quickly called a halt to the contest at 2m20sec of round two, declaring Nguyen winner by knock-out (KO).
The victory marks the Vietnamese-Australian’s sixth straight victory overall. All six of the 28-year-old’s most recent victories have come by spectacular finish, with this latest win punctuating an incredible run.
As the first two-division champion in the company’s history, Nguyen (10-1) has the option to defend either his lightweight or featherweight titles, with a number of challengers lying in wait in both divisions.
"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," said the newly minted two-time champion Nguyen. "I think coming into the fight my main objective was a TKO or 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," he added.
Official Results for ONE: Legends of the World
ONE Lightweight World Championship bout: Martin Nguyen defeats Eduard Folayang by Knockout (KO) at 2:20 minutes of round 2
ONE Flyweight World Championship bout: Adriano Moraes defeats Danny Kingad by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:45 minutes of round 1
Bantamweight bout: Kevin Belingon defeats Kevin Chung by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
Strawweight bout: Alex Silva defeats Hayato Suzuki by Submission (Armbar) at 1:22 minutes of round 1
Flyweight bout: Reece McLaren defeats Anatpong Bunrad by Submission (D’arce Choke) at 4:52 minutes of round 1
Featherweight bout: Zhao Zhi Kang defeats Thai Rithy by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:31 minutes of round 1
Women’s atomweight bout: Gina Iniong defeats Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol by TKO (Strikes) at 2:12 minutes of round 2
Strawweight bout: Joshua Pacio defeats Roy Doliguez by Knockout (KO) at 0:38 minutes of round 2
Featherweight bout: Xie Chao defeats Kelvin Ong by TKO (Doctor’s Stoppage) at 1:48 minutes of round 1
Strawweight bout: Peng Xue Wen defeats Phat Soda by Knockout (KO) at 2:15 minutes of round 1