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Thai champ Nong-O proves too strong in defence of bantamweight title

Reigning ONE bantamweight Muay Thai world champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao of Thailand retained his world title with an impeccable knockout performance against ONE bantamweight Muay Thai tournament champion Rodlek PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym, as the ONE Championship put on another exciting martial arts spectacle at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday.

ONE: Collision Course, which was broadcast live on Friday, featured a series of high-level matchups between some of the most talented mixed martial artists, kickboxers, and Muay Thai athletes in the world.

In the first two rounds, the challenger hounded Nong-O with powerful boxing combinations, while the legendary Thai fighter opted to stay on the outside, keeping his opponent at bay with thunderous kicks. In the third round, Nong-O pieced together the puzzle and turned up the pressure on Rodlek. Ultimately, a solid right hand landed square on the chin and dropped Rodlek for the highlight-reel knockout.

In the day’s other main event, reigning light heavyweight kickboxing world champion Roman Kryklia of the Ukraine dominated tough Andrei “Mister KO” Stoica of Romania through five gruelling rounds to win by a unanimous decision.

After a brief exchange in the first round, it became evident that Kryklia possessed clear advantages in reach and striking volume, as he kept Stoica on the end of blistering punch combinations and kicks from the outside. Stoica tried his best to close the gap, but he could not find a way around the defending world champion’s pinpoint striking.

Kryklia grew even more dominant as the bout wore on, pouring the punishment on his opponent, who was compelled to engage. To his credit, Stoica exhibited an incredible ability to absorb damage, as he took Kryklia’s best offence and never buckled under the pressure.

In the end, however, Kryklia proved to be an unstoppable force, battering Stoica throughout the contest to earn the nod on all three judges’ scorecards.

Former ONE featherweight world champion Marat “Cobra” Gafurov of Russia put together a tremendous performance at lightweight, using his veteran savvy to slide past previously unbeaten American and No.5-ranked lightweight mixed martial arts contender Lowen Tynanes.

Gafurov showcased solid striking skills, tagging Tynanes with kicks and punches from range, while the American tried to close the distance.

Gafurov switched gears in round three and successfully took Tynanes to the ground, which undoubtedly weighed heavily on the scorecards.

In the end, Gafurov came away with a close split decision victory.

Russian veteran Yusup Saadulaev overcame a spirited effort from American Troy “Pretty Boy” Worthen, who was handed the first loss of his professional mixed martial arts career. Saadulaev, the No. 4-ranked bantamweight contender, controlled the action during gruelling clinch exchanges throughout the contest.

After creating distance in the third round, he pummelled Worthen with sharp boxing combinations to earn the judges’ nod.

Thailand’s Yodkaikaew “Y2K” Fairtex did just enough to get past Japanese star Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada, winning their mixed martial arts contest by split decision after three rounds. Wada found success early on, closing the distance and taking Yodkaikaew’s back to threaten with submissions in round one. Yodkaikaew, however, found his range the rest of the way, attacking with thudding leg kicks to impede Wada’s ground assault in rounds two and three. With the victory, the Thai athlete improved to 3-0 in ONE Championship.

China’s “The Hunter” Xie Wei and Cambodia’s Chan Rothana opened up the action, doing battle in mixed martial arts to a chorus of cheers from fans in attendance. Rothana attacked with his Kun Khmer kicks in the first two rounds, while Xie fired back with his powerful right hand. In the third frame, Xie connected on a left hook to drop Rothana, ending the bout shortly after via TKO with strikes from the top.

Next, ONE Championship returns with ONE: Collision Course II, a previously recorded event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium scheduled for broadcast on December 25.

In the main event, No. 2-ranked featherweight Muay Thai contender Jamal “Kherow” Yusupov of Russia takes on No. 4-ranked contender Samy “AK47” Sana of France and Algeria in a ONE Super Series Muay Thai showdown.

In the co-main event, former ONE flyweight world champion and No. 3-ranked flyweight contender Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov faces “Ottogi” Dae Hwan Kim of South Korea in a catch weight mixed martial arts contest.

For more information, visit ONE: Collision Course II event page.

Official results

Kickboxing – light heavyweight: Roman Kryklia bt Andrei Stoica via unanimous decision.

Muay Thai – bantamweight: Nong-O Gaiyanghadao bt Rodlek PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym via knockout at 1:13 of round three.

Mixed Martial Arts – lightweight: Marat Gafurov bt Lowen Tynanes via split decision.

Mixed Martial Arts – bantamweight: Yusup Saadulaev bt Troy Worthen via unanimous decision.

Mixed Martial Arts – flyweight: Yodkaikaew Fairtex bt Tatsumitsu Wada via split decision

Mixed Martial Arts – flyweight: Xie Wei bt Chan Rothana via TKO at 1:39 of round three.

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