ONE Super Series has thrilled fans since it debuted in The Home Of Martial Arts in April, but its athletes hit their stride in the last few months of the year.
The all-striking league saw leading athletes from the worlds of Muay Thai, kickboxing, Kun Khmer, and more put their best feet, and fists, forward to score some stunning stoppages.
Some of 2018’s most sensational finishes came within a few weeks of one another, and these are four of the best.
Ramazanov’s Instant Uppercut
Fresh off the back of a career-best victory over two-weight Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Champion Petchmorrakot Petchyindee Academy, Russia’s Alaverdi “Dagger” Ramazanov returned to action against Scotland’s Andrew “Mad Dog” Miller at ONE: HEART OF THE LION.
Miller went on the front foot against Ramazanov and looked to land with his kicks, but right away “Dagger” replied with effective counter punching. “Mad Dog” continued his march forward, but he walked on to a perfectly-timed salvo from the Venum Training Camp representative.
Ramazanov faked a push kick which moved him into a southpaw stance, and then he unleashed a rapid-fire three-punch combination that left the Scot staring up at the lights.
A right hook barely missed the mark, but the straight left and right uppercut that followed did not. The straight snapped Miller’s head back, and the uppercut landed right under the chin, which sent him to the canvas.
Referee Atsushi Onari knew the fight was over straight away, and stepped in to stop proceedings to hand Ramazanov his second straight win in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
Holzken Scores Emphatic KO In Jakarta
Nieky “The Natural” Holzken and Cosmo “Good Boy” Alexandre met for the second time at ONE: WARRIOR’S DREAM – eight years after their original encounter.
Both men went on to achieve greatness in the striking world, and this rematch was one of the most anticipated battles on the card in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Holzken showcased his power in the first round, twice sending “Good Boy” to the canvas, and maintained the pressure in round two. As it came to a close, “The Natural” looked to send his rival to the mat for the third and final time, and took aim with a spinning hook kick that put his Brazilian foe on the back foot.
Stumbling towards the cage, Alexandre was a sitting duck for the combination that followed. Holzken channeled his exceptional boxing prowess with a hard straight right, and then a turbo-charged uppercut as “Good Boy” staggered against the fence.
It was down and out as the man from the Netherlands switched off Alexandre’s lights, and picked up victory number one on his road towards a ONE Super Series World Title.
Pinas Spins To Win
As Brown Pinas and Yohann Fairtex Drai looked to register their first victory on the global stage for martial arts, it was the Frenchman who took the initiative.
Drai landed solid straights throughout the first round at ONE: WARRIOR’S DREAM, and he was in the ascendancy as he headed into round two.
Full of confidence, he remained on the offensive in the second stanza and moved forward with kicks and elbows. However, as he stepped in with a jab, Pinas timed a perfect spinning back elbow out of nowhere.
It landed squarely on the forehead of his advancing opponent and dropped him to the mat, ending the bout against the run of play, and in breathtaking fashion.
Yodsanklai’s Triple Uppercut Combo
“The Hero” Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex may have saved the best until last as he welcomed Luis Regis to the cage for the first time in the main event of ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS.
Yodsanklai is widely regarded as one of the greatest Muay Thai competitors of all time, and Regis had his work cut out for him, but the Australia-based Brazilian relished the opportunity in the world’s largest martial arts organization’s last match of 2018.
As “The Hero” battered the ribs and arms of his foe with his trademark left kick, Regis did not back down, but ultimately the Thai’s power was too much.
He pressed the Sydney native’s back to the cage off a failed spinning kick attempt and utilized the position to let off a bout-ending five-punch combination.
A jab-cross rattled Regis, and then Yodsanklai unleashed three consecutive right uppercuts to the chinthat sent the SRG Thai Boxing Gym man face-first to the canvas.
What a way for the curtain to fall on a marvelous year in martial arts.