ONE X results and highlights: Hiroki Akimoto wins the ONE bantamweight belt in a thrilling kickboxing bout

Hiroki Akimoto with the bantamweight belt at ONE X. (Image courtesy of ONE Championship)
Hiroki Akimoto with the bantamweight belt at ONE X. (Image courtesy of ONE Championship)

ONE X continues to produce classic fights that we won't forget anytime soon. In one of the most exciting kickboxing bouts ever seen, Kyokushin Karate specialist Hiroki Akimoto went to war against Capitan Petchyindee for the ONE bantamweight kickboxing belt. It was a furious display of striking between two of the best in the sport.

The then-champion Captain and his challenger Akimoto never let their feet off the pedal and had everyone on the edge of their seats. In the end, Akimoto increased his pressuring style of kickboxing and eventually wilted the spirit of the champion. The proud Japanese warrior took a hard-earned unanimous decision victory to become the new bantamweight kickboxing king.

The ONE X title fight started just as furiously as it ended. Both fighters immediately met in the middle of the cage and started blasting each other with frightening combinations. They were almost kick-for-kick and punch-for-punch. At one point, Capitan swept Akimoto off his feet, to which the Japanese contender returned the favor by doing the same to the champion. The pace never came down throughout the fight and didn't give the audience any room to breathe.

As the fight continued, Akimoto somehow upped the ante in an already unbelievably high-paced bout. His kicks, punches and knees started to slow the pace of the champion. Capitan, true to his champion spirit, never backed down and kept fighting back, despite getting hurt and fatigued. The champion also lost a point in the 4th round for repeatedly using the clinch. Even without the point deduction, however, it was clear that Akimoto was going home with the belt as we reached the final bell.


Hiroki Akimoto wins 50k performance bonus after winning the belt at ONE X

For his historic performance in an already historic ONE X card, the new champion Akimoto was awarded a sweet $50,000 performance bonus. It was a well-deserved bonus as he had to go through one of the most dangerous and feared strikers in the world.

Speaking through a translator in his post-fight interview, Akimoto expressed his thoughts on the fight and talked about what it took to get there:

"He was so strong. He was so tough. By the third round, I felt like, ‘can I go on?’, but now, here I am, I got the belt! I did a very tough training with my coach everyday. Three times a week. We did a special training. In the end, it’s all the mental. Kept pushing forward. My coach told me everyday that I will be a champion. This is the day and this is the fruit of my hard-work and training. I believe in myself. I believe in my coach. I believe in my teammates. Thank you so much!"

ONE X is truly becoming one of the best martial arts events ever put together. With fights like this, there's very little argument to say otherwise.

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