Sweden's Smilla Sundell made history as the youngest champion ever in ONE Championship. She won the inaugural ONE Muay Thai women's strawweight title with a five-round decision win over Jackie Buntan at ONE 156.
In her post-fight interview, she told her fans around the world:
"It feels great. I'm so happy right now. It's my biggest dream coming true."
Sundell fought Buntan on Friday, April 22. The Filipino-American came into this fight as a well-known Muay Thai technician. She was undefeated in ONE Championship with three consecutive victories and had looked flawless in all those appearances. In the matchup, the 17-year-old Swedish phenom used her length and aggression to earn victory and a world title.
Regarding her fighting style, Sundell said:
"I like to push my opponents so I did what I was supposed to do."
Not only did she make history as the youngest champion in ONE Championship ever, Smilla Sundell was also awarded a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus.
She seemed thrilled with the bonus but even more so with her victory:
"We did it! Thank you for all the support and love, it means the world!"
Smilla Sundell defeats Jackie Buntan
As the championship bout kicked off, there was a clear height advantage for Smilla Sundell. For her part, Buntan moved her feet quickly, showing a speed advantage.
Sundell did well with a strong and stiff jab, while her opponent struggled with the range. In one of the exchanges, Buntan caught a kick and successfully completed a sweep. She threw punches in bunches when the distance was closed.
Sundell threw a headkick which Buntan leaned back and dodged. The round ended with the two exchanging leather, but the Filipino-American landed more and the heavier strikes.
In the opening stages of the second round, Buntan threw heavy lead hooks which were blocked. Sundell found success with a strong jab. She locked up a clinch and tried to pull Buntan in for knee strikes but it was broken up by the referee. At the end of the second round, Sundell landed some hard shots.
Round three began with Buntan landing a combination of punches to the head as well as a body strike. Sundell closed the distance and landed multiple elbows. She found success punching in the clinch and landing elbows, and even managed to dump Buntan to the mat. The 24-year-old rallied, throwing powerful shots. Sundell tried for the clinch again but Buntan shut it down with a knee guard. In the closing moments, Smilla Sundell landed hard punches in combination.
Entering the championship rounds, Sundell took the center of the circle and pushed Buntan back. The California native caught a kick but was struck with punches. Smilla Sundell picked up the pace, getting more aggressive as her confidence grew.
Relentless forward pressure gave her opponent no space. The Filipino-American looked to counter this with combinations of her own. However, the aggression from Sundell was beginning to take over. The two exchanged punches in the closing moments of round four.
Jackie Buntan was showing major damage to her face but still landed a hard hook to open the round. Undeterred, Sundell pressured forward and a right hand found its mark. Buntan retaliated but 'The Hurricane' pressed forward. Smilla Sundell landed more in the last 30 seconds, including kicks and punches and also a flying knee to the body.