ONE 158 just concluded and the card was fireworks from start to finish. The main card alone only saw the judges' scorecard as pretty much all the fights ended in a finish. The main event of the evening reinforced why Tawanchai PK.Saenchai is one of the most feared Muay Thai masters in the world.
The former Lumpinee Stadium fighter of the year wiped the floor with the highly-touted Niclas Larsen as if it was sparring practice. The Thai's precision, speed and unshakable belief at such a young age is nothing short of impressive.
From the opening bell, Larsen went at Tawanchai like a bat out of hell, trying to overwhelm him early. Tawanchai, however, was having none of it as he fired back with blinding combinations inside as Larsen came in.
At just the 30-second mark of the first round, the Thai sensation connected with a flush hook-straight combination that dropped the Dane instantly. After Larsen beat the 10-count, Tawanchai connected with his beautiful teep kick that was reminiscient of his master, the great Saenchai. The piston-like kick sent Larsen crashing back to the floor.
The rest of the two-round affair was the same story. Larsen was desperately trying to make a dent while Tawanchai calmly decimated him with crisp kicks and punches. Mid-way through the second round, Saenchai's protege once again connected with his hook-straight combo that dropped Larsen for the count.
It was as perfect a performance anyone could hope for. We barely remember a moment when Larsen connected cleanly on Tawanchai. After the win, the Saenchai fighter received a sweet $50,000 performance bonus and a guaranteed title shot against the reigning champion, Petchmorakot Petchyindee.
Watch the fight highlights below:
Fabricio Andrade folds Kwon Won Ill with a liver shot at ONE 158
In the co-main event spot of ONE 158, a bantamweight collission took place with serious title implications on the line. Knockout artists Fabricio Andrade and Kwon Won II exchanged a lot of words with each other leading up to their fight. The lead-up was as intense as the fight and the finish.
Right off the bat, Andrade connected with a hard left kick to the body that became the story of the entire ONE 158 co-main event bout. After a series of hard kicks coupled with straight punches from both fighters, Andrade started painting Kwon's face red.
Just a little over a minute into the first round, the Brazilian blasted Kwon again with a liver shot that would make the legendary Bas Rutten proud. The impact was so much for the Korean that he fell to the floor in pain, ending the fight. The win brings 'Wonder Boy' closer to a title shot and has won him a nice $50,000 performance bonus for it.
Main card results and highlights for ONE 158
The rest of the main card fights of ONE 158 were as unforgettable as they were highly entertaining. The main card saw a much-anticipated rematch between Alex 'Little Rock' Silva and Adrian 'Papua Badboy' Mattheis. Their first fight back in March ended in controversy, with Silva arguing that the fight was stopped prematurely after Mattheis knocked him down with a punch.
Silva wasted no time gunning for submissions from the opening bell, taking Mattheis down after weathering the Indonesian's heavy power punches. On the ground, unlike the first fight, Silva didn't allow the 'Papua Badboy' any space to wiggle out of his holds.
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu Blackbelt transitioned from one submission to another before he sunk in a tight heel hook that got the tap.
Also on the main card was a marvelous comeback performance by Reece 'Lightning' McLaren against China's Xie Wei. After surviving an early knockout scare, McLaren dug into his grappling bag of tricks and submitted his Chinese foe via rear-naked choke.
Meanwhile, hard-hitting heavyweight kickboxer Guto Inocente snapped Rade Opacic's 4-fight winning streak with a well-placed left jab to the body. The punch was so sneaky that we were all surprised that it had the devastating effect that it had.
Also, former ONE flyweight champion Kairat 'The Kazakh' Akhmetov dominated Yuya Wakamatsu in a three-round lopsided decision win. One fight in the Lead Card of ONE 158 that's worth noting was 13-time jiu-jtsu world champion Marcus 'Buchecha' Almeida's 3rd MMA bout.
After having two straight matches canceled, 'Buchecha' was finally able to enter the cage and shine. Against Aussie striker Simon Carson, Almeida made short work as he went for his trademark blast double leg en route to TKO finish from the mount.