Former ONE featherweight world title challenger and Jiujitsu icon Garry Tonon is not the man you'd want entangling your legs. Together with his teammates from the iconic "Danaher Death Squad", 'The Lion Killer' helped revolutionize the art of leg locks in submission grappling.
He can hit his signature heel hook from almost anywhere and it has awarded him 18 of the 49 wins he has in submission grappling. Needless to say, the inside heel hook is Garry Tonon's favorite weapon of choice.
One of his best performances inside the circle, a slick Imanari-roll-to-heel-hook submission win over Yoshiki Nakahara, was classic Garry Tonon. It was swift, technical, and absolutely awe-inspiring. After the submission win, Tonon showed the martial artist in him by respectfully bowing to his Japanese foe. ONE posted a video of it on Instagram:
"Honor thy opponent 🙏 American BJJ star Garry Tonon returns to face undefeated Russian powerhouse Shamil Gasanov in a battle of top featherweight MMA contenders at ONE Fight Night 12 🔥 @garrytonon"
One more win after the Nakahara fight and Tonon was fighting for the ONE featherweight world title at ONE: Lights Out. Though he didn't get the win against then-world champion Thanh Le, Tonon bounced back by submitting Johnny Nuñez a few months after.
Now, 'The Lion Killer' is slated to face undefeated Russian submission artist Shamil Gasanov at ONE Fight Night 12 on July 14.
This bout will be a battle of submission masters as Gasanov has won more than half of his wins via submission. His most recent victory was a rear-naked choke win over Korean standout Kim Jae Woong late last year. It will be interesting to see the two tangle on the ground or, as what usually happens when grapplers face each other in MMA, go on a striking war on the feet.
ONE Fight Night 12 goes down at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium and will stream live and free on Prime Video in North America.