Asia's premier MMA organization, ONE Championship, hosted an Indian-themed event called ONE: Dangal on May 15 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The event featured an electric card complete with five high-octane clashes. Since the event was held to promote MMA in India, the card featured four talented fighters from the nation.
In the main event of ONE: Dangal, fight game veteran Brandon Vera defended the ONE Championship heavyweight title against former UFC heavyweight Arjan Singh Bhullar. This was Vera's third title defense. Bhullar attempted to become the first-ever Indian heavyweight champion on a global stage. The fight against Vera would mark Bhullar's return to MMA after a near two-year-long hiatus following his unanimous decision victory over Mauro Cerilli in October 2019.
In the co-main event, 21-year-old Thai fighter Tawanchai PK Saenchaimuaythaigym locked horns with Irishman Sean Clancy in a Muay Thai fight. The bout marked the ONE Championship debut of both fighters.
In another notable fight, 'The Indian Tigress' Ritu Phogat put a spot in the quarter-finals of the atomweight Grand Prix on the line in a clash against Bi Nguyen.
Given below are the complete results from ONE: Dangal
Arjan Bhullar def. Brandon Vera via TKO (Round 2 - 4:20)
Bhullar made history by becoming the first-ever Indian heavyweight champion in MMA by dominantly dispatching Brandon Vera via TKO in the second round of their main event clash.
Bhullar looked sharp on his feet, teeing away at the face and body of his opponent. Bhullar then took him down and punished him with brutal ground and pound until the referee stepped in to end the contest.
Tawanchai PK Saenchaimuaythaigym def. Sean Clancy via KO (Round 3 - 0:35)
This contest ended with a brutal, spectacular head kick KO by Tawanchai in the third and final round of what was a back-and-forth encounter. The head kick landed clean on the Irishman's temple as he went crashing down to the canvas. It's a shame that fans weren't present to witness the spectacular knockout.
Bi Nguyen def. Ritu Phogat via split decision
In a massive upset, Ritu Phogat's undefeated streak in MMA was brought to an end by Bi Nguyen. The fight was always going to be a clash of styles with Phogat's impeccable wrestling skills being pitted against Nguyen's kickboxing prowess.
While Phogat landed numerous takedowns, keeping Nguyen at bay for most of the fight, the Vietnamese-US fighter took the fight to India's pride in the third and final round. She landed several significant strikes on Phogat in the final round that could have led to a somewhat controversial split decision victory for Nguyen.
Most critics and fans feel that Phogat did more than enough with the takedowns, ground and pound and overall control to get her hand raised at the end of the fight.
Nonetheless, the fight was a complete barnburner.
Ayaka Miura def. Rayane Bastos via submission (Round 1 - 2:58)
Submission specialist Miura did what she does best and forced the tap out of her opponent with a vicious scarf-hold Americana choke in the first round of the fight. This was the Japanese fighter's sixth win in the promotion.
Gurdarshan Mangat def. Roshan Mainam via Unanimous decision
Indian-Canadian fighter Gurdarshan Mangat completely outclassed The Indian Notorious, Roshan Mainam over three rounds in a striking masterclass. Mangat stayed nippy on the feet, hurting his opponent with a barrage of calf kicks and three-punch combinations. Mainam clearly didn't have an answer for Mangat's fluid striking on this night.