The 5 Most Devastating Knockouts in ONE Championship in 2021

Eko Roni Saputra (right) scores 10-second knockout over Liu Peng Shuai (left). [Photo:ONE Championship]
Eko Roni Saputra (right) scores 10-second knockout over Liu Peng Shuai (left). [Photo:ONE Championship]
James De Rozario

ONE Championship treated its global audience to plenty of memorable moments in 2021. To everyone’s delight, some of the most unforgettable knockouts in the promotion’s history took place over the last year.

It has been a banner year for the organization. From start to finish, its world-class athletes continued to amass some picture-perfect finishes.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have left fighters eager to get more game time. However, as restrictions eased worldwide, it became clear that the fighters of ONE clearly never took their foot off the gas pedal.

They produced one highlight-reel moment after another that will be talked about for years to come.

Here are five of the most devastating knockouts in ONE Championship in 2021.

#5. John Lineker vs. Troy Worthen - ONE on TNT 3

John Lineker reminded the world why he is nicknamed ‘Hands of Stone’ as Troy ‘Pretty Boy’ Worthen tasted his one-punch knockout power back in April.

The Brazilian made his intentions known from the opening bell, as he struck with power. The American wrestler did try to break Lineker’s rhythm, but it barely had any effect. If anything, it gave the Brazilian knockout specialist more reason to hit even harder.

With the clock ticking towards the end of the round, Worthen thought that trading leather with Lineker was the best way to close out the stanza. ‘Pretty Boy’ was wrong and, just moments later, things were not pretty on his end.

Lineker uncorked a thunderous right hand that landed on the American’s jaw. Worthen fell backwards, and 'Hands of Stone' followed up with one more punch to seal the knockout with 25 seconds left in the opening frame.

The victory - especially the way he earned it via knockout - booked him a date against division king Bibiano Fernandes at ONE X. Fernandes has only one defeat on his outstanding ONE resume. The bantamweight world champion has only been knocked out once in his career, and that came way back in 2006.

Will Lineker fancy another highlight-reel stoppage against 'The Flash'?

#4. Kim Jae Woong vs. Martin Nguyen - ONE: Revolution

ONE: Revolution pitted two fighters known for their finishing abilities against each other. With 16 knockouts combined, a finish was almost guaranteed in this contest between two of the finest strikers in the featherweight division, Martin Nguyen and Kim Jae Woong.

Unfortunately for former two-division champion Nguyen, he was the one who was put to sleep on this occasion.

The South Korean did not hunt for a finish. Instead, he patiently waited to see how Nguyen would come forward.

As the Sanford MMA athlete started getting comfortable advancing into enemy territory, Kim began countering the Vietnamese-Australian’s onslaught with low kicks and jabs.

Just as Nguyen teed up a classic right, ‘The Fighting God’ sneaked a right cross that instantly crumbled his opponent to the floor. He followed up with three more strikes on the ground before referee Olivier Coste called a stop to the contest at the 3:15 mark.

Along with the highlight-reel finish, Kim booked himself a shot at Thanh Le's ONE featherweight world title.

#3. Beybulat Isaev vs. Mihajlo Kecojevic - ONE: Unbreakable 2

Beybulat Isaev smashed his way to an 82-second knockout win in this light heavyweight kickboxing tilt against Mihajlo Kecojevic inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium in January.

Kecojevic dominated the initial stages of the contest, using his jab-cross combos to keep Isaev at bay. However, as his confidence grew, the Serbian fighter also left huge gaps in his defense. That invited the hulking Russian athlete to trade leather.

Isaev countered Kecojevic’s straight right and slammed a right cross-left hook mix that his rival blocked. Furious, the Serbian athlete stepped forward and swung a full-force hook-cross combination.

Beybulat Isaev 🇷🇺 BOMBS Mihajlo Kecojevic in under 90 SECONDS! #ONEUnbreakable2 #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship How to watch ONE: UNBREAKABLE II 👉…

The Russian ducked both shots and loaded a thumping overhand right that caught Kecojevic clean on the jaw. The momentum of the oncoming Serb coupled with Isaev’s power forced his head to swing a full 180 degrees from right to left before it bounced off the canvas.

#2. Eko Roni Saputra vs. Liu Peng Shuai - ONE: Battleground 2

At ONE: Battleground 2, Eko Roni Saputra earned a quick win.

10 seconds. That was the amount of time the Evolve MMA athlete needed to send Liu Peng Shuai crashing onto the canvas during their clash on August 13.

The Indonesian grappling sensation promised fans that they would witness his striking. There was no better way to display his newfound skills than a quick knockout.

Liu teased his opponent with a couple of jabs, but Saputra immediately went in with a cross-hook combo that forced the Chinese star to backpedal.

The Fighting Bros Club representative replied with a low kick, but, in the process, he left his chin exposed.

‘Dynamite’ unleashed a destructive right hand that caught his Chinese rival square on the jaw and knocked him out cold.

The victory maintained Saputra’s 100 percent finish rate. More importantly, it punched his name into the record books as the fighter with the fastest flyweight finish in ONE history.

#1. Superbon vs. Giorgio Petrosyan - ONE: First Strike

Before their main event bout in October, there was little chatter about whether Superbon could leave the Circle with a win, let alone knockout kickboxing GOAT candidate Giorgio Petrosyan.

However, he did just that 20 seconds into the second round, stunning the world and earning the vacant featherweight kickboxing world title.

Superbon’s trademark movement, precision and right kick eventually sealed his fate as the best featherweight kickboxer on the planet.

The knockout came when Superbon countered Petrosyan’s straight left and uncorked a right high kick on the latter’s left side that was left exposed. The Italian-Armenian attempted to evade the Bangkok-based athlete’s trademark kick, but his movements were not quick enough.

Petrosyan’s lights went off in an instant. He curled forward – and with his feet crossed – landed on the back of his head. The knockout was devastating, but the manner in which Superbon timed his shot and connected was kickboxing at its finest.

Edited by John Cunningham


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