The largest global sports media property in Asian history, ONE Championship™ (ONE), made a triumphant return to Guangzhou last Saturday night, as the biggest and brightest stars in martial arts came out to showcase their incredible skills. The Guangzhou Tianhe Gymnasium played host to ONE: BATTLE FOR THE HEAVENS and electrified the crowd with world-class martial arts action. In the main event, “Killer Bee” Kai Ting Chuang of Chinese Taipei captured the inaugural ONE Super Series Kickboxing Atomweight World Championship with a unanimous decision victory over Yodcherry Sityodtong of Thailand.
In the main event of the evening, 23-year-old “Killer Bee” Kai Ting Chuang of Chinese Taipei put on the performance of a lifetime, upsetting heavy favorite Yodcherry Sityodtong of Thailand in a five-round ONE Super Series Kickboxing title tilt. The three-time WAKO Kickboxing Champion employed a terrific game plan, avoiding Yodcherry’s powerful right hand and roundhouse kicks while countering with impeccable boxing combinations for five whole rounds. In the end, all three judges scored the bout in favor of Chuang to win by unanimous decision, awarding her the inaugural ONE Super Series Kickboxing Atomweight World Championship.
Kai Ting Chuang, ONE Super Series Kickboxing Atomweight World Champion, stated: “I went over this match with my coaches, and we came up with a great game plan which worked out perfectly. Thank you to all the fans who supported me, and especially my team who helped me in preparing for this match.”
In the co-main event of the evening, Filipino-Australian dynamo Reece “Lighting” McLaren made his case for a shot at the ONE Flyweight World Championship with resounding clarity, edging out Japanese veteran Tatsumitsu Wada by way of split decision. McLaren flaunted his fluid striking, repeatedly hammering Wada with stinging punches and lashing leg kicks. Although Wada posed problems on the mat in the opening moments of the bantamweight contest, McLaren’s impeccable grappling was able to pull out all the stops in the last two rounds of the bout, wearing out the Japanese stalwart with powerful takedowns and submission attempts. In the end, McLaren earned two of the three judges’ nods to have his hand raised by split decision.
Moroccan kickboxer Ibrahim El Bouni turned in a stirring performance in his ONE Super Series debut, attaining a first-round knockout win over Australia’s Andre “The Giant” Meunier. El Bouni patiently waited for the right moment to pounce on his hard-hitting counterpart. When he saw a good opening to strike, El Bouni dropped Meunier to the canvas with a thunderous hook. Although Meunier was able to beat the count of ten, El Bouni knew that the finish was within his reach, prompting him to produce another huge knockdown that put his Australian opponent on the mat for good. His stellar conquest of Meunier earned him the GoDaddy Knockout of the Night.
In a clash of promotional newcomers, Chinese ace Fu Chang Xin emerged triumphant, torching Rustem Yensebayev of Kazakhstan with a full display of his well-rounded martial arts skill set. Showcasing his versatility in his maiden assignment as a ONE Athlete, Fu flustered Yensebayev with pinpoint striking before he vindictively took matters to the ground. On the mat, Fu ferociously secured the finish, blasting his Kazakh foe with a relentless barrage of heavy blows that forced referee Yuji Shimada to intervene and call a halt to the contest.
In a ONE Super Series Muay Thai bantamweight bout, Saemapetch of the world-renowned Fairtex gym in Pattaya, Thailand put on an incredible striking showcase, dominating opponent Deividas Danyla of Lithuania over the course of three whole rounds. Operating behind the southpaw stance, Saemapetch cracked Danyla with whipping left roundhouse kicks and slashing left elbows throughout the duration of the bout. In the end, all three judges scored the bout in favor of Saemapetch to win by unanimous decision.
After tasting his first setback in ONE Championship last March, Zhao Zhi Kang of China redeemed himself by defeating compatriot and promotional debutant Ma Xu Dong. Although he went through a rough start at the hands of Ma, Zhao clung onto his submission wizardry, which paid dividends in the third and final round. Zhao put Ma to sleep with a tight guillotine choke to earn the victory.
Former two-time Muay Thai world champion and ONE World Title Challenger Istela Nunes of Brazil made a successful return to ONE Championship after more than a year away from competition, defeating the highly-regarded Gina “Conviction” Iniong of the Philippines. The 25-year-old Brazilian utilized her length and size advantage to keep Iniong out of range for the majority of the contest, and the Team Lakay veteran had difficulty closing the distance. In the end, all three judges saw the bout in favor of Nunes to win by unanimous decision.
25-year-old Shuya “Stealth” Kamikubo of Japan made a successful ONE Championship debut, overpowering martial arts veteran “The Terminator” Sunoto of Indonesia with a masterful grappling performance. After softening up Sunoto with ground-and-pound for the majority of the contest, Kamikubo put the finishing touches in the second round, pouncing on Sunoto with punches from top to win by technical knockout.
22-year-old Peng Xue Wen of China made quick and easy work of former two-time SEA Games Boxing Bronze Medalist Eddey “The Clown” Kalai of Indonesia, winning via first-round technical knockout. After trading kicks at the center of the ONE Championship ring, the two began to trade punches. Although he was swapping hard blows with a highly-decorated boxer, it did not deter Peng, who caught Kalai with an overhand right that dropped the Indonesian instantly. Follow-up punches on the ground ended matters just under a minute into the contest, earning Peng the stoppage victory.
Kicking off ONE: BATTLE FOR THE HEAVENS were strawweights Robin Catalan of the Philippines and Adrian Mattheis of Indonesia. After an impressive striking performance for two rounds, Catalan caught Mattheis with a heel hook midway through the second frame. With Mattheis in no position to escape, Catalan put the pressure on the submission and forced the tap.
Official results for ONE: BATTLE FOR THE HEAVENS
ONE Super Series Kickboxing Atomweight World Championship bout: Kai Ting Chuang defeats Yodcherry Sityodtong by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 5 rounds
Flyweight bout: Reece McLaren defeats Tatsumitsu Wada by Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds
ONE Super Series Kickboxing Catch Weight bout (105.0kg): Ibrahim El Bouni defeats Andre Meunier by Knockout (KO) at 1:31 minutes of round 1
Catch Weight bout (66.5kg): Fu Chang Xin defeats Rustem Yensebayev by TKO (Strikes) at 4:32 minutes of round 1
ONE Super Series Muay Thai Bantamweight bout: Saemapetch Fairtex defeats Deividas Danyla by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
Catch Weight bout (68.0kg): Zhao Zhi Kang defeats Ma Xu Dong by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 1:08 minutes of round 3
Women’s Atomweight bout: Istela Nunes defeats Gina Iniong by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
Bantamweight bout: Shuya Kamikubo defeats Sunoto by TKO (Strikes) at 3:54 minutes of round 2
Strawweight bout: Peng Xue Wen defeats Eddey Kalai by TKO (Strikes) at 0:57 minutes of round 1
Strawweight bout: Robin Catalan defeats Adrian Mattheis by Submission (Heel Hook) at 2:10 minutes of round 2