Asuka Mikami came into ONE: Age of Champions as something of an unknown quantity. His unconventional style caused reigning flyweight champion Adriano Moraes a few problems, but couldn’t prevent the Brazilian claiming a unanimous decision win.
The five-Rbattle was the main event at Stadium Putra in Kuala Lumpur on Friday night. Moraes was looking for a fourth-successive submission win, but, despite repeatedly taking Mikami’s back, the BJJ black belt couldn’t find the finish.
There is little to no footage of Mikami fighting online. As such, it is possible he took Moraes by surprise, as he marched forward with his hands hanging below his waist looking to wing hard punches from the southpaw stance in the opening round.
Moraes took Mikami’s back twice in the opening round, but could not capitalize as the Japanese fighter showcased some of the stubborn submission defense that would become a feature of the fight.
Mikami’s best moment came in two when he landed a series of punches that seemed to have an effect on Moraes, who quickly looked to clinch up against the cage, but was frustrated in his efforts to take the fight down, as the Japanese fighter used a Kimura attempt to defend.
The final three rounds were punctuated due to interruptions, as at one stage or another both fighters needed loose tape removed from their gloves, while Moraes was warned for a headbutt and given time to recover after a couple of low blows.
In the fourth round, a kick from the champion opened up a cut above Mikami’s eye, which caused another pause as the doctor took a look, but he was allowed to continue and must have known going into the final round that he needed to do something dramatic to change the momentum of the fight.
Mikami landed some ground and pound, but he couldn’t catch Moraes with anything clean enough to prevent the champion from taking a unanimous decision and claiming a fourth straight ONE Championship win. His record moves up to 13-1, while the challenger drops to 11-3-1.
In the two fights that took place after the main event and were broadcast live on national TV in Malaysia, the local fighters both emerged victorious with Peter Davis and Ann Osman registering first-round stoppage wins over Rajinder Singh Meena and Walaa Abbas, respectively.
In the final fight of the night, Davis made quick work of Meena to score a record seventh ONE Championship win. The Indian stumbled after being on the receiving end of a head kick and the hometown hero immediately locked in a front headlock.
From that point onward, Davis controlled the action with ease as he moved into mount and rained down elbows on the hapless Indian for a stoppage win, which takes his record to 10-3, while the former SFL champion drops to 8-2.
Osman didn’t have things all her own way, as she was caught by some crisp punches from her opponent early, but once she got the takedown, Abbas quickly gave up her back, allowing the Malaysian to sink in a rear naked choke for a win. She improved to 3-1, while the Egyptian drops to 2-3.
Official results for ONE: AGE OF CHAMPIONS
Adriano Moraes def. Riku Shibuya by Unanimous Decision
Peter Davis def. Rajinder Singh Meena by TKO (Strikes) at 2:41, R1
Ann Osman def. Walaa Abbas by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:23, R1
Ev Ting def. Cary Bullos by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 1:05, R2
Gianni Subba def. Thanh Vu by Knockout at 0:20, R1
Kirstie Gannaway def. April Osenio by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:50, R2
Chan Rothana def. Ramon Gonzales by TKO (Strikes) at 4:48, R1
Agilan Thani def. Reant Fabriza Rainir by TKO (Strikes) at 1:21, R1
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