For the second fight in succession, Ben Askren completely dominated an opponent and claimed a stoppage win. Zebaztian Kadestam almost made it to the end of the second round, but spent almost the entire time on the floor defending against strikes and submission attempts from the welterweight champion.
Kadestam was able to briefly fend off Askren’s opening takedown attempt and they clinched against the cage in the main event of ONE: Shanghai before “Funky” finally secured a double-leg takedown. The Swedish fighter briefly worked his way up only to be instantly picked up, slammed back down, and instantly mounted.
With Askren in a high mount, Kadestam was powerless to prevent him landing punches and elbows. The Swedish fighter eventually gave up his back and was given the option to quit by referee Yuji Shimada, but decided to hang in there as the champion peppered his head and face with punches.
In round two, Kadestam looked a little reluctant to engage. He started circling out, but it brought only a brief respite as Askren took just 30 seconds to secure his first double-leg takedown of the round. Again the challenger gave up his back and looked like he might be about to succumb to a rear-naked choke attempt.
Kadestam survived, but it was all one-way traffic and the referee mercifully called a stop to the contest with 51 seconds remaining in the round. The win takes Askren’s perfect professional record to 17-0-0-1, while his opponent drops to 9-4. After the fight, the champion called for a higher caliber opponent to step up.
“I haven’t got hit one time in my last two fights, so someone please come into this cage who can hit me. I’m open to a superfight, I’m open to any welterweight on planet earth. Bring it baby.”
The card was ONE Championship’s first in Shanghai and featured a large contingent of Chinese fighters. In the co-main event, Ma Hao Bin (7-1) demonstrated why he is regarded as one of the best prospects in the country with a second round rear naked choke win over Hexi Getu (0-3).
There were big wins for Askren’s Evolve MMA teammates Amir Khan (7-1) and Saketdao Petpayathai. The former rocked Jaroslav Jartim (8-7-1) with a perfectly timed left head kick and then put the Czech lightweight away with a devastating right hook to register his eighth stoppage win in the ONE cage, a promotional record.
Saketdao (2-0) dropped Mahmoud Mohamed (4-5-1) with an elbow coming out of the clinch and then ran off to celebrate. Somewhat comically, the referee had not elected to call off the contest, meaning the Thai had to run back and attack with some ground and pound for a first-round stoppage win.
ONE: Shanghai Full Results
- Ben Askren def. Zebaztian Kadestam via TKO (strikes) at 4:09, R2
- Ma Hao Bin def. Hexigetu via submission (guillotine) at 4:50, R2
- Amir Khan def. Jaroslav Jartim via knockout (kick and punches) at 3:46, R1
- Xu Chun Yan def. Eh Ya Nut via unanimous decision
- Tetsuya Yamada def. Kyle Rozewski via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:55, R1
- Sagetdao Petpayathai def. Mahmoud Mohamed via TKO (strikes) at 1:41, R1
- Miao Jie def. Mona Samir via submission (armbar) at 0:49, R1
- Zhang Ze Hao def. Li Cheng Chao via TKO (strikes) at 2:53, R2
- Xie Chao def. Marc Marcellinus via submission (Kimura) at 1:28, R1
(Follow @JamesGoyder on Twitter | Photos and videos courtesy of ONE Championship)