(James Goyder is the owner/editor of AsianMMA.com)
Two of Thailand’s top MMA prospects were in action at Friday’s ONE: No Surrender, Part II. Both got their break with local promotion Full Metal Dojo, but have enjoyed contrasting career paths.
Pongsiri Mitsatit was competing on a ONE Championship card for the tenth time. Meanwhile, Yodkaikaew Fairtex was making his promotional debut at the behind-closed-doors event in Bangkok.
Mitsatit was looking to snap a three-fight losing skid. The 24-year-old strawweight was going up against a significantly older opponent in the shape of Bangkok based Japanese veteran Akihiro Fujisawa.
Fujisawa was also coming off a three-fight losing streak. The 41-year-old first competed in an amateur MMA fight in 2008 and had experience on his side as well as size, with Mitsatit moving up a few pounds to make this fight possible
The Thai was also looking to snap a three fight losing skid and let his hands go right from the start, looking to follow pinching combinations up with head kicks. There was no offense whatsoever coming from Fujisawa, who seemed content so merely survive the striking exchanges.
The Japanese fighter secured a single-leg takedown and landed in Mitsatit’s guard. But the Thai remained the more aggressive, landing a series of elbows from bottom position.
After a series of failed attempts, Fujisawa finally succeeded in passing Mitsatit’s guard. He seamlessly transitioned to side control, but the Thai fighter was able to slide out and stand up again.
Having not looked entirely comfortable in the stand-up department, Fujisawa uncorked a left hook out of nowhere. It dropped Mitsatit hard and the Japanese veteran followed up with some punches from top position.
Mitsatit sprung straight back up only to eat an even harder left hook. This time there was no question of the fight continuing with the referee stepping in to call off the contest as soon as the Thai crashed to the canvass.
Mitsatit has now been stopped in each of his last four fights, and it looks a long way back for the strawweight, who drops to 10-6. By contrast, Fujisawa’s career has been revitalized and the 41-year-old is 6-3 after snapping his three-fight losing skid in some style.
If ONE Championship matchmakers are on the lookout for a new Thai star, they need look no further than Yodkaikaew Fairtex. The flyweight made a very impressive promotional debut in Bangkok.
Yodkaikaew has not competed in MMA for two years. He was handed a tough assignment in the shape of undefeated Englishman John Shink, who, like Mitsatit, is based at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket.
There was nothing to chose between the two fighters in the first round. But Yodkaikaew’s striking would come to the forefront in the second stanza with the Muay Thai veteran landing a left hook at close quarters.
Shink was wobbled and a straight left ended the contest. Yodkaikaew improves to 5-1-2 and looks set to be a real threat in the flyweight division, while Shink drops to 3-1.
ONE: No Surrender, Part II results
August 14, 2020
- Muay Thai: Saemapetch Fairtex def. Rodlek PKSaenchaigym by Decision (Unanimous)
- Kickboxing: Mehdi Zatout def. Leo Pinto by Decision (Unanimous)
- Akihiro Fujisawa def. Pongsiri Mitsatit by KO (Punch)
- Muay Thai: Sorgraw PetchyindeeAcademy def. Pongsiri PKSaenchaigym by Decision (Split)
- Yodkaikaew Fairtex def. John Shink by KO (Punches)
- Muay Thai: Huang Ding def. Fahdi Khaled via Decision (Unanimous)