The Brazilian looked like a man on a mission as he came charging out from the opening bell at the Cotai Arena in Macau. Leone was able to defend his initial takedown attempt, but found himself on the receiving end of a knee to the midsection as they clinched against the cage.
The effect was instantaneous with the American dropping to the ground. Fernandes attacked with strikes and the stoppage seemed imminent, but Leone was able to regain his composure sufficiently to defend against the onslaught.
It proved only a temporary reprieve as Fernandes took his back and worked for the rear naked choke. After a couple of adjustments, he succeeded in slipping his arm around Leone’s neck with the tap coming at the 1:47 mark.
The win saw Fernandes’ record improve to 21-3, while he has now won nine fights out of nine for ONE Championship. Leone’s first loss under the promotion’s banner sees him slip to 8-3 after suffering defeat for the first time since 2012.
The co-main event was a flyweight title unification bout. For the second consecutive time, Adriano Moraes and Kairat Akhmetov went the distance, but on this occasion there was no controversy about the decision with the Brazilian firmly in control throughout the fight.
Akhmetov struggled to land his trademark takedowns and was on the receiving end of a series of hard body kicks. The previously undefeated Kazak dropped Moraes with a left hand early in the third, but apart from that it was one-way traffic.
Moraes even scored a few takedowns of his own and when the bell ended at the end of the fifth round the decision was a formality. The win takes the Brazilian to 16-2, while Akhmetov’s record is tarnished for the first time and now stands at 23-1.
Earlier in the evening, lightweight Timofey Nastyukhin (11-3) scored a hard fought decision win over Koji Ando (12-6-2). Meanwhile, Hayato Suzuki (17-0-2) will surely challenge for the strawweight belt soon. He submitted Joshua Pacio (9-2) with a rear-naked choke in the opening round.
ONE: Kings & Conquerors Full Results
- Bibiano Fernandes def. Andrew Leone via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:47, R1
- Adriano Moraes def. Kairat Akhmetov via unanimous decision
- Timofey Nastyukhin def. Koji Ando via unanimous decision
- Shannon Wiratchai def. Rajinder Singh Meena via knockout at 0:29, R1
- Hayato Suzuki def. Joshua Pacio via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:17, R1
- Kotetsu Boku def. Eric Kelly via TKO (strikes) at 3:27, R3
- Chen Lei def. Saiful Merican via submission (armbar) at 3:58, R3
- Jomary Torres def. Rika Ishige via submission (rear-naked choke) at 1:58, R2
- Leandro Issa def. Toni Tauru via TKO (strikes) at 1:36, R2
- Magomed Idrisov def. Herbert Burns via unanimous decision
- Marcin Prachnio def. Gilberto Galvao via knockout at 1:23, R1
- Leandro Ataides def. Michal Pasternak via unanimous decision
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