(James Goyder is the owner/editor of AsianMMA.com)
Kairat Akhmetov has been on the ONE Championship roster for a long time, but the former flyweight champion showed off some new tricks to defeat Dae Hwan Kin in the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
This catchweight contest was the main attraction at ONE: Collision Course II. The Kazakh fighter seemed more than happy to test his striking against an opponent with a background in Taekwondo and Muay Thai.
Akhmetov has spent a lot of time training at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket and showcased some fast punching combinations and left kicks from the southpaw stance. By contrast Kim struggled to find his rhythm or range and spent the first five minutes in defensive mode.
In the second stanza Akhmetov did more damage. A head kick opened up a cut on Kim’s head and the referee called in the doctor to take a look, with blood pouring profusely from the Korean’s facial area.
Kim tried to use side kicks to keep Akhmetov at bay but to no avail. With 30 seconds remaining in the round the Kazakh scored a double leg takedown with the former bantamweight title challenger powerless to prevent his opponent t from putting him on his back.
It left Kim with a mountain to climb in the final round and Akhmetov continued to score with strikes and takedowns. The Korean was in his back but the referee paused the action to check the cuts and he landed a solid up kick after the restart.
It didn’t deter Akhmetov who retained top position and remained there until the final bell to take a clear cut decision win. He improves to 27-2 and is riding a three fight winning streak while Kim slips to 15-7-1.
Earlier in the evening Dae Sung Park (11-2) scored a split decision win over Amir Khan (13-8) in their lightweight contest. In welterweight action Raimond Magomedaliev (6-1) handed Edson Marques (9-1) the first loss of his career with a devastating first round knockout.
ONE: Collision Course II results
- Muay Thai: Jamal Yusupov def. Samy Sana via Decision (Unanimous)
- Kairat Akhmetov def. Dae Hwan Kim via Decision (Unanimous)
- Muay Thai: Momotaro def. Walter Goncalves by TKO (Injury) at 0:30 of round two
- Dae Sung Park def. Amir Khan by Decision (Split)
- Raimond Magomedaliev def. Edson Marques by KO (Punch) at 1:52 of round one
- Senzo Ikeda def. Liang Hui by Decision (Unanimous)