(James Goyder is the owner/editor of AsianMMA.com)
Expectations were high ahead of Amir Aliakbari’s ONE Championship debut. But Kang Ji Won had other ideas and it took the Korean in less than two minutes to become only the second fighter to ever beat the Iranian.
Aliakbari had made a strong start. Won was forced to constantly backtrack as the Iranian pushed forwards and the Korean found himself on the receiving end of two right hands that did immediate damage to his face.
With blood dripping from Won’s nose, Aliakbari was probably feeling confident at this stage. The Korean had been constantly circling away from him, varying his escape routes to avoid getting trapped on the cage, but offering precious little offense.
But when Aliakbari lost patience and closed the range, all it took was one swoosh of Won’s left hand and the contest was over. The Iranian charged straight into a left hook and was left face down on the canvass, his winning streak at an end.
A furious Aliakbari seemed either unable or unwilling to accept the result, arguing with someone in his corner as the outcome was announced. It is only the second time in his career he has tasted defeat, the first came at the hands of Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic in 2016.
Won improves to 5-0 after his second ONE Championship win of the year. Aliakbari drops to 10-2 and it will be interesting to see whether he recovered in time to face Anatoly Malykhin on April 7.
It was a night of fast finishes. Malykhin (9-0) put away Alexandre Machado (9-4) in the opening round of their heavyweight fight. The Brazilian tapped after eating a series of punches to the head from the crucifix position.
Yoshiki Nakahara (14-5) ended the undefeated run of Ruslan Emilbek Uulu (8-1) in their featherweight fight. A right hook in the opening round did the damage and the follow-up punches came too quickly for the Kyrgyz debutant.
It was a similar story in the featherweight fight between Tang Kai (12-2) and Ryogo Takahashi (14-5). A straight right hand from the Chinese fighter found its mark and he finished off his Japanese rival in under two minutes.
ONE: Fists of Fury II results
Singapore, March 5th
- Kang Ji Won defeats Amir Aliakbari via KO (Punch) at 1:54 of Round 1
- Anatoly Malykhin defeats Alexandre Machado via TKO (Submission to strikes) at 3:28 of Round 1
- Tang Kai defeats Ryogo Takahashi via TKO (Punches) at 1:59 of Round 1
- Yoshiki Nakahara defeats Ruslan Emilbek Uulu via TKO (Punches) at 1:30 of Round 1
- Muay Thai: Han Zi Hao defeats Adam Noi via Decision (Unanimous)
- Mark Abelardo defeats Emilio Urrutia via KO (Elbow) at 3:20 of Round 2
ONE: Fists of Fury II highlights
(Video courtesy of ONE Championship)