(James Goyder is the owner/editor of AsianMMA.com)
At the end of the opening round, Kiamrian Abbasov’s nose looked badly broken and there was a question as to whether the welterweight champion would recover. Challenger James Nakashima looked firmly in control of the main event at ONE: Inside the Matrix, Part II.
Nakashima dominated rounds two and three as Abbasov pawed awkwardly at his nose. During the second stanza, the southpaw challenger found a home for his left hand and blood began to stream from his opponent’s face.
In the third round, Nakashima finally completed a takedown. He remained in dominant position until the bell but aside from briefly threatening with a Von Flue choke the challenger was unable to capitalize with any effective offense.
Abbasov landed a right hand at close quarters early in the fourth, but the nose was clearly troubling the champion who seemed to be rapidly running out of ideas. That was until a right kick landed flush to the face of Nakashima, who might have been dipping down for a takedown.
The American was badly hurt and tried to buy himself time by backtracking, but Abbasov came on strong and landed a knee to the head of the challenger as he stumbled backwards. An uppercut finished the job and secured a stunning comeback.
With the win, he improves to 23-4, while Nakashima drops to 12-1 after suffering defeat for the first time in his career. It was a first successful title defense for Abbasov, who won the belt by beating former champion Zebaztian Kadestam last year.
In the co-main event, Timofey Nastyukhin (14-4) probably secured a lightweight title shot with clear cut decision win over Pieter Buist (17-5). The Russian was looking for the knockout right from the get go and while he never came close to finishing the fight, his aggression was enough to earn a second straight win.
ONE: Inside the Matrix, Part II
- Kiamrian Abbasov def. James Nakashima by KO (Knees and Punches) at 3:27 of R4 (For welterweight title)
- Timofey Nastyukhin def. Pieter Buist by Decision (Unanimous)
- Yuya Wakamatsu def. Kyu Sung Kim by KO (Punch) at 1:46 of R1
- Eko Roni Saputra def. Ramon Gonzales via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 4:07 of R1
- Meng Bo def. Priscilla Gaol by KO (Punch) at 1:26 of R1