(James Goyder is the owner/editor of AsianMMA.com)
Shinya Aoki looked back to his brilliant best as he submitted James Nakashima in the opening round at ONE: Unbreakable on Friday. The Japanese fighter needed just 3:41 to finish the former welterweight title challenger with a neck crank.
Shinya Aoki returned to form with his win over James Nakashima
Aoki went to work with body kicks in the early exchanges. He soon tried to take the fight down by grabbing one of Nakashima’s legs. They ended up clinching against the cage with neither man able to gain an advantage.
The lightweights separated and Aoki landed a right hook. Nakashima tried to respond with a straight right, but the Japanese southpaw timed it to perfection and ducked under to take his opponent’s back from a standing position.
Nakashima was powerless to prevent Aoki from securing the body triangle and then wrapping his forearm around his face. The neck crank was tight and the American tapped almost instantly.
Aoki improved to 46-9-0-1, but played down talk of a title shot afterwards, despite having put together a three-fight winning streak. Nakashima drops to 12-2 after losing back to back fights.
Gadzhimurad Abdulaev moves into welterweight title contention
Former welterweight champion Zebaztian Kadestam returned after a lengthy layoff to face Gadzhimurad Abdulaev. It was a match that pitted the striking of the former against the grappling of the latter. It was the undefeated Russian who ultimately prevailed.
Abdulaev caught a kick early in the fight and took Kadestam down. Moments later he had the Swedish fighter’s back and after a brief tussle he locked in a neck crank with the tap coming at the 2:09 mark.
With the win, Abdulaev moved up to 6-0 and establishes himself as an immediate contender for the welterweight title. Kadestam dropped to 12-6 after losing back to back fights for the first time in his career.
The best of the rest at ONE: Unbreakable
In the first fight of the night, Lito Adiwang (12-3) got back to winning ways in style. He finished Namiki Kawahara (7-4-2) with a left hook at 2:02 of the second round in their strawweight fight.
In a catchweight contest that had originally been set for atomweight, Meng Bo (17-5) scored a unanimous decision win over Samara Santos (11-8-1).
ONE: Unbreakable full results
- Captain Petchyindee def. Alaverdi Ramazanov via TKO at 1:46 of Round 2
- Shinya Aoki def. James Nakashima via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:41 of Round 1
- Rade Opacic def. Bruno Sasano via KO (Punches) at 1:07 of Round 2
- Gadzhimurad Abdulaev def. Zebaztian Kadestam via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:09 of Round 1
- Meng Bo def. Samara Santos via unanimous decision
- Lito Adiwang def. Namiki Kawahara via KO (Punch) at 2:02 of Round 2
ONE: Unbreakable fight highlights
(Video courtesy of ONE Championship)