ONE Pursuit of Greatness: Aung La Nsang retains via TKO, recaps & clips of all the MMA action
Yangon, Myanmar – A slate of stellar fights and one of the loudest MMA crowds you’ll ever hear helped make ONE Pursuit of Greatness a solid intro to ONE Championship for fans just now learning about the promotion thanks to Eddie Alvarez and Demetrious Johnson. Two-division champ Aung La Nsang was the main event star as he earned the kind of deafening crowd support usually reserved for the likes of Conor McGregor, then backed it up with a suitably scorching performance. Read on for recaps & clips from that middleweight title headliner plus the rest of the MMA action from this MMA & kickboxing show.
ONE Middleweight Title:
Aung La Nsang (24-10, #39 World 205)
KO, Round 1
Mohammed Karaki (9-1, #190 World 185)
The Yangon crowd shook the building, singing and shouting at the top of their lungs as national hero Aung La Nsang made his way to the cage and proceeded to obliterate challenger Mohammed Karaki. Middle East regionals champ Karaki tried to force the clinch but instead found himself facing off with Nsang’s potent right hand. That was a recipe for disaster as Nsang dropped the American Top Team rep with uppercuts in the fight’s second minute. Karaki struggled to his feet gamely, only to eat a nasty liver shot and a salvo of blistering rights that splatted him to the canvas midway through the first round. Nsang certainly satisfied his rabid local fans with another awesome performance. It’s been some 2018 for Aung La Nsang, featuring three title defenses by finish in two divisions and a strong ONE fight of the year candidate courtesy of his five round war with Ken Hasegawa in June. That’s the sort of resume that should get “The Burmese Python” on some 2018 fighter of the year ballots when award season comes around.
“The Burmese Python” brings the house down with a sensational TKO of Mohammad Karaki at 2:21 of Round 1! @AungLANsang #WeAreONE #AungLaKaraki #PursuitOfGreatness #Yangon #MartialArts pic.twitter.com/8kc7b48gZb— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) October 26, 2018
FW: Keanu Subba (7-3, #570 World) Sub1 Phoe Thaw (6-1)
Like Nsang, Lethwei hero Phoe Thaw also earned deafening roars from his partisan crowd. Yet once the bell rang the noise made no difference as Keanu Subba’s tenacious grappling attack proved unstoppable. Subba immediately pressed forward for a double leg takedown and Thaw had no answers. On bottom, the Lethwei star framed toward a triangle but never truly threatened. Instead, Subba stuck close and eventually advanced to side control. When Thaw scrambled, Subba found the neck immediately and squeezed the guillotine for his second straight win by submission. Perfect outing from the 24 year old Malaysian featherweight, who thoroughly stifled his standup ace opponent and advanced to 6-2 in ONE.
Keanu Subba makes a HUGE statement in the featherweight division, submitting Phoe Thaw with a guillotine choke at 2:47 of Round 1! #WeAreONE #PursuitOfGreatness #Yangon #MartialArts pic.twitter.com/uFvrpyCml0— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) October 26, 2018
FW: Masakazu Imanari (37-18-2, #419 World 145) Sub1 Radeem Rahman (3-2, #50 SE Asia 135)
The 42 year old inventor of the Imanari roll turned his trademark trick seconds in round 1, missing the leg but securing position under Radeem Rahman in guard. From there Imanari threatened omoplata before switching to an armbar that forced the tap. Academic stuff for the “Ashikan Judan”, who didn’t disappoint in this late notice fight against an opponent who couldn’t measure up to his still-elite grappling chops.
WW: Luis “Sapo” Santos (65-11-1, #117 World) TKO1 Daichi Abe (6-3, #206 World)
It took mere seconds for battle-hardened vet Luis “Sapo” Santos to rudely welcome recent UFC competitor Daichi Abe to ONE with a brutal liver kick KO. Santos, whose only losses in recent memory came to American wrestling ace Tyler McGuire and Swedish striking standout Zebaztian Kadestam, advanced to 5-2 in ONE with style points and reaffirmed his spot as a contender in the welterweight ranks. Meanwhile, former King of Pancrase Abe will surely get another chance in the promotion but will need something big to erase the taste of this sour showing.
ONE Pursuit of Greatness Prelims:
M115: Ye Thway Ne (4-1) UD3 Mite Yine (1-1)
This all-Myanmar clash featured the kind of wild, violent standup action you’d expect from a pair of traditional Lethwei stars. Yine marched forward relentlessly with high-powered offense throughout round 1, landing plenty but never visibly hurting Ne. Yine slowed late in the first after Ne caught his chin with a number of sharp counters and pounded the body persistently. The pace slowed a bit in rounds 2 & 3, but both guys kept throwing the kitchen sink with little regard for their face. Very entertaining stuff – give it a watch to see a standout brawl between two guys who had absolutely no interest in wrestling.
BW: Ahmed Qais Jasoor (5-1-1, #17 MidEast) TKO2 Xu Dong Ma (1-2)
This fun standup fight saw Afghan bantamweight Ahmed Qais Jasoor use his technical superiority to wear down and finish off Chinese Army veteran Xu Dong Ma. Ma landed the first serious punch of the fight, but it was downhill from there as he caught air with his telegraphed haymakers. Those wide-arcing offers gave Jasoor ample opportunity to fire away with damaging left hands, one of which dropped Ma just over two minutes into round 2. Nice finishing instincts for Jasoor, who rebounded well from a TKO loss in his ONE debut:
125: Rudy Agustian (5-2, #18 SE Asia) Sub1 Kaji Ebin (2-2, #68 SE Asia)
Former One Pride Indonesia regionals champ Rudy Agustian used impressive wrestling to brutalize Phillipines’ Ebin en route to a successful ONE debut. Agustian took the fight down to side control with ease. From there he worked Pride knees and hammerfists from crucifix position before securing the tap via Americana at 4:00 of round 1.
ONE Pursuit of Greatness Kickboxing:
Tarik Khbabez TKO3 Ibrahim El Bouni
Tarik Khbabez unleashes a volley of power punches on Ibrahim El Bouni to earn an impressive TKO victory at 2:26 of Round 3! #WeAreONE #PursuitOfGreatness #Yangon #MartialArts pic.twitter.com/JwghCxB8vt— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) October 26, 2018
Han Zi Hao KO1 Ryan Jakiri
Josh Tonna UD Joseph Lasiri
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