ONE Unstoppable Dreams: Champions Angela Lee and Martin Nguyen defend their titles, plus Shinya Aoki via Triangle Armbar
Singapore – In the main event of a show notable for hosting the first pair of brother/sister title fights in MMA history, ONE Championship star Angela Lee (9-0, #31 World) defended her atomweight (115 pound) belt in a rematch against Japanese vet Mei Yamaguchi but didn’t look quite as “Unstoppable” as her nickname suggests. The Evolve MMA talent marched forward with straightforward striking offense in round 1 while completely disregarding Yamaguchi’s return fire. Lee appeared close to a finish when she locked in an armbar late in round 2, but “VV” is clearly a very flexible competitor and tough to boot. Yamaguchi enjoyed increasing striking success as the fight progressed, including a shining moment when she knocked down an off-balance Lee midway through the third. Near the end of round 3 Lee produced a sweet highlight of her with a belly-to-back suplex that she used to advance straight to back mount. But Yamaguchi proved to be as tough as ever and survived every one of the champ’s finishing efforts.
After 15 dominant minutes it looked like Lee was set to cruise toward a decision victory, but Yamaguchi had other plans as she redoubled her face punching efforts and managed to score a solid knockdown with just over a minute left to work in round 4. The L.A.-born, Tokyo-based Yamaguchi repeated the feat in round 5 as she smashed Lee with an even sharper right hand and spent almost the entire final round working from top position. Both women left their entire gas tank in the cage as they warred until the final bell to the roars of the Singapore crowd. Great fight!
It was an anxious scene for Angela Lee and Mei Yamaguchi as the two women met in the center of the cage to hear the judges’ decision. Just like their first bout, Lee took the win via competitive unanimous decision. The champ narrowly remained undefeated and notched her third title defense in the process. But this was no clearcut win, and it should give Lee a lot to think about as ONE continues to search for solid challenges for their still-developing 21 year old star.
ONE Unstoppable Dreams Featherweight Title Fight:
W: Martin Nguyen (11-2, ONE champ, #34 World)
L: Christian Lee (9-2, #121 World)
The first time Martin Nguyen and Christian Lee battled in August 2016, then-18 year old Lee found himself choked out cold via guillotine in under a round. Now a relatively old and wise 19, Lee tried to return the favor as burst forward with energy into a quick takedown and an even quicker pass to mount. The youngster hunted for an anaconda choke but when that didn’t work out the two men returned to patient kickboxing for the remainder of the fight. Lee was pretty persistent with takedowns, despite no success after the opening minutes. Neither man did much else early until a nasty straight right from the hard-hitting Australian wobbled Lee briefly, midway through round 2.
Referee Yuji Shibata called for action in round 3, and when neither man responded he opted to punish with a dual yellow card. Lee briefly interrupted the crowd’s jeers with a pair of solid left hands a minute into the championship rounds. Nguyen answered with a nicely timed counter right midway through the frame, but generally speaking there wasn’t much to sink your teeth into here. With two minutes to go in the 4th, the defending champ Nguyen surprised Lee with his first takedown try of the fight and probably tipped the fourth round in his favor. The fifth round saw both warriors continue to keep distance and show off solid defensive skills. Either man could have taken the decision, but Nguyen is the one who received the split nod for his first defense of the ONE featherweight belt.
Nguyen got this one IMO. Despite a strong start, just simply not a title winning performance by Lee. Nguyen's low kicks definitely the most effective strike of the fight. pic.twitter.com/S8Gdvf1Tib— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) May 18, 2018
ONE Unstoppable Dreams Main Card:
W: Shinya Aoki (40-8, Pride/Rizin/Strikeforce/Bellator vet, #154 World)
Submission – Triangle Choke/Armbar, Round 1
L: Rasul Yakhyaev (11-7, #371 World)
Regional tough guy Yakhyaev never backs down from a challenge and he happily plowed forward into Aoki’s veteran clutches. If you’ve ever seen Shinya Aoki fight before, you won’t be surprised to hear that the Russian found himself immediately on the defensive. Once Aoki leapt for a flying armbar into an omoplata sweep it was all downhill for the eight fight ACB competitor. Aoki briefly switched gears from the spectacular to the mundane, controlling top position from half guard for a couple of minutes. That’s when the Tobokan Judan latched in a nasty triangle choke. Yakhyaev battled back with ground strikes, but that’s no way to get a madman like Aoki to release a cinched-in finishing move. No, Aoki ate those hammerfists like a champ and added in an armbar that left the Russian tapping on his face. Classic stuff from Aoki, who has barely lost a step 49 fights into his pro career (even if his chin has, to some degree). Nice way for the Japanese star to rebound from back-to-back losses against elite ONE entities Ben Askren and Eduard Folayang in 2018.
ONE Unstoppable Dreams Main Card:
W: Eduard Folayang (19-6, #79 World)
L: Kharun Atlangeriev (11-0, #417 World)
Yaroslav, Russia’s Kharu Atlangeriev earned this opportunity to face longtime ONE contender Ed Folayang on the strength of 11 straight mismatch wins in the questionable Octagon Fighting Sensation promotion. It turns out that beating up on handpicked cans was inadequate preparation for the Russian, who ate a side kick and a solid punch to the face in the first half of the first round. Atlangeriev tried to work to the ground but ended up spending most of the round underneath Folayang – though to his credit, Kharun managed to sweep to top position by the end of the round.
“The Landslide” bounced on the outside and picked away with kicks in round 2. When Atlangeriev shot in for desperate takedowns in the latter rounds, Folayang was ready for it this time and managed to avoid bottom time. Folayang’s Wushu kicking offense was on display as he bruised the Russian for the bulk of the final 10 minutes. Your winner by unanimous decision, the popular ONE veteran Eduard Folayang.
Former ONE Lightweight Champion Eduard Folayang wins his first bout since dropping the strap, shutting out Dagestan's Kharun Atlangeriev on the scorecards. #UnstoppableDreams pic.twitter.com/4YbcSvGxTB— Kyle Johnson (@Maldobabo) May 18, 2018
ONE Unstoppable Dreams Main Card:
W: Amir Khan (10-3, #311 World)
L: Sung Jong Lee (4-2, #31 S.Korea)
This one graded as a striker vs grappler match on paper, with no-gi tourney grappler Sung Jong Lee living up to expectations with persistent single-leg takedown tries, guard pulls, and takedown efforts. The Muay Thai specialist Amir Khan thwarted Lee’s initial grappling forays with sharp punches. When Lee switched to an armbar, Khan threw him to the mat with a powerbomb – heck of a first minute to this fight! The South Korean stayed persistent by rolling for an inverted heel hook but merely ate a bunch of hard ground punches for his trouble. Back on the feet, Khan backed his man into the corner and threw haymakers but seemed to eat nearly as many shots as he dealt! Nonetheless Lee definitely was wearing it badly as he ate a series of high kicks leading up to the final bell.
The 23 year old Singaporean striker stayed hot with early offense in round 2, but Lee went right back to his submission attack by dropped down for a nasty calf slicer followed by a heel hook. Once again, those tries faield to bear fruit and Khan spent the middle portion of the round dropping ground strikes from awkward angles. Khan rolled away from a final leglock series before finally ending things with ground-and-pound for the round 2 TKO! Your winner to cap this extremely entertaining, all action bout, the hometown Singaporean lightweight star Amir Khan.
Amir Khan TKOs Sung Jong Lee (ONE) pic.twitter.com/EoY47QPtxI— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) May 18, 2018
ONE Unstoppable Dreams Kickboxing Quick Results:
Yodsanklai Fairtex UD Chris Ngimbi
The legendary "Boxing Computer," Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex, impresses versus Chris Ngimbi en route to a decision win. The three-time Lumpinee champion owns a 28-fight winning streak and has not lost since November 2011. #UnstoppableDreams pic.twitter.com/Amaf8u9o3X— Kyle Johnson (@Maldobabo) May 18, 2018
Sam-A Gaiyanghadao KO Sergio Wielzen
hellbows !— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) May 18, 2018
Sam-A Gaiyanghadao KOs Sergio Wielzen to win the Muay-Thai FlW One Championship Belt – HL pic.twitter.com/mdperlVObs
Sintongnoi Por Telakun TKO Joseph Lasiri
ONE Unstoppable Dreams Prelims Quick Results:
145: Sunoto Peringkat (9-3, #536 World) UD3 Roel Rosauro (4-3, #33 SE Asia)
135: Xie Bin (4-1) TKO2-Corner Stoppage Shi Hao Huang (0-1)
145: Chao Xie (9-3) TKO3-GNP Meas Meu (6-2)
Nice illegal soccer kick from Meu, who apparently didn’t get the recent ONE rules update:
Meas went a bit wild here pic.twitter.com/Z0RB2d2rSd— Jolassanda (@Jolassanda) May 18, 2018
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