ONE roundup: Tatsumitsu gets ONE flyweight GP date vs Demetrious Johnson
MANILA, Philippines—Japan’s Tatsumitsu Wada escaped with the unanimous decision win over Cuba’s Gustavo Balart to advance to the ONE World Flyweight Grand Prix in the ONE: Roots of Honor card Friday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Balart had early control of the match cutting open a wound above Wada’s left eye but the Japanese managed to recover and used his striking to neutralize the Cuban.
Wada (21-10) is eight inches taller than the 4-foot-11 Balart (8-2) and he used his striking to great effect to earn some points in the minds’ of the judges especially in the second and third rounds.
Although Balart scored a massive takedown in third round, Wada was able to land some stiff straights to maintain his control.
Wada will next face Demetrious Johnson in the semifinals of the Flyweight Grand Prix.
Meanwhile, Brazil’s Leandro Issa submitted China’s Fu Changxin via arm bar 3:03 into the first round of their fight.
Issa (17-7) is a natural bantamweight while Fu (8-2) is registered as a featherweight and the two fighters met at a catchweight of 149 lbs.
The Brazilian had early control of the match and his brutal arm bar was just the punctuation to his dominance.
Issa has now won four of his last five fights including this bounce back victory after losing to Muin Gafurov in October of 2018. Fu saw his five-fight winning streak get snapped.
In the ONE Super Series kickboxing, Andrei Stoica scored a tough unanimous decision win over Ibrahim El Bouni in the light heavyweight division.
Both fighters were aggressive throughout the second and third rounds but El Bouni suffered an unintentional eye poke late in the final round.
Despite the late stoppage, Stoica was able to earn the nod of all three judges.
In one of the thrilling matches of the night, James Nakashima recovered from Luis Santos’ constant striking and earned a technical knockout win 56 seconds into the second round of their welterweight bout.
The United States’ Nakashima (11-0) won his first stoppage with his previous 10 wins all ending via the judges’ decision while Santos, of Brazil, (65-12) lost two of his last three fights.
Santos and Nakashima had an awkward fall early in the second round and this lead to the Brazilian pulling his groin.
With his health not at peak shape, Santos verbally told the referee that he couldn’t continue.
Brazil’s Anderson Silva scored a quick knockout win over Australia’s in the heavyweight division for the ONE Super Series kickboxing event.
Silva landed a stiff right hook that put Meunier to sleep 1:14 into the first round.
In the third of the ONE Super Series bouts, Saemapetch Fairtex earned the majority decision win over Ognjen Topic.
Fairtex was the more aggressive of the fighters landing the stiffer shots in the first two rounds but Topic managed to sneak in some blows in the third round.
With 10 seconds left, both fighters threw out all defensive planning and landed shot after shot but Topic got a little too excited and landed a couple more blows after the final bell.
China’s Xie Bin submitted Afghan Ahmad Qais Jasoor in their bantamweight clash.
Xie (6-2) applied the D’arce choke midway through the second round and Jasoor (5-2) was forced to tap out 2:27 into the period.
“This is what I want to do, this is what I can do, this is what I trained to do, the D’arce choke, said Xie who his sixth straight fight.
Singapore’s Niko Soe had a complete turnaround and earned the victory against Indonesia’s Eko Roni Saputra.
Saputra had the initial advantage in their flyweight fight scoring a single-leg takedown early in the round.
Soe, however, got into standing position and landed a sharp right elbow to Saputra’s forehead cutting open the Indonesian.
The referee called for the doctor but the wound was too big to be closed in time giving Soe the win 3:03 into the fight.
In the ONE Super Series, Thailand’s Lerdsila Phuket Top Team earned then convincing unanimous decision win over Japan’s Momotaro.
Phuket Top Team relied mostly on his body kicks that Momotaro continuously absorbed throughout the fight.
The Thai fighter was also the aggressor between the two consistently landing the stiffer kicks and dodging Momotaro’s headkicks.
Bi Nguyen scored a quick technical knockout victory over Dwi Ani Retno Wulan 3:55 into the first round of their atomweight bout.
The KillerHer Bee (5-3) bounced back from her loss to Jayme Hinshaw back in July of 2018 and also chalked up her first fight in ONE under the win column.
Wulan, meanwhile, dropped to 1-1 with both of her fights happening under the ONE banner.
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