Ji Won Kang Annihilates Amir Aliakbari in One: Fists of Fury 2 Headliner
In a sharp contrast from the previous event, just one bout on the second, pre-recorded part of One Championship’s “Fists of Fury” series went to the judges.
The main event of One: Fists of Fury 2 saw Ji Won Kang (5-0) taking on decorated Iranian wrestler Amir Aliakbari (10-2) in their heavyweight tilt. The two behemoths took a few seconds to study one other early in the fight, with Aliakbari keeping the center of the cage while Kang was reaching out with a few kicks. After chasing the South Korean fighter for a while, Aliakbari finally reached “Mighty Warrior” with a right hand, followed by another heavy that forced his opponent to retreat. The face of the Kang immediately showed damage from the Iranian fighter’s strikes, as Kang’s left eye started swelling and bleeding started losing blood from his swelled left eye.
Kang bit the bullet and composed himself as Aliakbari rushed forward to end the contest. After an unsuccessful body kick, the Iranian fighter tried to force the finish with big shots. Dodging a wide combination, “Mighty Warrior” landed a short hook on the jaw that shut Aliakbari’s lights off in an instant. Spoiling Aliakbari’s promotional debut, the 25-year-old South Korean sensation celebrated his fifth first-round victory as the referee stopped the contest at the 1:54 mark.
In the co-main event, heavyweight Anatoliy Malykhin (8-0) walked through Alexandre Machado (9-4) in his successful organizational debut. Malykhin easily moved the action on the canvas in the early going, and once on the mat, he was in complete control. The unbeaten fighter effortlessly took side control before securing the crucifix position, all while punishing his opponent with a few punches. After teasing an unsuccessful keylock attempt, Malykhin went back to his punches.
Machado attempted his best to escape from the sticky situation, but his efforts were to no avail. In full control, Malykhin stayed heavy and bombarded his opponent with powerful ground-and-pound until his Brazilian opponent tapped out to cease the damage. The official stoppage came at 3:28 of the opening stanza.
In a battle in One’s featherweight division, Tang Kai (11-2) scored his seventh straight victory after smashing Ryogo Takahashi (14-4) in the first round. Needing less than two minutes to get in and out, Kai dropped Takahashi with a two-punch combination early. Takahashi attempted to bounce back on his feet, but ended up eating more punches that forced the referee to stop the contest at 1:59 of Round 1.
Elsewhere, the unorthodox Yoshiki Nakahara (14-5) placed a well-timed right hook that handed Ruslan Emilbek Uulu (12-1) his career first loss. Emilbek was in search of a quick victory for his promotional debut, but his aggression proved to be his undoing, getting caught with a counterpunch midway through the opening frame that badly hurt him. Nakahara earned the stoppage from a couple of follow-up punches on the canvas, with the One featherweight emerging victorious at 1:30.
Earlier on the card, Han Zi Hao overcame Adam Noi with a surprising unanimous decision at the end of their muay Thai battle in One’s bantamweight division. It was the lone match of the pre-recorded card to go the distance.
Opening up the event was a One bantamweight clash, where Mark Abelardo (20-8) snapped a two-bout skid by destroying Emilio Urrutia (11-8) with a highlight-reel elbow. “Tyson” wrecked his opponent with a beautiful step-in elbow that put Urrutia out cold. The time of the finish was officially 3:20 into Round 2.
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