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Regian Eersel Edges Islam Murtazaev to Retain Lightweight Belt at One: ‘Winter Warriors’


The final live One Championship card of the year turned out to be a blast.

In the One: “Winter Warriors” headliner, Regian Eersel put his kickboxing lightweight championship on the line against Islam Murtazaev. The two were originally slated to fight in February, but Murtazaev pulled out and was replaced by Mustapha Haida. In this 170-pound encounter, Eersel adopted a cautious approach in the first couple of rounds, while his Russian opponent took the initiative and landed the most impactful shots. Murtazaev scored with his jab and then moved away, frustrating the Surinamese champion who struggled to implement his game.

In the third frame, Eersel started settling in, and his strategy of chipping at Murtazaev’s leading leg began paying off. In the championship rounds, Eersel landed multiple knees and kicks to the body as his opponent struggled as his cardio started to fade, forcing the challenger to clinch up repeatedly. The excessive clinching from Murtazaev earned him a yellow card from referee Olivier Coste in the final round. Ultimately, the judges were split, as only two rewarded Eersel with a victory, while the third saw the match in favor of Islam Murtazaev. In the post-fight interview, “The Immortal” confessed that he wasn’t happy with his performance, and wanted to finish his next opponent to earn more respect from others in his division.


In the co-main event, Nong Stamp submitted Ritu Phogat to win the atomweight grand prix. In the opening stanza, the Commonwealth wrestling gold medalist Phogat (7-2, 7-2 One) effectively utilized her wrestling, pinning the Thai the cage against the cage while pursuing a takedown. While “Stamp Fairtex” spent most of the first round defending her opponent’s attempts, she never allowed Phogat to take her down. When the second round began, Phogat shot in and hit the takedown in which she was seeking, with a successful single to put Stamp on her back. With her back on the mat, Stamp set up a triangle choke that kept her opponent busy for a while. After getting out of that precarious situation once, Phogat found herself fighting off an armbar. This time, there was no escape. “The Indian Tigress” tapped as the official time indicated 2 minutes, 14 seconds. In addition to winning the 115-pound tournament, the former One atomweight kickboxing and muay Thai champion Stamp (8-1, 8-1 One) will get a shot at Angela Lee’s throne in 2022.


Earlier on the card, one-time WBC Muay Thai Japan titleholder Hiroki Akimoto scored his fifth victory in One by outpointing Glory of Heroes alum Qiu Jianliang via unanimous decision in their One bantamweight kickboxing clash; Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev (9-2, 8-2 One) prevailed in a wild rematch with Timofey Nastyukhin (14-6, 7-5 One), knocking his foe out again with a series of punches 49 seconds into the third frame; multiple-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu heavyweight champion “Buchecha” Marcus Almeida (2-0, 2-0 One) tapped Ji Won Kang (5-1, 2-1 One) with a rear-naked choke at the 2:27 mark of Round 1.

The evening opened with Pancrase vet Yuya Wakamatsu (15-4, 5-2 One) upending One Hero Series graduate Yong Hu (7-3, 1-1 One) on all three scorecards, and Wakamatsu subsequently called out the flyweight champ of Adriano Moraes.

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