With ONE 162: Zhang vs. Di Bella, ONE Championship (ONE) made a triumphant return to the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The fight card included a number of mixed martial arts (MMA) contests as well as a contest for the ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Title.
The ONE Championship gave the World Champion the coveted ONE World Title belt in collaboration with the top premium lifestyle and luxury performance brand TUMI.
Di Bella scores decision win over Zhang
In the main event, ONE Championship rookie Jonathan Di Bella defeated Chinese teenage sensation Zhang Peimian by a majority decision to win the vacant ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Title.
Zhang withdrew toward the Circle Wall as Di Bella fired as she emerged from the gates. "Fighting Rooster" decided to stand back and counter, attacking with a variety of leg kicks as the undefeated Italian-Canadian star continued to press forward. To keep Zhang on his toes, Di Bella blitzed Zhang with rapid and forceful punching combinations.
Reece McLaren takes home the co-main event
Reece McLaren, a fifth-ranked flyweight contender and black belt in BJJ, put on a striking clinic against Windson Ramos in the co-main event, demonstrating a part of his game that has been developing ever since he started working with Muay Thai veteran John Wayne Parr. Ramos was injured repeatedly by the 31-year-old Australian's straight right hand as it found a home on Ramos' chin. Ramos was unable to answer the bell for the third round, and McLaren dominated the striking exchanges the entire time, giving "Lightning" the technical knockout victory.
Results from the undercard
In the Circle, Constantin Rusu defeated former ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Title challenger Islam Murtazaev to earn his second straight victory. In contrast to a more cautious Murtazaev, Rusu was tenacious with his offence and kept up the tempo. Murtazaev just couldn't get into a groove. All three judges chose the Russian-Moldovan because he outperformed Murtazaev over the course of three rounds and applied constant pressure.
In a competitive three-round catchweight match, fourth-ranked strawweight contender Gustavo Balart defeated former ONE Strawweight World Champion Alex Silva. The situation was quickly settled on the ground, where Silva, a multiple-time BJJ World Champion, held the advantage in terms of grappling. While the 40-year-old veteran frequently attacked with a variety of submissions, Balart displayed strong mat defence.
The Cuban had a string of effective foot strikes, highlighted by an overhand left that frequently connected during the match. In the end, the judges awarded a split decision victory to Balart. After defeating Yosuke Saruta the previous occasion, he has now defeated two former ONE Strawweight World Champions in a row.
In a tense all-striking contest, former ONE Featherweight Muay Thai World Title challenger Jimmy Vienot defeated Niclas Larsen. With precise combinations, third-ranked competitor Vienot put fifth-ranked Larsen on the back foot early in the battle.
In the second round, a cut appeared above Vienot's left eye, and Larsen increased the pressure. Vienot recovered control in the third round, though, as the Danish fighter pressed forward, and he was rewarded for his efforts with a unanimous decision.
By dominating Yodkaikaew Fairtex and then submitting the Thai fighter with a heel hook in the opening round, Eko Roni Saputra maintained his incredible run in the flyweight MMA division. At the sound of the opening bell, Saputra quickly closed the gap and successfully wrestled Yodkaikaew to the mat. When the two minutes had passed, Saputra got to work on the ground and locked in the submission to force the tap. The Indonesian superstar has won seven matches in a row, all by first-round finishes. A bonus of $50,000 USD was given to Saputra for his efforts.
Below are the results from the event
Performance bonus winner: Eko Roni Saputra (US$50,000)
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