Brandon Vera claimed ONE Championship’s inaugural heavyweight title in 26 seconds of the first round of his title shot against Taiwan’s Paul Cheng.
Vera dropped Cheng with a heavy blow to the chin and quickly followed up with a kick to his head to end what was a rocky path to the heavyweight title.
Chen stepped in just day ago to face Vera, after his original opponent Chi Lewis Parry was dropped from the fight.
In the co-headline fight, 24-year-old Australian Reece McLaren took a surprise win over Mark Striegl who moves to 2 losses in a 16 fight professional career.
McLaren invested in leg kicks early, slowing down an aggressive yet composed Striegl who was determined to use his wrestling to take McLaren to the ground. Striegl dropped McLaren with a short right elbow followed up by a technical ground kick, but failed to finish off the Australian.
In the final round, McLaren had just enough to outlast Striegl, as he locked in a rear naked choke to earn the victory.
Filipino striking specialist, Eugene Toquero stopped previously unbeaten Li Wei Bin of China in an intense matchup of aggressive flyweights. Toquero utilized his unorthodox striking techniques to bring the fight to Li, who tried his best to weather the storm. Toquero increased his offensive output in round two, battering Li from end to end with well-placed combinations. Toquero was awarded with a technical knockout victory after Li failed to answer the call for round three.
In a mark of respect, ONE held a minute silence for the tragic death of Chinese flyweight Yang Jian Bing, who passed away on 11 December 2015 at 12.06pm due to cardiopulmonary failure.
Irina Mazepa of St. Petersburg, Russia barrelled through her opponent to score her second victory inside the ONE Cage, defeating former women’s boxing world champion Ana “Hurricane” Julaton. Julaton began the bout looking to take Mazepa down to the mat but had difficulty with Mazepa’s exceptional takedown defense.
Striking superiority belonged to the former Russian kickboxing standout, as Mazepa stifled Julaton throughout the fight with powerful strikes. In the end, Mazepa owned the advantage in both the stand-up and in the clinch, doing just enough to receive a unanimous decision from all three judges.
Female strawweights “Unstoppable” Angela Lee and Lena Tkhorevska of Poland put on an amazing display of high-level grappling for fight 20,000-plus fans in attendance.
The Singaporean Lee started off by scoring on an impressive side suplex in the first round, followed by various submission attempts while Tkhorevska was preoccupied with defense. In the second round, Lee was able to take Tkhorevska’s back, sinking in a deep rear naked choke to end the bout.
A determined Bruno Pucci of Brazil made his re-emergence in ONE Championship a successful one by defeating previously undefeated featherweight Anthony Engelen of the Netherlands. Pucci dominated the entire bout, scoring on two slams to take Engelen effortlessly down to the mat. In the second round, Pucci slipped a rear naked choke deep enough to force Engelen to tap out.
Pucci, overcome with emotion, clinched a long-awaited victory in round two.
Reece McLaren defeats Mark Striegl
Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:33 minutes of round 3
Eugene Toquero defeats Li Wei Bin
TKO (Corner Stoppage) at 5:00 minutes of round 2
Women’s bantamweight bout
Irina Mazepa defeats Ana Julaton
Women’s strawweight bout
Angela Lee defeats Lena Tkhorevska
Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:26 minutes of round 2
Bruno Pucci defeats Anthony Engelen
Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:19 minutes of round 2
Alex Silva defeats Ruel Catalan
Submission (Knee Bar) at 3:53 minutes of round 1
Christian Lee defeats David Meak
TKO (Strikes) at 0:29 minutes of round 1