ONE Championship returned to the entertainment capital of Asia for ONE: Kings & Conquerors, where Bibiano Fernandes remained the most dominant world champion in ONE Championship history by toppling American Andrew Leone.
In front of a packed Cotai Arena in the gamin hub of Macau, the defending bantamweight champion made quick work of his American opponent, submitting him with a rear-naked choke in the opening round of the much-awaited championship clash.
It was the beginning of the end for Leone when Fernandes hammered a knee to the midsection that slumped his opponent to the mat. The 37-year-old Brazilian authored the final sequence by latching on the match-ending submission, keeping the prestigious gold-plated strap securely fastened around his waist. With the impressive victory over Leone, Fernandes has set a record of seven successful title defenses, remaining unbeaten in the promotion.
“I’m not surprised,” Moraes said in reference to American mixed martial artist Nate Diaz. “Thank you very much, one more time, for the opportunity. I want to thank my coach, my family and my friends. I’m very grateful.”
In the co-main event, Adriano Moraes overcame a spirited performance from Kairat Akhmetov to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion.
Moraes, who previously held the interim title, controlled the majority of the action with his grappling while defending champion Akhmetov tried his best to fend off the Brazilian’s advances with his wrestling. On the feet, Moraes got the better of the exchanges and landed the harder blows. All three judges scored the bout in favor of Moraes, who unifies the flyweight titles to become the undisputed king of the division.
Hard-hitting Russian featherweight Timofey Nastyukhin and former world title challenger Koji “The Commander” Ando of Japan figured in an incredibly tactical three-round matchup, with Nastyukhin coming away with a well-earned unanimous decision victory.
Top lightweight contender Shannon “OneShin” Wiratchai made quick work of India’s Rajinder Singh Meena, winning by knockout just moments into a scheduled three-round bout. The Bangkok Fight Lab mainstay authored one of his quickest finishes yet, landing a right knee flush to Meena’s head from the clinch. Referee Olivier Coste wasted no time in calling a halt to the contest once he realized Meena was completely out of it. The end came officially at 29 seconds of round number one, and is the fastest finish of Wiratchai’s career.
Making his ONE Championship debut, undefeated Japanese veteran Hayato Suzuki thwared former title challenger Joshua Pacio to win by first round submission. After Pacio missed slightly on a spinning back kick attempt, Suzuki capitalized by taking his back and dragging the Filipino to the ground. Although Pacio valiantly fought off Suzuki’s submission attempts, it was only a matter of time before the bout-ending sequence played out. In the end, Suzuki notched his first victory in the ONE Championship cage via rear naked choke, forcing the younger Pacio to tap out.
A big upset in the women’s atomweight division was delivered by newcomer Jomary Torres of the Philippines, who overcame insurmountable odds to mark the first blemish in the professional record of Thai martial arts superstar Rika Ishige.
Torres had to endure the initial onslaught from Ishige, who wasted no time in taking her Filipina opponent to the ground, nearly scoring a submission finish via armbar. In the second round, Torres pulled off a gutsy rally, wobbling Ishige with lashing right hands. After dropping Ishige with another quick right cross, Torres followed Ishige to the mat and fastened a rear-naked choke to force the tap.
Official results ONE: Kings & Conquerors
Bantamweight World Championship bout
Bibiano Fernandes defeats Andrew Leone
Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:47 of round 1
Flyweight World Championship bout
Adriano Moraes defeats Kairat Akhmetov
Unanimous Decision after 5 rounds
Timofey Nastyukhin defeats Koji Ando
Unanimous Decision after 3 rounds
Shannon Wiratchai defeats Rajinder Singh Meena
Knockout at 0:29 of round 1
Hayato Suzuki defeats Joshua Pacio
Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:17 of round 1
Kotetsu Boku defeats Eric Kelly
TKO (Strikes) at 3:27 minutes of round 3
Chen Lei defeats Saiful Merican
Submission (Armbar) at 3:58 of round 3
Jomary Torres defeats Rika Ishige
Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:58 of round 2
Leandro Issa defeats Toni Tauru
TKO (Strikes) at 1:36 of round 2
Magomed Idrisov defeats Herbert Burns
Unanimous Decision after 3 rounds
Marcin Prachnio defeats Gilberto Galvao
Knockout at 1:23 minutes of round 1
Leandro Ataides defeats Michal Pasternak
Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds