It was an emotional return to Singapore for Angela Lee, who despite falling sick earlier this week, put on a dominant performance to defend her women’s atomweight title in the main event of ONE: Dynasty of Heroes.
Lee threw an arsenal of submission attempts at challenger Istela Nunes during the opening rounds, but the Brazilian was defiant, surviving a battering on her feet and a twister submission attempt just seconds before the bell.
As the second round kicked in Nunes looked revived, but was soon outmatched in strength and aggression as Lee dragged her to the ground and ended the bout with an impressive anaconda choke at 2 minutes and 18 seconds.
In a post-fight press scrum, Lee admitted there had been a lot of unexpected pressure leading up to her second title defense.
“I actually got pretty sick leading up to this fight and was on antibiotics, so I was fighting through that,” she admitted.
“It was just a very tough battle with myself overcoming my own doubt and I didn’t know if I had it in me. I trusted in my training, trusted in my team and coaches and just went out there and got the job done.”
Askren makes quick work of Thani
In the co-main event, reigning welterweight champion Ben Askren made quick work of Malaysia’s Agilan Thani, taking his younger foe down to the mat and finishing him with an arm triangle choke just past the two-minute mark of the first round.
“Agilan has a great story, he’s a young kid and this is not the last time we’re going to see him,” Askren said in a post-fight interview.
He then proceeded to call out middleweight world champion Vitaly Bigdash for a possible cross-division showdown.
“Vitaly Bigdash agreed to fight me, then he decided it was a bad idea and he didn’t want to do that anymore. He ran around like a chicken,” Askren said.
“So here’s the deal. Bigdash, I need a dance partner on August 18th.”
ONE Championship newcomer Zebaztian Kadestam of Sweden took on American Top Team product Luis “Sapo” Santos of Brazil in a scintillating three-round affair.
Kadestam, who lives and trains at the scenic beach locale of Boracay, Philippines, weathered the early storm from Santos, who is known for his fast and aggressive starts.
Midway into the third and final round, Kadestam found himself in dominant position and drove two hard knees to Santos’ head, knocking the Brazilian out.
Aoki taps to Tonon
In a historical first for mixed martial arts, ONE Championship held its first-ever grappling match between former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki and American submission wizard Garry Tonon.
After an entertaining display of grappling mastery, Tonon emerged victorious, catching Aoki in a heel hook halfway through the contest, forcing a tap from the former lightweight titleholder.
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) May 26, 2017
Also back in the winning column was former strawweight champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, who needed just one round to author a thrilling knockout finish against Adrian Matheis.
Thai-Japanese female atomweight prospect Rika Ishige once again proved her mettle on the ground with another technical grappling showcase, catching her opponent Nita Dea
in two armbar attempts, ultimately winning by rear naked choke midway into the first round.
Women’s Atomweight World Championship
Angela Lee def Istela Nunes
Submission (Anaconda Choke) at 2:18 minutes of round 2
Welterweight World Championship
Ben Askren def Agilan Thani
Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) at 2:20 minutes of round 1
Zebaztian Kadestam def Luis Santos
Knockout at 2:18 minutes of round 3
Garry Tonon def Shinya Aoki
Submission (Heel Hook) at 7:47 minutes
Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke def Adrian Matheis
Knockout at 4:26 minutes of round 1
Geje Eustaquio def Anatpong Bunrad
Split Decision (SD) after 3 rounds
Amir Khan def Rajinder Singh Meena
TKO (Strikes) at 1:29 minutes of round 1
Women’s Strawweight bout
Tiffany Teo def Rebecca Heintzman-Rozewski
Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
Women’s Atomweight bout
Rika Ishige def Nita Dea
Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:39 minutes of round 1
Catchweight bout (69kg)
Chen Lei def Jeremy Meciaz
TKO (Strikes) at 2:56 minutes of round 1