Martin Nguyen knocks out Marat Gafurov, crowned new ONE featherweight world champion

Martin Nguyen knocks out Marat Gafurov, crowned new ONE featherweight world champion




ONE Championship, once again electrified the iconic Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS delivered a series of compelling bouts, performed by the absolute best in local and international martial arts talent. In the main event, Martin Nguyen shocked the world by stopping Marat Gafurov in their rematch to become the new ONE Featherweight World Champion.

Main event

In the main event of ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS, “The Situ-Asian” Martin Nguyen of Australia completed his journey through ONE Championship’s featherweight ranks by upsetting previously-unbeaten Russian champion Marat Gafurov via knockout within two rounds to clinch the highly-coveted ONE Featherweight World Championship.

Gafurov dominated the first round with his magnificent grappling arsenal, but Nguyen found his groove in the second frame as he tore apart his Russian foe with his striking.

Recognizing an opening, Nguyen countered Gafurov’s jab with an overhand right that knocked out the now former champion at the center of the ONE Championship cage. Nguyen’s remarkable conquest of Gafurov earned him the “GoDaddy Knockout of the Night” award.

Martin Nguyen, newly crowned ONE Featherweight World Champion, stated: “I just want to dedicate this fight, not only to Malaysia for being so welcoming and having such a beautiful country. This is for my dad. He was my inspiration for the whole camp when I mentally broke. (He and) the boys kept me together. I’ve got a deadly overhand right, but it’s not my only weapon. Thank you to Marat [Gafurov] for giving me the opportunity.”

It will be interesting to see who Martin Nguyen is paired up against next.

Co-Main Event

In the co-main event of the evening, former world title challenger Ev “E.T.” Ting of Malaysia placed his name back in the winner’s column by overwhelming Japanese veteran and former ONE Welterweight World Champion Nobutatsu Suzuki to win by devastating technical knockout.

From the opening bell, Ting paced himself well, keeping Suzuki at range with his accurate striking before executing the end sequence. After staggering Suzuki with a combination, Ting swarmed his opponent to score the referee stoppage.

22-year-old Agilan Thani authored one of the most dominant performances of the night, placing himself back on the winning track with a unanimous decision victory over Sherif Mohamed. Showing off new skills and techniques that he learned from training with the world-famous Team Quest, Thani swamped Mohamed with his wrestling while stifling his opponent with submission attempts.

The former world title challenger finished the three-round welterweight contest on a strong note, delivering crisp ground strikes to the delight of his roaring countrymen.

Minute’s Time

Filipino knockout artist Kevin Belingon completed yet another scintillating finish, by defeating Australian submission specialist Reece McLaren by knockout. Belingon finished the job in just 62 seconds, dropping his Australian opponent with a hard right straight before punctuating with follow-up strikes on the ground to compel referee Olivier Coste to step in and halt the contest.

The revered Team Lakay veteran recorded his seventh knockout win as a professional with the impressive triumph over McLaren.

In a clash of high-caliber flyweights, Malaysia’s Gianni Subba captured a hard-earned victory in front of a jubilant hometown crowd by routing Japan’s Riku Shibuya. Subba showcased his pinpoint accurate striking early on, peppering Shibuya with stinging right hands and spinning back-kicks in the first round.

Although Shibuya easily converted his takedown attempts in the succeeding rounds to avoid striking exchanges, Subba kept himself active on the canvas. He was able to fish for submissions while landing the more telling blows. In the end, Subba’s efforts were rewarded with a unanimous decision.

Mighty May

“Mighty” May Ooi of Singapore scored a major victory in her ONE Championship debut.  She submitted Malaysian female martial arts superstar Ann Osman in the first round. After surviving a huge right hand from Osman, Ooi took matters to the canvas. There she maneuvered her cage counterpart with ease courtesy of her impeccable ground game. The 41-year-old executed a flawless transition into a rear-naked choke that left Osman no choice but to tap out.

Former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke brushed off a lackluster start to topple Robin Catalan.  The win came via second-round technical knockout. Showcasing tremendous power with every strike he drew cheers from the crowd after each landed blow. Dejdamrong’s thunderous knees proved too much for Catalan.  The Filipino lost his footing, forcing the referee to wave it off.

Rising Star in Christian Lee

Christian Lee exhibited stellar form, proving himself a top featherweight contender in ONE Championship. Lee scored an impressive submission over Malaysia’s Keanu Subba. Both highly-touted prospects started out aggressively, but it was Lee who showed a more capable set of grappling skills.

19-year old Lee spun a web of crafty grappling to overwhelm Subba.  He was able to get the submission finish in the third round. Lee forces Subba to tap from a wrenching armbar.

Emilio Urrutia made a triumphant ONE Championship debut by edging out Edward Kelly in their three-round featherweight encounter. Urrutia relied on his solid ground game to pacify his Filipino opponent’s firepower in the stand-up trade.  He wore down Kelly,steering him to a decisive victory by way of decision.

Kicking off the card was a strawweight encounter between wushu practitioner Rene Catalan and Chinese grappling prodigy Bu Huo You Ga. After dropping his opponent with a clean left straight in first, Catalan secured top control and went to work. With a dominant top game, Catalan notched his third straight victory.  He defeated Bu Huo as all three judges saw the bout in his favor.

Official results for ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS

ONE Featherweight World Championship bout: Martin Nguyen defeats Marat Gafurov by Knockout – Rd 2 – 1:27
Lightweight bout: Ev Ting defeats Nobutatsu Suzuki by TKO (Strikes) – Rd 1 – 3:29 minutes
Welterweight bout: Agilan Thani defeats Sherif Mohamed by Unanimous Decision
Bantamweight bout: Kevin Belingon defeats Reece McLaren by Knockout – Rd 1 – 1:02 minutes
Flyweight bout: Gianni Subba defeats Riku Shibuya by Unanimous Decision
Women’s strawweight bout: May Ooi defeats Ann Osman by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Rd. 1 -3:27
Strawweight bout: Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke defeats Robin Catalan by TKO (Strikes) – Rd 2 – 0:46
Featherweight bout: Christian Lee defeats Keanu Subba by Submission (Armbar) – Rd 3 -1:11
Featherweight bout: Emilio Urrutia defeats Edward Kelly by Unanimous Decision
Strawweight bout: Rene Catalan defeats Bu Huo You Ga by Unanimous Decision

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