ONE 156, regian eersel

ONE 156 Recap: A Night Full Of Violence

With ONE 156 in the rear view mirror, it is time to recover from the fantastic night of fights put on by ONE Championship. The promotion is surely hitting a stride with their matchmaking and it’s showing throughout these fight cards. The card featured two title fights, one that saw 17 year old Smilla Sundell capture a kickboxing title against Jackie Buntan. The night was perfect and the next card happens in May, which is too long to wait if you’re wanting more ONE action.

Liam Harrison steals the show at ONE 156

Of all the fights at ONE 156, Liam Harrison and Muangthai stole the show. The matchmakers might as well have booked this one for one round because that’s all the two needed. Ahead of the fight, Harrison said in an interview with us, “I need to put on a blistering performance on Friday.” He did just that at ONE 156.

After a sketchy start, Harrison was knocked down with a high kick through the guard from Muangthai. After beating the eight count, he went in and threw wild with the Thai and was knocked down once more. With a three knockdown rule in place, it looked to be a short night for Liam Harrison But, the Brit would not be denied. He gathered himself as Muangthai came with the patented elbows over the top as Harrison circled out. Harrison pivoted and caught Muangthai with a two piece combo that had the Thai wobbled. After pouring it on a bit against the fence, Muangthai fell for the first knockdown.

Seeing Muangthai hurt, the 36 year old Harrison hunts his prey and throws a lead hook, rear uppercut, lead hook that knocked down Muangthai again. At this point, the building was electric. Harrison would swarm again after the Thai beat the count and Muangthai melted. Harrison would be declared the victor. In the postfight interview, Chatri Sityodtong, the CEO of ONE Championship, awarded Harrison not a $50k bonus, but a $100k bonus for his performance. As it was announced Liam Harrison gave a little dance of excitement in the ring. In addition to that, it was announced that Harrison was next up to fight Nong-O for the title.

Jarred Brooks: The next title contender

Another huge fight was in ONE Championship’s strawweight division as Jarred Brooks took on Bokang Masunyane. Brooks promised aggression pre-fight and he brought just that.

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Brooks immediately came at Masunyane and clinched up. After Bokang Masunyane tries a hip toss that Jarred Brooks was privy to, Brooks circles around against the fence and gets Masunyane’s back. He instantly locks in the body triangle on his opponent as he’s standing. Brooks then starts to soften up Masunyane and is hunting rear naked chokes and neck cranks. After what seems like an eternity, Jarred Brooks sinks in the rear naked choke as Masunyane is standing and his opponent collapses. Seconds later the ref pulls Brooks off and he’s declared the winner.

Upon the fight being stopped, Brooks jumps the fence and shouts at the camera a message to the current strawweight champ, Joshua Pacio, that he’s coming for the belt and that Pacio should be prepared because it’s going to be a tough fight. Brooks was awarded just that in the post fight as it was announced live on air that he is the next challenger for the belt.

Regian Eersel survives early onslaught and continues his win streak

ONE 156 was headlined by reigning kickboxing champion Regian Eersel defending his title and 18 fight win streak against Arian Sadikovic. Eersel is a high volume puncher with wins over Jo Nattawut and two over Nieky Holzken. At ONE 156, he provided a reason why he is one of the best kickboxers in the world.

After taking some time to understand the distance and speed of Sadikovic, Eersel starts to come forward at the end of round one. His step in knees are quite effective and when he’s coming forward, there is no stopping him. Eersel pours it on in the first round stealing it away in the eyes of the judges. It was a great plan in hindsight for what’s to come.

In round two, Eersel is firing on all cylinders. He’s coming forward with knees, a barrage of punches and throwing everything at Arian Sadikovic except the kitchen sink. But Sadikovic starts to come forward and Eersel engages in a firefight. Sadikovic then throws a flying knee of his own that lands perfect and knocks down Regian Eersel. Eersel beats the count and is in a bad way. He’s throwing wild shots as Sadikovic is coming for the kill. But Eersel survives the round.

In the third, he comes back more composed, although he takes the round off. His volume is not near as high but he’s doing enough to keep Sadikovic off of him and to score when the opportunity is there. Round four is when he starts to turn the heat up again, coming with the step in knees and volume punches.

All night, Eersel would throw a lead hook, pivot out, and throw a knee up the middle when Sadikovic would chase him. It would be those knees that would win him the fight as they took the wind out of Sadikovic in the fourth round having the Montenegro native looking at the clock. The fifth round was a firefight that Eersel would control. Sadikovic comes forward the entire round and is hunting the head. But Eersel continues with the volume and knees. Ultimately, Eersel would make it out of the round and end the fight as the victor still despite the second round being a 10-8 for Sadikovic due to the knockdown.

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In addition to covering the ONE Championship for My MMA News, Blaine Henry, the author, also analyzes fights from all combat sports across the globe. 

Blaine Henry can be found on Twitter, on his podcast, and Patreon.

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