Cambodian fighters have featured for ONE FC numerous times but none of them had ever beaten a foreign opponent on one of these shows until last night when Chan Rothana stopped Filipino bantamweight Ramon Gonzales in the opening round in Kuala Lumpur.
Their bout was the first on the ONE FC: Age of Champions main card, which took place at Stadium Putra in Malaysia’s capital, and Rothana finished the Filipino with a barrage of brutal ground and pound in the opening round.
Gonzalez attempted an ambitious spinning kick right at the start of the round but slipped and ended up on his back. Rothana immediately tried to capitalise with some ground and pound but the Filipino defended intelligently and prevented the Kun Khmer veteran from doing any damage.
The Cambodian eventually worked his way to his feet, and after briefly clinching against the cage the fighters were soon separated by experienced French referee Oliver Coste.
Once again Gonzalez attempted a spinning strike, presumably hoping to display his striking prowess as a kyukoshin karate black belt.
Unfortunately for Gonzalez the outcome was exactly the same as the first time he tried this ambitious assault as he agaon slipped and landed on his back. The Filipino tried for a leg lock but Rothana easily slipped out and then moved into a full mount.
Rothana spent a month before the fight training at Tiger Muay Thai & MMA gym in Phuket honing his ground fighting skills in preparation for this fight, and it clearly paid dividends as he was ruthless in going to work with punches and elbows, eventually giving the referee no option but to step in and save Gonzales from further punishment.
The finish came at 4:48 of round one and improves Rothana’s record to 3-1 while Gonzales drops to 1-1. With ONE Championship set to return to Phnom Penh later in the year Rothana is likely to be back in action before too long after an impressive performance in Kuala Lumpur.
Speaking after the fight ONE Fighting Championship chief executive Victor Cui said he was extremely impressed by Rothana’s performance.
“Cambodian fighters are warriors and Rothana is no exception. He’s a Kun Khmer veteran but he showed tonight that he really knows the MMA game and I can’t wait to see him back in the ONE Championship cage again.”