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Chan Rothana revels in ONE revenge

Chan Rathana (left) takes on Sam Ang Dun at ONE: Kingdom of Khmer on Saturday.
Chan Rathana (left) takes on Sam Ang Dun at ONE: Kingdom of Khmer on Saturday. Pha Lina

Chan Rothana revels in ONE revenge

ONE Championship delivered another evening of world-class mixed martial arts action on Saturday night in a packed arena.

ONE: Kingdom of Khmer made a successful return to the Koh Pich Theatre, featuring 10 bouts, capped off by a spectacular main event that had fans on the edge of their seats.

In the main event, Lowen Tynanes beat opponent Rasul Yakhyaev by deep choke to confirm his claim as one of the best lightweight talents in Asia’s largest MMA organisation.

Cambodian yutakun khom fighter Chan Rothana made up for his disappointment in last year’s Rise of the Kingdom event when he beat Sam Ang Dun by TKO in the first round of a thrilling encounter to help his case for opportunities to fight foreign opponents.

Rothana said he was pleased with his performance but said he wanted to showcase his skills on the international stage.

“I will train my hardest to reach the highest level. I want to fight against the best foreign fighters and not with the same countrymen.

I really hope I can get the chance to showcase my skills against the best fighters out there,” he said after his victory at the death of round one.

In the main event of the evening, Tynanes, from Ewa Beach, Hawaii, scored a third-round submission victory over Russia’s Rasul Yakhyaev to extend his unbeaten streak to 8 wins and no losses.

The first round had the fighters sizing each other up with various grappling moves. Tynanes started to connect with overhand rights. A testy second round witnessed increased striking rates and ended with the Hawaiian landing a couple of well-timed kicks to down Yakhyaev.

Tynanes then took full control of the third, utilising his wrestling and grappling technique to subdue the Russian on the ground, sinking in a deep choke to force the tap.

In the other main event, Malaysia’s Gianni Subba improved his MMA record with a split decision win over Thailand’s Anatpong Bunrad in a flyweight match that never once went to the ground.

Subba showed icy composure as he weathered a storm of kicks from Bunrad and landed a series of highly accurate punches and elbows that had Bunrad’s nose bleeding heavily from the second round. In the end, Subba did just enough to earn the judges’ nod, moving him closer to a title shot.

Indonesia’s Mario Satya Wirawan made ONE Championship history, scoring the fastest knockout ever recorded after dispatching Cambodia’s Chan Heng in just 6 seconds of their bantamweight bout.

Wirawan’s very first punch put Chan on his back, and the follow-up head kick gave referee Olivier Coste no option but to call a halt to the bout.

Cambodian judo expert Meas Meu collected another impressive victory in the ONE cage with a first-round TKO of bantamweight Chan Sam Art.

Meas started out well to stagger his rival, at one point picking Chan up and dumping him onto the canvas before dominating the ground exchange with a barrage of blows. The referee jumped in to stop the contest shortly after.

Sim Bunsrun battled through adversity in an energetic flyweight clash against fellow Cambodian, Khon Sichan.

Both fighters’ striking skills were in full display early on, but as the fight went to ground, Bunsrun started to connect with heavy elbows. With Sichan starting to lose control of the match, Bunsrun moved to secure an arm-bar submission, forcing the tap out with just 5 seconds left in the first round.

Indian female atomweight Jeet Toshi earned a hard-fought unanimous decision victory over Cambodia’s Tharoth Sam.

Toshi came close to a finish in the first round through strikes and an arm-bar submission, but “Little Frog” Tharoth escaped to bring the crowd to their feet with an inspirational comeback in the subsequent round. Toshi controlled the ground game well in the third, with Tharoth barely making it through to the final bell.

Cambodian fighters Sor Sey and Chim Chetra put on a superb show in their featherweight battle, which saw them go all out from the opening bell.

An explosive first round had both men connecting with hard fists, elbows and knees throughout.

The intensity was matched in the second, as Sor Sey began to exert dominance, getting the upper hand and forcing the referee to stop the fight just a minute into the round.

Veteran Kun Khmer fighter Mission Ali went up against the youthful tenacity of fellow Cambodian featherweight Rin Saroth in the night’s second match up.

At the bell, the contest went to the floor, with Saroth executing a textbook arm-bar submission to earn the victory.

Eh Ya Nut and Vy Srey Chai kicked off the show with a battle between two emerging Cambodian female flyweights.

A tentative opening round was followed by a stronger showing in the second, with both fighters scoring knees in the clinch and trading strikes on the ground.

In the closing round, fierce exchanges pumped up the crowd as Vy Srey Khouch grabbed the victory by split decision.

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