Superlek Kiatmoo9 and Takeru Segawa engaged in a thrilling battle in their flyweight (135-pound) kickboxing title clash at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on Sunday, with Kiatmmo9 earning a unanimous decision triumph.
From the opening bell, Superlek unleashed a flurry of merciless leg kicks that echoed with each thunderous strike, leaving a visible trail of damage on his opponent. Takeru absorbed the punishment, biding his time for a spectacular resurgence.
The third round became the canvas for Takeru's masterstroke—a relentless barrage of unanswered body shots. Just when it seemed the pendulum of momentum had swung in his favor, Superlek orchestrated a dramatic turnaround in the fourth and fifth rounds, clinching a hard-fought victory.
The co-main event featured a rematch between ONE lightweight (170-pound) submission grappling world champion Kade Ruotolo and former IBJJF world champion Tommy Langaker. Their initial clash in June 2023 ended with Ruotolo securing a unanimous decision victory.
Shiting the stage to ONE 165, Ruotolo’s dominance was palpable. He kept Langaker on the defensive with a barrage of rapid-fire submission attempts, showcasing remarkable speed and technical prowess. Transitioning seamlessly between positions, Ruotolo threatened with a kimura, armbar, and crucifix, ultimately securing victory via unanimous decision. Langaker attempted leg locks, but Ruotolo's adept scrambling skills maintained the lead. The 21-year-old asserted his divisional supremacy, earning a $50,000 bonus and sparking speculation about a potential transition to mixed martial arts.
Meanwhile, Shinya Aoki faced late-notice replacement John Lineker in an openweight bout. Originally set to fight Sage Northcutt in a 170-pound match, Aoki displayed his adaptability as he transitioned to face Lineker, who stepped in due to unforeseen circumstances with Northcutt's cornermen.
Despite Lineker's two-fight winning streak, Aoki's size advantage and grappling expertise came into play. Aoki secured a rear-naked choke, forcing Lineker to tap out at the 3:00 mark of Round 1. The victory marked Aoki's rebound from back-to-back stoppage losses and was his 26th first-round finish overall.
Earlier that night, the highly-anticipated special rules super-fight between Dutch kickboxing icon Nieky Holzken and Japanese MMA legend Yoshihiro Akiyama featured three distinct rule sets. The bout was scheduled to kick off with boxing rules, transition to muay thai rules and conclude with traditional MMA rules. However, the special rules never came to fruition.
Holzken's striking prowess proved too much for Akiyama, as "The Natural" secured a scintillating knockout victory in the first round at the 1:40 mark. Expressing his interest in continuing with special rules fights, Holzken also walked away with a well-deserved $50,000 bonus.
In a long-anticipated clash between featherweight (155-pound) titans, Garry Tonon, the top-ranked contender, faced off against former two-division champ Martin Nguyen. From the opening bell, Tonon made his game plan clear, immediately putting Nguyen on the defensive with a well-timed kick. The pace was set as "The Lion Killer" sought opportunities to close the distance and engage in the clinch. Nguyen's cautious striking approach ultimately played into Tonon's strategy.
Taking advantage of an ill-advised combination from his opponent, Tonon secured the clinch and dictated the fight to the ground. The American BJJ icon transitioned to Nguyen's back, locking in a rear-naked choke that forced “The Situ-Asian’” to tap out at the 4:41 mark of the first round.
With this victory, Tonon seemingly solidified his shot at the featherweight title next and claimed the evening's first $50,000 bonus from ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.
In a women's atomweight (115-pound) MMA fight, Ayaka Miura secured a unanimous decision victory over Itsuki Hirata. From the opening bell, Miura wasted no time, aggressively initiating grappling exchanges.
As the second round commenced, Miura seamlessly continued her dominance, shooting for immediate takedowns and maintaining control over Hirata. Despite Hirata's resilience, Miura's strategic game plan and grappling prowess persisted. Round 3 saw Miura's game plan working effectively. Controlling the pace with her grappling, Miura secured key moments and finished the fight in a dominant position.
In a flyweight (135-pound) MMA showdown, Yuya Wakamatsu outclassed Danny Kingad to secure a unanimous decision victory. Wakamatsu's striking and defensive skills were on full display, earning him a well-deserved victory.
Rade Opacic and Iraj Azizpour engaged in a heavyweight kickboxing clash, with Opacic delivering a commanding performance. Opacic's methodical approach and striking accuracy led to a unanimous decision victory.
In the second fight of the night, Bokang Masunyane secured a unanimous decision victory over Keith Yamakita. Throughout the fight, Masunyane showcased his grappling skills, defending against Yamakita's submission attempts. Despite Yamakita's triangle attempt and active guard work, Masunyane remained strategic in his approach. The fight concluded with Masunyane's well-rounded performance, earning him a unanimous decision win in an exciting display of MMA prowess.
The night kicked off with a strawweight (125-pound) MMA bout between Hiroba Minowa and Gustavo Balart. Balart emerged victorious via split decision in a closely-contested battle.