KUALA LUMPUR: THE newly crowned ONE Featherweight world champion, Martin Nguyen, made history at Stadium Negara after he defeated Marat Gafurov at ONE: Quest for Greatness’ main event, yesterday.
The Vietnamese-Australian tarnished Gafurov’s perfect 15-match winning streak to take the belt and title by way of knockout after throwing an overhand right in response to Gafurov’s overreaching jab before the Russian went down.
A very emotional Nguyen dedicated the win to his late father, a war veteran who passed away back in 2013 due to pneumonia after contracting the flu.
“I just want to dedicate this fight, not only to Malaysia for being so welcoming and having such a beautiful country but this one is for my dad who has always been an inspiration.”
“I keep turning back to my dad and this is the only thing I wanted to do in front of his eyes, I know he’s watching over me.”
In the co-main event of the evening, former world title challenger Ev 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 a technical knockout.
Another Malaysian, Agilan Thani also had a great night after carding a victory over Sherif Mohamed of Egypt by way of unanimous decision.
Joining Ev and Agilan in the winner’s circle is Gianni Subba who overcame Japan’s Riku Shibuya as he too was rewarded with a win through unanimous decision.
But it wasn’t all fun and games for Gianni’s younger brother Keanu and Malaysia’s first ONE franchise fighter Ann Osman as they both suffered defeats.
It’s back to the drawing board for Keanu after he lost to Christian Lee of Singapore who is also the younger brother of Angela Lee, the ONE Women Atomweight world champion.
Keanu was overwhelmed by the 19-year-old’s crafty grappling skills and was unable to make his way out from a wrenching armbar and was forced to tap out in the third round.
Ann had also tapped out after she was held in a rear-naked choke by 41-year-old Singaporean May Ooi, who scored a major victory in her debut appearance at ONE Championship.
Official results for ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS
ONE Featherweight World Championship bout: Martin Nguyen defeats Marat Gafurov by Knockout at 1:27 minutes of round 2
Lightweight bout: Ev Ting defeats Nobutatsu Suzuki by TKO (Strikes) at 3:29 minutes of round 1
Welterweight bout: Agilan Thani defeats Sherif Mohamed by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
Bantamweight bout: Kevin Belingon defeats Reece McLaren by Knockout at 1:02 minutes of round 1
Flyweight bout: Gianni Subba defeats Riku Shibuya by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
Women’s strawweight bout: May Ooi defeats Ann Osman by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:27 minutes of round 1
Strawweight bout: Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke defeats Robin Catalan by TKO (Strikes) at 0:46 minutes of round 2
Featherweight bout: Christian Lee defeats Keanu Subba by Submission (Armbar) at 1:11 minutes of round 3
Featherweight bout: Emilio Urrutia defeats Edward Kelly by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
Strawweight bout: Rene Catalan defeats Bu Huo You Ga by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds