ONE 161 saw a ton of striking action as the semi-finals of the promotion’s Kickboxing Heavyweight grand prix took place and the Muay Thai featherweight world title was on the line in the main event. Despite the fireworks on display on the feet later on in the night, one of the most exciting moments of the event was deep in the preliminary card during a grappling match between Rodrigo Marello and Ruslan Bagdasarian.
This was an interesting match between two experts in different martial arts, BJJ and Sambo respectively. In the end Marello made short work of Bagdasarian though as he sat to guard and swept his opponent within seconds of the match starting. Marello secured an ankle-lock and forced Bagdasarian to tap in just fifteen seconds, registering the fastest submission in ONE Championship history and winning $50,000 in the process.
Mikey Musumeci wins Flyweight title at ONE on Amazon Video 2
ONE Championship have been steadily picking up the pace on signing elite grapplers to their new submission grappling division and making some exciting matches between the new talent. Now they’ve taken that mission to the next level however, by putting their very first submission grappling world title on the line in a co-main event match between Mikey Musumeci and Cleber Sousa.
Sousa was single-minded in his approach and focused exclusively on beating Musumeci for some time leading up to the match. He gave a great account of himself as well and made things incredibly hard for Musumeci, who couldn’t find the finish before the time ran out. In the end though Musumeci won the match by decision due to the number of submissions attempted and claimed the inaugural Flyweight world title.
Mackenzie Dern finishes strong but it isn’t enough at UFC Vegas 61
Mackenzie Dern has been one of the most promising representatives for BJJ in MMA for several years now and she’s been within touching distance of a title shot for some time. Dern has been hovering within the top five of the UFC strawweight division and was booked to fight sixth-ranked Yan Xiaonan at UFC Vegas 61. This was an opportunity for either woman to put themselves forward for a number-1 contender fight with a win.
Dern wasn’t able to get the takedown in the first round and she was forced to pull guard in the second in order to use her elite BJJ skills against Xiaonan. The next two rounds were tough for Dern again as she wasn’t able to drag the fight into her area of expertise, but the final round was where she really excelled. Dern came within inches of submitting her opponent but in the end it was too little, too late and she lost the decision.
Three-time NCAA champion Bo Nickal earns UFC contract
Bo Nickal is one of the best wrestlers of his generation and he’s already shown that his skills translate to MMA incredibly well. There was a lot of eyes on Nickal when he made the transition to MMA and he quickly registered two finishes on the amateur regional circuit. This led to him turning professional and submitting his debut opponent in order to earn a call-up to Dana White’s Contender Series.
Nickal has now won his second fight on the show, taking his record to 3-0 with three first-round finishes and earning a UFC contract in the process. Now Nickal will get the opportunity to ply his trade on the biggest stage for professional MMA and bring his name to a much wider audience. In fact, he already has his promotional debut opponent booked for UFC 282 at the end of the year.
- Mikey Musumeci announced a bold choice for his next ONE Championship opponent, as he wants to take on Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson in a grappling match.
- Anderson Silva has decided to try yet another combat sport after his boxing match with Jake Paul, and he’ll be competing in a BJJ tournament in Dubai.
- Nicky Ryan has announced that he will be out for the foreseeable future after suffering a fully torn ACL, most likely leading to his third knee surgery in recent years.
- Gordon Ryan v Felipe Pena 4 is tentatively set for February and Ryan has stuck to his guns to have it be another no time-limit match.