Aung La N Sang, Nguyen dethroned; Lee, Xiong retain titles


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Two ONE Championship belts changed hands during ONE: Inside the Matrix as Aung La N Sang and Martin Nguyen succumbed to abbreviated finishes and yield their belts to new titleholders while Christian Lee and Xiong Jing Nan defended theirs in similarly dominant performances.

Top contender Reinier “The Dutch Knight” de Ridder of The Netherlands pulled off the biggest upset of the night as he took possession of the ONE middleweight title from “The Burmese Python” Aung La of Myanmar.

De Ridder stayed true to his word, finishing the main event bout by connecting a rear-naked choke right in the opening round and kept his unblemished record along with taking home the ONE Middleweight World Title in the process.

Aung La opened up the action with a fast uppercut that barely missed the mark. De Ridder countered with a quick shot from range, taking “The Burmese Python” down to the mat.

A swift transition to the back secured with a body triangle offered De Ridder plenty of opportunities to work for the finish with most of the round to go. After several attempts, a rear-naked choke was in deep, and Aung La had no choice but to tap out.

De Ridder extends his winning streak to 13 without absorbing a loss. Aung La suffered his 11th career loss against 26 wins.

Former LFA Featherweight Champion Thanh Le of Vietnam and the United States authored a scintillating knockout to snatch the world featherweight title from Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen of Vietnam and Australia.

Le engaged Nguyen in a bout full of punch exchanges and pulled off a knockout in the third round.

Le employed a smart game plan, circling Nguyen with constant movement while unloading thudding high kicks and thunderous left hooks. Nguyen stalked Le patiently, attempting to cut off the Circle to land his vaunted overhand right.

In the third round, Nguyen turned up the pressure, at the same time exposing himself to Le’s fast and furious strikes. Not long after, Le connected on a short hook on the inside that staggered “The Situ-Asian,” sending him reeling towards the fence.

A series of left and right hand bombs ended the bout abruptly, and Le walked away with the most significant finish of his career.

Le chalked up his 12th career win to go with 2 loses while dropping Nguyen to 13-4

Lee, the Reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion from Singapore, made a successful first defense of his world title. Lee relied on the ground and pound to take out undefeated challenger Iuri Lapicus of Moldova in the opening round.

At the sound of the opening bell, Lee dashed across the Circle, shooting in for a double leg. Lapicus was able to reverse the takedown and land in top position.

Lee then worked to make his way back up to the feet, taking down Lapicus himself and landing in full mount. Lapicus tried to scramble, but Lee showed immense control on the mat.

From there, “The Warrior” connected on a series of hammer fist blows that rendered Lapicus defenseless. The referee had no choice but to step in and call a halt to the contest.

The TKO win was the fifth straight victory for “The Warrior” Lee, who has a 14-3 record, and the first career loss of Lapicus in 15 fights.

ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion Xiong made a successful return to quash the title attempt of former ONE World Title Challenger, Tiffany Teo of Singapore, in a much-awaited rematch.

Xiong “The Panda” of China dominated their match in securing a unanimous decision over “No Chill” in retaining her title.

Xiong peppered Teo with beautiful boxing combinations from start to end, proving to be the faster, more powerful puncher.

Teo had her moments, scoring on a few takedowns, and connecting on a series of sharp knees and roundhouse kicks but Xiong was far too forceful on the feet and Teo just could not overcome the pressure.

All three judges scored the bout in favor of Xiong Jing Nan.

Xiong improves her career fight record to 15-2 while the loss is just the 2nd for Teo in 11 fights.

Indian wrestling champion Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat put together an impressive victory over Cambodia’s Nou Srey Pov, winning by technical knockout in the second round to kick off the action for the event.

Phogat dominated the first round, landing multiple takedowns while doing damage on the ground in dominant position. Phogat landed a pair of solid right hands before taking Nou down to the ground again in the second, where she finished in top position with strikes.

The win was the third straight for the still unbeaten Phogat. Nou drops to 1-2.

ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX official results

ONE Middleweight World Championship: Reinier De Ridder defeats Aung La N Sang by Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 3:26 minutes of round 1

ONE Lightweight World Championship: Christian Lee defeats Iuri Lapicus by TKO (Strikes) at 2:19 minutes of round 1

ONE Featherweight World Championship: Thanh Le defeats Martin Nguyen by Knockout (KO) at 2:19 minutes of round 3

ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship: Xiong Jing Nan defeats Tiffany Teo by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 5 rounds

Mixed Martial Arts – Lightweight: Antonio Caruso defeats Eduard Folayang by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds

Mixed Martial Arts – Atomweight: Ritu Phogat defeats Nou Srey Pov by TKO (Strikes) at 2:02 minutes of round 2

By Armando M. Bolislis
ONE Championship photo