ONE Championship™ (ONE)’s ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS delivered a series of compelling bouts, performed by the absolute best in local and international martial arts talent at the iconic Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In the main event, Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen shocked the world by stopping Marat “Cobra” Gafurov in their rematch to become the new ONE Featherweight World Champion.
Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen of Australia completed his journey through ONE Championship’s featherweight ranks by upsetting previously-unbeaten Russian champion Marat “Cobra” Gafurov via knockout within two rounds to clinch the highly-coveted ONE Featherweight World Championship.
Gafurov dominated the first round with his magnificent grappling arsenal, but Nguyen found his groove in the second frame as he tore apart his Russian foe with his striking. Recognizing an opening, Nguyen countered Gafurov’s jab with an overhand right that knocked out the now former champion at the center of the ONE Championship cage. Nguyen’s remarkable conquest of Gafurov earned him the “GoDaddy Knockout of the Night” award.
Martin Nguyen, newly crowned ONE Featherweight World Champion, stated:
“I just want to dedicate this fight, not only to Malaysia for being so welcoming and having such a beautiful country. This is for my dad. He was my inspiration for the whole camp when I mentally broke. (He and) the boys kept me together. I’ve got a deadly overhand right, but it’s not my only weapon. Thank you to Marat [Gafurov] for giving me the opportunity.”
In the co-main event of the evening, former world title challenger Ev “E.T.” 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 devastating technical knockout.
From the opening bell, Ting paced himself well, keeping Suzuki at range with his accurate striking before executing the end sequence. After staggering Suzuki with a combination, Ting swarmed his opponent to score the referee stoppage.
22-year-old Agilan “The Alligator” Thani of Malaysia authored one of the most dominant performances of the night, placing himself back on the winning track with a unanimous decision victory over Sherif “The Shark” Mohamed of Egypt.
Showing off new skills and techniques that he learned from training with the world-famous Team Quest, Thani swamped Mohamed with his wrestling while stifling his opponent with submission attempts. The former world title challenger finished the three-round welterweight contest on a strong note, delivering crisp ground strikes to the delight of his roaring countrymen.
In a clash of high-caliber flyweights, Malaysia’s Gianni Subba captured a hard-earned victory in front of a jubilant hometown crowd by routing Japan’s Riku “The Outsider” Shibuya. Subba showcased his pinpoint accurate striking early on, peppering Shibuya with stinging right hands and spinning back-kicks in the first round.
Although Shibuya easily converted his takedown attempts in the succeeding rounds to avoid striking exchanges, Subba kept himself active on the canvas, fishing for submissions while landing the more telling blows. In the end, Subba’s efforts were rewarded with a unanimous decision.
“Mighty” May Ooi of Singapore scored a major victory in her ONE Championship debut by submitting Malaysian female martial arts superstar Ann “Athena” Osman in the first round.
After surviving a huge right hand from Osman, Ooi took matters to the canvas, where she manoeuvred her cage counterpart with ease courtesy of her impeccable ground game. The 41-year-old Singaporean executed a flawless transition into a rear-naked choke that left Osman no choice but to tap out.
Christian “The Warrior” Lee of Singapore exhibited stellar form, proving himself a top featherweight contender in ONE Championship by scoring an impressive submission over Malaysia’s Keanu Subba. Both highly-touted prospects started out aggressively, but it was Lee who showed a more capable set of grappling skills. Lee spun a web of crafty grappling to overwhelm Subba as the 19-year-old Singaporean standout was able to get the submission finish in the third round, making Subba tap from a wrenching armbar.