High Fives: Disastrous Debuts, Devastating Knees and Ferocious Flurries

By: Guy Portman
May 6, 2019
Fight fans enjoyed a real treat during the weekend of May 3-5 and not just because the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Bellator MMA were on the schedule. There were some emphatic finishes at One Championship “For Honor” on Friday in Jakarta, Indonesia, while there were a pair of exciting clashes at Legacy Fighting Alliance 65 in Vail, Colorado.

DISASTROUS DEBUTOne Championship was headlined by a welterweight showdown pitting Japanese promotional debutant Yushin Okami opposite Kyrgyzstan’s Kiamrian Abbasov. Okami impressed with effective striking early on, and late in the first frame, he enjoyed a period of sustained control on the mat. In Round 2, however, Abbasov responded to an Okami jab with a looping right cross that dropped the former UFC title contender to his back. Abbasov followed him to the canvas and dished out ground-and-pound until the referee halted the beatdown 1:10 into the middle stanza. Abbasov moved to 21-4, while Okami slipped to 35-13.

DEVASTATING KNEE … Vietnamese-American Thanh Le made his One Championship debut against Yusup Saadulaev in a featherweight tilt. The second stanza was in its infancy when Saadulaev shot for a double-leg takedown. Lee countered with a right knee that landed flush on the Russian’s head and sent him tumbling backward and unconscious to the canvas. The official time of the knockout was 12 seconds into Round 2. The emphatic finish saw Lee up his record to 9-2, while Saadulaev dipped to 17-5-1.

FEROCIOUS FLURRY … One Championship “For Honor” featured a bantamweight clash between South Korea’s Dae Hwan Kim and China’s Jumayi Ayideng. Initially, both men embraced a patient approach on the feet, as they looked to find their range. However, cerebral beginnings gave way to a frenetic brawl that saw the two rivals throw heavy leather at each other. After dazing his adversary with strikes, Kim unleashed a flurry of punches against the cage. After one final uppercut from Kim, the referee stepped in at the 4:11 mark of Round 1. The technical knockout improved Kim to 15-4-1, while Ayideng fell to 12-5-1.

SLICK ARMBAR … The Legacy Fighting Alliance main event paired Brandon Royval with UFC veteran Joby Sanchez. In the opening stages, Royval impressed with his versatile striking. Later in the first round, Royval was on his back, with Sanchez in his guard working for a brabo choke. Having successfully defended the submission attempt, Royval pivoted to his right and grabbed hold of his opponent’s right arm while at the same time hooking his left leg. From there, he rolled into the fight-ending armbar, which elicited the tap from Sanchez at the 3:17 mark of Round 1. With the fifth submission win of his career, Royval moved to 9-4. Sanchez slipped to 12-5.

THUNDEROUS KNOCKOUT … Brazil’s Joanderson Sa de Brito met America’s Jose Mariscal in a featherweight showcase at LFA 65. This short-lived scrap was fought at a frenetic pace, with both pugilists looking to end the fight early. After partially landing with a right high roundhouse kick, the Brazilian immediately followed with a three-punch combination, the volley culminating in a left hook to the head that sent Mariscal plummeting to the floor. After some ensuing hammerfists on the ground, the referee jumped in 44 seconds into Round 1. Brito rose to 11-2-1, while Mariscal dipped to 7-4.

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