Regian Eersel Upends Mustapha Haida to Retain Belt at One: Fists of Fury 3

By: Tudor Leonte
Mar 19, 2021

The final pre-recorded section of One Championship’s “Fists of Fury” series saw a champion keeping an iron grip on his throne.

The One: Fists of Fury 3 main event featured Regian Eersel putting his lightweight kickboxing championship on the line against Italy’s Mustapha Haida. Eersel dominated his opponent from the outset by utilizing his slight reach advantage and a multifaceted striking approach. The Surinamese-Dutch fighter showcased a variety of attacks across the first couple, including heavy punches and jumping knees. Haida struggled to contain the defending champion’s initiative, and was limited to landing a few body shots.

In Round 3, one of Eersel's jumping knees landed low, and forced a halt in the action for a few seconds. When the fight resumed, Eersel picked up where he left off, landing effective strikes at range and keeping the challenger guessing. Before the horn blew at the end of the third stanza, the defending champion hit Haida below the belt again. The fourth period saw Eersel continue to put the pressure on the Italian challenger, and Haida displayed heart in taking all the champion’s shots but not much more. The final round saw Eersel once again scoring with the best and heavier shots until the official time expired. The defending champion was unsurprised in hearing that he had successfully defended his belt with a unanimous decision victory.

In the co-main event, current One atomweight kickboxing titleholder Janet Todd tested herself in a muay Thai against Alma Juniku. “JT” took the first round to study her opponent, limiting herself to test Juniku’s reactions in a close opening frame. Todd became more aggressive in Round 2 as her boxing combinations found their home. A couple of seconds before the end of the round, “JT” dropped Juniku with a powerful right hand that forced a referee’s count.

In the last round, Todd dictated the pace as she landed both on the body and the head of her opponent with crisp boxing combinations. Juniku attacked her opponent with various shots, including a step-in elbow, but it was not enough to slow Todd’s aggression. When it came to the final verdict, the judges agreed and rewarded “JT” with a unanimous decision. In the post-fight interview, Todd stated that she wanted to add the division’s muay Thai belt to her collection.

In the MMA main attraction on the card, Koha Minowa (13-2) edged former divisional champion Alex Silva (9-6) in a razor-close strawweight affair. While “Little Rock” seemed to control the situation in the opening frame, “Hiroba” started gaining confidence in the second round, defending his opponent’s submission attempts. Round 3 saw the most action from Minowa, who landed several heavy shots on the ground. Ultimately, two out of three judges awarded the victory to the Japanese fighter.

Elsewhere, Jennifer Olsim (4-2) tapped out Maira Mazar (7-4) with a guillotine choke that ended the contest 41 seconds into the third round; in a One flyweight clash, Roshan Mainam Luwang (6-2) submitted Abdul Aziz Calim (5-5) via a rear-naked choke at the 2:45 mark of Round 1; the night began with One Hero Series graduate Yong Hu (7-2) outpointing Yodkaikaew Fairtex (7-3-1) in One’s 135-pound division.
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