The heroes of ONE Championship are revered for electrifying Yangon, Myanmar, with highlight-reel knockouts, but they are also known for thrilling the crowd with stunning submissions.
On Friday, 29 June, the promotion will return to the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium for ONE: SPIRIT OF A WARRIOR, and the card is loaded with submission wizards hoping to showcase their technical mastery.
With event night drawing closer, the athletes are fine-tuning their skills in an effort to draw a tap from their opponents. Here are three of the slickest submission victories from our heroes competing in Yangon.
Aung La N Sang Thrills In His Yangon Debut
Two-division ONE World Champion Aung La N Sang‘s defining moment may be his incredible record-setting KO of Alexandre Machado in February, but his Brazilian jiu-jitsu is arguably his most valuable asset.
“The Burmese Python” demonstrated that ability when he faced Egyptian Wushu Champion Mohamed “Flex” Ali at ONE: UNION OF WARRIORS in March 2016.
It was the first time he stepped inside the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium since he was a teenager working out in the venue’s gym, and he was not going to disappoint his fellow countrymen in his homecoming.
Ali was the aggressor early on. He backed up the local hero with an assortment of strikes, engaged in a clinch battle, and took him to the mat.
The Egyptian was not able to capitalize on achieving top position, however. Aung La N Sang stayed active from the bottom – searching for sweeps and submissions until he was able to scramble back to his feet.
Despite his limited success, Ali wanted to bring the contest to the canvas once again. He ducked an overhand right and went for a single-leg takedown, but this time, “The Burmese Python” immediately grabbed a deep guillotine choke. It only took a few more seconds to force the tap at 2:38 of round one.
The Myanmar sports icon returns to the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium to defend the ONE Middleweight World Title for the first time. He faces top-ranked Japanese DEEP Openweight World Champion Ken Hasegawa.
The “Cannon” Sounds In Malaysia
“Cannon” Ma Jia Wen has a knack for stopping his opponents with punches – either on his feet, or with powerful ground and pound.
However, the Chinese national wrestling silver medalist has complimented his top-class wrestling with submission skills, becoming even more of a well-rounded threat.
He demonstrated his improved skill set against Pakistani submission specialist Ahmed “Wolverine” Mujtaba at ONE: VISIONS OF VICTORY in March, and made a statement to the featherweight division at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Mujtaba flashed his grappling early, as he controlled the Chinese wrestler on the mat for the first three minutes of the opening stanza.
Once the two athletes got back to their feet, however, “Wolverine” was fatigued. The energy he exerted had already taken its toll, but Ma was still fresh and prepared to impose his game.
“Cannon” stalked his exhausted prey with heavy strikes, dropped him with a left hook, and then rained down punches to close the round. That was just his opening salvo, as the dominance continued in the second frame.
The Chinese warrior brushed off a takedown, jumped into the Pakistani’s guard, and went to work to advance his position. He wall-walked over a scrambling Mujtaba, took his back, and finished matters with a rear-naked choke at 2:38 of round two.
Rafael Nunes Shocks A Filipino Star
During his time away, he spruced up his jiu-jitsu, and elevated his striking skills. He displayed some of those improvements against Eric “The Natural” Kelly at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
Although the majority of the first round was a feeling-out process, Nunes scored a takedown in the final minute of the stanza, and he searched for submissions until the bell rang.
That foreshadowed the finish, which was just moments away.
The Brazilian caught a push kick seconds into round two, which he used to put “The Natural” on the canvas. He followed Kelly to the ground, and passed straight into side control.
Kelly tried to scramble out, but Nunes locked in a D’Arce choke. He forced the tap at the 1:31 mark.
Nunes will meet Japanese grappler Tetsuya Yamada at ONE: SPIRIT OF A WARRIOR, next.
Macau | 23 June | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast