The last three months in ONE Championship have been simply spectacular with the amount of highlight-reel finishes.
It should come as no surprise, as the athletes who recently competed in Manila, Singapore, and Yangon are some of the finest martial artists in the world, and are all eager to prove themselves on the global stage.
These were the five most sensational knockouts that transpired.
#1 Kevin Belingon’s First-Round TKO Of Toni Tauru At ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY
Kevin Belingon is undoubtedly dangerous on his feet, and unfortunately for his opponents, that’s where all bouts start.
The Team Lakay veteran is known for his fast starts. The way Belingon shuffles toward an opponent with the intent to end matters early is absolutely exhilarating to watch, and must be intimidating for whomever is in the cage with him.
This past April, Belingon took on Finnish grappling sensation Toni “Dynamite” Tauru, and he needed barely half of a round to author one of his most spectacular finishes ever.
Tauru was obviously wary of Belingon’s punching power. The gameplan was to get the Filipino to the ground where Tauru was most comfortable, but as he quickly discovered, it wasn’t going to be easy.
Belingon swarmed his opponent from the opening bell. Tauru, trying to circle away from “The Silencer”, looked for opportunities to take it to the mat. When the first punch landed, however, it became painfully evident that things were going to end early, and in devastating fashion.
The Filipino warrior battered Tauru to no end, relentlessly unloading strike after strike until Tauru himself was forced to tap out due to the onslaught.
#2 Zebaztian Kadestam’s Comeback KO Of Luis Santos At ONE: DYNASTY OF HEROES
Going up against one of the most feared strikers in the division isn’t the most ideal scenario for a ONE Championship debutant, but newcomer Zebaztian Kadestam wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“The Bandit”, receiving the opportunity to join ONE Championship and take on one of the biggest names in the division, would put everything on the line. Eventually, it all worked out for Kadestam, as he turned in one of the most exciting finishes in the quarter with a third-round knockout of Brazilian powerhouse Luis Santos.
Kadestam, accepting the challenge on short notice, spent the first two rounds fending off a furious Santos offensive. Unknown to the Brazilian, it was all a part of Kadestam’s plan. The Swede was biding his time, waiting for the third round where Santos has been known to tire.
That was precisely what happened, and Kadestam capitalized with a series of hard knees that put Santos’ lights out, completing a shocking comeback upset.
#3 Honorio Banario Flattens Jaroslav Jartim At ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY
Former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio Banario doesn’t believe his best days are behind him. After losing five bouts in a row, you’d think that the Baguio City native would have at least contemplated quitting. But as the world soon found out, there is no quit in the man.
Banario has since won four straight bouts, including two spectacular finishes in his last two outings. This April, Banario turned in another epic performance, stopping ONE Championship debutant Jaroslav Jartim with a single left hook.
Countering Jartim’s body kick with a punching combination, Honorio unleashed a left hook that landed square on Jartim’s jaw, turning the lights out immediately for his opponent.
It was Banario’s first real knockout victory since he stopped Andrew Benibe in 2012, and with the way he reacted, it must have felt good indeed.
#4 Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke Stops Adrian Matheis At ONE: DYNASTY OF HEROES
Former ONE Strawweight World Champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke was in unchartered territory in mixed martial arts career. After embarking on an unprecedented run through the ranks, capturing the world title in the process, Dejdamrong had lost two bouts in a row.
When the Muay Thai legend took on Adrian Matheis just a little over a month ago, fans didn’t know what to expect from the seasoned warrior. Instead, Dejdamrong turned in one of the most devastating knockouts of the quarter, which quickly reminded fans that he is still very much a key player in the division.
Dejdamrong stifled his Indonesian foe with lightning-quick kicks and heavy-handed punches. Towards the end of the opening stanza, Dejdamrong landed a powerful left hand that floored Matheis, earning him the knockout victory.
#5 Bruno Pucci Scores His First-Ever TKO Victory Over Jimmy Yabo At ONE: LIGHT OF A NATION
Two-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu No Gi world champion Bruno Pucci isn’t exactly known for his knockout power. In fact, before his bout against Jimmy Yabo in Yangon, Myanmar, Pucci had never before knocked an opponent out in his career, and was recently on the wrong end of one himself.
That is why this first-round annihilation of his Filipino opponent stands out so much more than his four submission victories.
Pucci, looking to end matters early, closed the gap on Yabo immediately as soon as the bell rang. On the ground, Pucci demonstrated his world-class grappling ability by controlling Yabo on the mat, directing the Filipino wherever he wanted him to go.
Once he had the body lock in place, Pucci pounded away at a fading Yabo, who had no other options until the referee stepped in to call an end to the bout.