Ariel “Tarzan” Sexton reminded the world that he is one of the lightweight division’s most dangerous submission artists on Friday, 13 July.
The 36-year-old Costa Rican defeated Japan’s Kota “Kong” Shimoishi in a riveting back-and-forth affair at ONE: PURSUIT OF POWER.
In front of a capacity crowd at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sexton submitted his rival in the third round with a seemingly-inescapable combination of a reverse triangle choke and an Americana.
The first round began with Shimoishi, a Shooto Welterweight Tournament Champion, pressuring “Tarzan” and putting him on the back foot.
They were soon pressed up against the cage and engaged in a clinch war, which ultimately saw the Japanese stalwart drive his foe to the mat with a single-leg takedown. Sexton returned to his feet soon thereafter, and the two returned to close-quarters combat.
However, in the middle of the frame, Sexton landed an explosive right uppercut and sent the “Kong” crashing to the canvas. Shimoishi tried his best to survive the round as Sexton unloaded a series of rights and lefts from top position.
The Costa Rican then caught him in a deep rear-naked choke, but was unable to finish, as the bell sounded to end the opening stanza.
In the second frame, Shimoishi played it much safer. He utilized his wrestling and judo expertise for the majority of the five-minute frame. “Tarzan,” however, played it cool.
Although it appeared like the Japanese warrior was back in control, Sexton’s surprising knockout power showed up once again. With only a second remaining in the round, he dropped “Kong” with a straight right hand.
Again, Shimoishi was saved by the bell.
Sensing that Shimoishi was still shaken up, the Costa Rican turned up the aggression.
He attacked his adversary with a furious melee of strikes in the third round, and he forced “Kong” to the canvas.
As the Japanese athlete tried to defend from the strikes, Sexton swiftly stepped over him and locked in a slick reverse triangle, which trapped “Kong” in a precarious position.
Grabbing a hold of Shimoishi’s arm, “Tarzan” turned the triangle into an Americana, which forced the tap just 44 seconds into the final stanza.
In victory, Sexton moves his overall record to 12-4, and reminds the world just what he is capable of.