It was a clash of styles, but Sim Bunsrun earned a hard-fought unanimous decision victory over knockout artist Liu Peng Shuai at the Mall Of Asia Arena on Friday Night, 2 December, at ONE: AGE OF DOMINATION.
“I am really happy I won. I did not expect to win tonight because I know Chinese fighters are really strong and have a lot of support for training,” the 23-year-old Cambodian admits. “Their training facility is high-tech compared to what I am used to, so I went in not expecting to win this way. But I am happy to win for Cambodia.”
Both combatants were tentative in the opening stanza. Although Liu would get the better of the stand-up and avoid Bunsrun’s initial takedown attempts, the Cambodian was able latch onto the Chinese prospect, exchange clinch knees against the fence, and then finally, tipped him to the ground.
Liu immediately tied his opponent’s arms up and went for a guillotine choke, but Bunsrun fought out of it and threw some elbows from top position.
The Chinese prospect was able to dodge the Cambodian’s attacks in the second round and unloaded more of his accurate pinpoint strikes, but after a brief injury timeout, Bunsrun mastered his timing and perfectly scooped the ONE Hefei Flyweight Tournament Champion down into the canvas.
Though not a submission expert by any means, the Beijing gladiator worked a high guard, which led to various triangle and armbar attempts, but to no avail. This match would go to a third round.
Much like the previous two rounds, the third started quite methodically with a feeling out stage. Soon, the match was back to the ground, but Liu pulled an incredibly tight armbar Bunsrun could not seemingly break out of.
The KWC 3 Flyweight Tournament Champion tried punching his way out and even kneed his opponent, but he was finally able to wiggle and pull his arm free. Though Liu marched forward more aggressively in the last thirty seconds, it did not matter, as Bunsrun did enough to secure the nod.
“In the third round, I was in a lot of danger. It felt like my arm was going to break,” Bunsrun explains. “But I just reminded myself that I need to bring the ONE Championship medal back home for my country. My arm is hurting right now. It is nearly broken.”
Liu felt the effects of the fight too, as he was seen backstage with a bag of ice over his left hand.
“I stubbed my finger during the fight and may have sprained my knuckle,” said Liu (4-2). “I am not really good on the ground and do not have a lot of experience with jiujitsu. It is not my comfort zone.” If he had held on to his opponent’s arm for a few more seconds, the result might have been different.
With the victory, Bunsrun improves his record to an even 3-3, and extends his now three-fight win streak.