ONE Championship 59 results: Martin Nguyen stuns Marat Gafurov to earn 145-pound title

Thanks to a perfect counter by Martin Nguyen, Marat Gafurov no longer is undefeated, and ONE Championship got a new featherweight champion in the process.

Nguyen (9-1) saw himself in a rough spot early in today’s “ONE Championship 59: Quest for Greatness” headliner. But a low kick by Gafurov (15-1) paved the way for a massive overhand that had the now-ex-champ landing face down on the mat at the 1:27 mark of Round 2.

Seemingly awakened by follow-up shots, though, Gafurov was quick to get up and express his dismay with the stoppage. In fact, he wasn’t even in the cage to hear the announcement of Nguyen’s win at Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The title win also meant revenge for the 28-year-old Nguyen, whose sole career loss had come exactly by the hands of choke expert Gafurov at ONE Championship 31 in 2015. The new champ now is on a five-fight winning streak – all finishes. (via Twitter)

It seemed like we could be off to a short fight when Gafurov cracked Nguyen with a right hand and immediately went for the takedown. Nguyen tried to resist, but soon saw himself exactly where he didn’t want to be against Gafurov: with his back dominated. The challenger managed to escape the early scare, though, switching positions against the cage before even briefly getting Gafurov to the ground.

Gafurov, however, was quick to prop himself back up, and the two went back to the center of the cage. After some overall balanced exchanges, Nguyen was once more taken down by Gafurov. This time, however, he managed to keep Gafurov from getting to his back, and briefly got up before being once more taken down before the end of the round.

The tides turned in the second round, after Nguyen managed to get back up from yet another takedown. Approximately one minute in, Gafurov went for a low kick and saw himself hit flush in the face with an overhand right. Nguyen made sure to follow it up with punches, prompting the referee to step in.

The setback was the first of Gafurov’s stellar record – which most recently included six consecutive rear-naked-choke finishes.

Long layoff shows, and Suzuki is no match for a fresh Ev Ting

Nobutatsu Suzuki (11-3-2) hadn’t fought in three years when he met a fighter more than a decade his junior in Ev Ting (14-4). The disparity became apparent when a much faster and fresher Ting needed less than a round to end things in pretty assertive fashion.

While Suzuki showed early aggression with low kicks – and stuffed a takedown attempt by Ting, it didn’t take too long for the tides to turn. After drawing first blood, hurting Suzuki above the left eye, Ting started taking more definitive control of the exchanges halfway through the round. Soon, a failed low kick by Suzuki led to a beautiful takedown by Ting.

At that point, it was clear Suzuki didn’t have much left to give. Ting capped off the display with some violent ground-and-pound. The stoppage marked Ting’s return to the winning column after a title loss to champ Eduard Folayang. Suzuki, in turn, is now on a two-fight skid after a TKO loss to champ Ben Askren in 2014.

Thani cruises, Belingon and May score solid finishes

Malaysia’s own Agilan Thani (8-1) had an easy time bouncing back from his first career loss, cruising his way to an unanimous decision over fellow middleweight Sherif Mohamed (8-4). It was Thani’s first time heading into the judges’ scorecards in his entire pro career. The result follows a first-round submission by Askren in a title affair back in May. Mohamed is now on a two-fight skid.

Reece McLaren (9-5) gave champ Bibiano Fernandes one of his toughest challenges to date when they met back in December. But Kevin Belingon (16-5), himself a former challenger to Fernandes throne, took no notice of that, needing only a minute to land the right hand that spelled the beginning of the end of the bantamweight scrap. (via Twitter)

May Ooi (3-2) was rocked by Ann Osman (5-4), but managed to bounce back big by locking in a finish of her own. The upset win put the 41-year-old former Olympic swimmer back on the winning column after a two-fight skid. It also meant she gets to keep her 100 percent finish percentile in pro wins.

ONE Championship 59 results:

For more on ONE Championship 59, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie

ONE Championship's Michael Schiavello says Friday's main event features move 'more epic than the Ronda Rousey armbar'

Michael Schiavello may have upped sticks and left Las Vegas for Melbourne, but that doesn’t mean we’ve heard the last of the exuberant Aussie commentator at MMA events. Far from it, in fact.

Schiavello recently inked a long-term deal with Singapore-based ONE Championship to be the promotion’s main play-by-play man, and after making his promotional debut at the company’s last event, “ONE: Kings and Conquerors,” the man known as “The Voice” is set to work again on Friday when he calls the action at “ONE: Quest for Greatness” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Chatting to MMAjunkie ahead of the event, Schiavello was typically pumped ahead of what looks set to be another exciting night of fights at Stadium Negara, as featherweight champion Marat Gafurov (15-0) looks to extend his perfect record when he puts his title on the line against Martin Nguyen (8-1).

“We’ve got two Aussies on the card, so I’m thrilled about that,” Schiavello enthused. “We’ve got Reece McLaren, who almost beat (current ONE bantamweight champion) Bibiano Fernandes when they fought. He broke Bibiano’s nose. He lost by decision, but he’s only 25 years old, and he’s an absolute gun. He could be the future bantamweight champion, but he needs a big win here in Kuala Lumpur to get himself back onto that quest for another title shot.

“And we’ve also got Martin Nguyen. He’s from Sydney and they call him ‘The SituAsian’, which I think is one of the best nicknames in MMA. He fought (current ONE featherweight champion) Gafurov last time for the title, but he only did so on very short notice and he got beaten in 41 seconds. Now he’s had a full camp to prepare. You know he’s going to be a completely different martial artist to what we saw last time against Gafurov. The Aussie could pull off what would be an upset here.”

But in order to score that marquee win, Nguyen will have to unseat current champ Gafurov, whose remarkable run of identical finishes has captured the imagination of ONE Championship fans ahead of the clash. It’s a prospect that has Schiavello fascinated ahead of Friday night’s main event.

“Can Gafurov continue this crazy run of his where he just slaps on a rear-naked choke on everybody he meets and just taps them out?” Schiavello asked. “The last six wins in a row for Gafurov have all been via rear-naked choke. I don’t think that’s ever happened in the history of martial arts. So he’s going for seven rear-naked chokes in a row, which is unbelievable. That’s more epic than the Ronda Rousey armbar. That’s crazy!

Ev Ting is also on that card from New Zealand. I’m looking forward to seeing him. Agilan Thani’s back in action – he lost to Ben Askren last time out, so he’s in pursuit of another shot at the championship. So for this show, ‘Quest for Greatness’ is a very apt name, because you’ve got a lot of guys who are on that title radar and that’s their quest, that’s the path they’re on. They’re looking for gold at the end of the tunnel, that’s what they’re aspiring towards. But they’ve got to get past Kuala Lumpur first, then that title contention is going to get really serious.

“Stadium Negara is an arena I’ve always wanted to commentate in. There’s been so many big acts that have performed there and so many fights that have taken place there – the World Tae kwon do Championships, and the likes of Kylie Minogue, Bon Jovi and Kanye West – and to be sitting in that arena calling ‘Quest for Greatness’ is going to be something surreal.”

“ONE: Quest for Greatness” streams live on Friday via online pay-per-view.

For more on ONE Championship 59, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Simon Head is a freelance sports writer and MMA reporter. You can also find his work at mma365.com.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Champ Marat Gafurov vs. Martin Nguyen headlines ONE Championship 59 on Aug. 18

The featherweight title will be on the line next month at ONE Championship 59.

Officials today announced the event’s headliner features featherweight champion Marat Gafurov (15-0) vs. challenger Martin Nguyen (8-1) in a rematch of their 2015 fight.

“ONE Championship 59: Quest for Greatness” takes place Aug. 18 at Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and it streams as an online pay-per-view in North America.

Undefeated Gafurov, a 32-year-old Russian fighter, claimed the ONE Championship title in 2015 with a submission victory over Narantungalag Jadambaa. Since then, the seven-year pro has tapped out Kazunori Yokota and Jadambaa to lengthen his title reign. He has 11 submissions in 15 career wins.

He takes on Nguyen, a 28-year-old Australian fighter who looks for his fifth straight victory. His only career loss came in 2015 at ONE Championship 31, where Gafurov tapped him out via 41-second rear-naked choke in a short-notice bout. Nguyen has posted four straight first-round stoppage victories since then.

In the co-headliner, Ev Ting (13-4), who was on a 4-0 run before a recent decision loss to lightweight champ Eduard Folayang, meets former champ Nobutatsu Suzuki (11-2-2), who came up short in a 2014 welterweight title with Ben Askren. It remains Suzuki’s most recent fight, and he now returns as a 155-pounder.

The latest ONE Championship 59 card includes:

For more on ONE Championship 59, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie