ONE returned today with ONE: Full Circle, back with a full 12 bout card, 2 title fights and a ridiculous amount of crowd pleasing action. I’ll be running through the action and giving my 5 main takeaways from todays event.
Inocente is still as exciting and deadly as ever
Kickboxing and MMA veteran Guto Inocente prevails in his long awaited ONE super series debut. The Brazilian takes out a game Bruno Susano in round 2 with a selection of venomous shots. He drilled at the body, chipped away at the head and even forced a pause in the action with a lovely wheel kick, an Inocente staple. His kickboxing expertise shone through and as always, he delivered an exciting and deadly display, always enjoyable for us fans. He certainly has the pedigree to go very far very quick in a kickboxing heavyweight division that is still very much a work in progress. Could a blockbuster contest with Rade Opacic be next for a vacant title or will Guto try his hand in MMA or Muay Thai on his quest to be a 3 sport champion? Either way, he’s must watch TV and his journey in ONE is going to be a fun one.
Ozcans versitility will take him to the top
First of all, what a fight, It lived up to all my expectations. Kehl was as game as ever, he didn’t stop fighting until the final bell as we’ve come to expect from him, you can never count this man out and he’s a credit to kickboxing. Never in a boring fight. Tayfun embraced the war, remained patient and calculated and when he picked his moments he struck first and struck hard. Although Kehl was more active, Tayfun was more effective and really showcased his composure, boxing ability and shot selection. His combination work is beautiful, especially with that lead hand and he’s already proven he can adapt to different top tier opponents. A close outing against Sitthichai and now a victory against a very different competitor in Kehl, if Tayfun continues to fine tune his game he has real championship potential.
Bigdash is next in line
Statement made! Vitaly Bigdash puts the Aung La trilogy to bed. The two former champions go to war for three rounds with Aung La yet again struggling with the grappling exchanges and ultimately losing the fight because of it. Vitaly, as expected, utilised his grappling advantage, maintained any dominant positions he found himself in and ultimately nullified any offensive advancements from Aung La. Granted of course he ate some heavy shots, that much is hard to avoid when fighting a guy as tough and gritty as Aung La but nevertheless, a superb performance from Vitaly and one would only assume a title shot must be next. 2-0 since his return, both fairly dominant victories and he continues to showcase his well rounded skill set, the only way is up for the Russian.
Kryklia is too good
It doesn’t matter whether he fights on the back foot using his range or whether he engages in close quarters combat, Kryklia is yet to be truly challenged at light heavyweight. On paper, Murat Aygun looked to be a guy who would take Kryklia into deep waters, give him a 5 round fight and keep marching forward but no, Kryklia is a virtuoso and yet agan, he finds a way. The first time Aygun has been stopped and stopped he was, a beautiful right hand counter puts him down before the subsequent barrage ends the night for the Turk. Although Kryklia put himself in harms way and made a point to be more aggressive, I don’t think he needed, to but it worked nevertheless, it speaks to his versatility as a kickboxer. He looks untouchable right now and I think with a lack of opponents at light heavyweight, maybe a title clash between Opacic or Inocente is the way to go. Either way don’t miss it, that’s now two title defences for the Ukrainian with the win at Full Circle, Kryklia is guaranteed fireworks.
De Ridder is a legitimate pound for pound MMA talent
15-0 in MMA, two ONE world titles and nothing but dominant performances. Its hard to deny that Reinier De Ridder is one of the best fighters in MMA right now. De Ridder makes the first defence of his middleweight title with an absolute beat down of ONE welterweight champ Kiamran Abbasov. Takedowns secured at will, top position maintained for however long he wanted and transitions appearing seamless, De Ridder puts on one of the most dominant performances in recent memory, finishing Abbasov via arm triangle in round 3. What a performance, there is nothing more to say, Abbasov was out matched and manhandled for all but 3 rounds, the BJJ ability of De Ridder looking unstoppable. Still undefeated, looking absolutely unstoppable, what’s next for De Ridder, can anyone stop this man? One would imagine a title defence against Bigdash is next but who knows. He even mentioned a move to heavyweight for a third world title, what a spectacle that would be and for this man, its certainly not a tall order. The sky is the limit for this man.
The best of the rest
Drex Zamboanga vs Rahul Raju
Despite a huge jump in weight, Drex Zamboangas jump from flyweight to lightweight couldn’t have gone any better. The healthier option proving to be the much better one here, as Drex puts Rahul Raju down with essentially the first exchange of the fight. A lovely barrage of punches against the cage gets it done, the lightweight power evident, the talent remaining, a positive change at just 28 years old putting Drex in good stead for lightweight success.
Smilla Sundell vs Diandra Martin
Smilla Sundell makes good on her ONE debut with a 3rd round stoppage over Diandra Martin. The swede set an impressive pace, walking her opponent down while chipping away at the body all to open up those all important headshots. The opportunity arose and a clubbing left hand renders Martin unable to continue, culminating in a priceless first round debut finish for Smilla.
Vladimir Kuzmin vs Chris Shaw
Vladimir Kuzmin makes his mark on ONE’s bantamweight Muay Thai division with a clinical performance, dismantling Chris Shaw over 3 rounds, putting together some vicious combinations at an electric pace to secure a dominant decision win. Shaw was left with a face resembling something out of a horror movie, but his heart was undeniable. Kuzmin is ridiculously talented and undoubtably one to watch at bantamweight.
Zebaztian Kadestam vs Valmir Da Silva
In a must win MMA affair, former ONE welterweight King Zebaztian Kadestam gets back to winning ways with a beautiful first round finish over the debuting Valmir Da Silva. The Bandit was riding a 3 fight skid which he now leaves in the past, with his grappling struggles not even coming in to play here, instead his Muay Thai base doing all the talking. A lovely 4 punch combo puts a stamp on the contest to give the former champ some momentum to build on in his ascension back to the divisions summit.
Fabricio Andrade vs Jeremy Pacatiw
Fabricio Andrade, what a fighter. The Brazilian shoots to 4-0 with his win at ONE: Full Circle, breezing past Team Lakays Jeremy Pacatiw, who many thought would be one of his toughest tests yet. His Muay Thai prowess leads him to victory once again, timing a beautiful knee to an oncoming Pacatiw’s liver to shut the Philipino down. 4-0 in ONE, 3 finishes and a whole lot of confidence. A crack at the belt may be arriving sooner rather than later for this talented bantamweight.
Another great night of ONE action and a lot more to come, what a run of events we have to look forward to, ONE: Lights out up next with 3 title fights and then of course the highly anticipated ONE: X. What a time to be a combat sports fan.
Find the full ONE: Full Circle results below:
Reinier De Ridder def Kiamran Abbasov via round 3 arm triangle choke
Roman Kryklia def Murat Aygun via round 1 TKO
Vitaly Bigdash def Aung La N Sang via unanimous decision
Tayfun Ozcan def Enriko Kehl via unanimous decision
Guto Inocente def Bruno Susano via round 2 TKO
Fabricio Andrade def Jeremy Pacatiw via round 1 TKO
Zebaztian Kadestam def Valmir Da Silva via round 1 KO
Vladimir Kuzmin def Chris Shaw via unanimous decision
Smilla Sundell def Diandra Martin via round 3 TKO
Daniyal Zainalov def Yuri Simoes via split decision
Daniel Puertas def Jiduo Yibu via split decision
Drex Zamboanga def Rahul Raju via round 1 KO
Fight To Watch | Muhammad Mokaev vs Charles Johnson
Fights are being booked fast and furiously for July 23rd as the UFC’s anticipated return to London approaches. With fireworks expected throughout the whole event, MMAPlay365 and VMTV have scoured through the card and selected Muhammad Mokaev vs Charles Johnson as our ‘Fight To Watch’ on the night.
Muhammad Mokaev returns to the octagon following a successful debut back at UFC London in March against Cody Durden. ‘The Punisher’ made light work of his American counter-part, submitting him in the first round via guillotine choke with very little problems. His upcoming opponent, Charles Johnson, signs with the UFC after an impressive four-fight winning streak on LFA, which saw him capture and defend flyweight gold.
His ability to mix it up on the feet and in grappling scenarios make this a much more dangerous bout for Mokaev stylistically, but it’s still nothing the 21 year old won’t be able to handle in the eyes of MMAPlay365 Founder, Adam Newsome:
“At this stage of Muhammad Mokaev’s UFC career every fight is going to be a test. And just because you haven’t heard of Charles Johnson doesn’t mean he isn’t a good fighter. Johnson was the Flyweight Champion in LFA. If you aren’t familiar with LFA it’s basically the American equivalent of Cage Warriors. You are battle tested in LFA and if you become a Champion the chances are the UFC are going to sign you.
So this is a very interesting match-up but still right now I don’t think that Mokaev gets tested enough to the point he loses. This is going to be another fight I see him doing extremely well in and I don’t see Mokaev losing a fight until he hits the top 20 of the division. But even when that time comes, he is going to have improved and developed so much that he could run through that pool of fighters at that time. If a fighter is going to beat Mokaev outside the best fighters in the division then now is the time to do it whilst he’s still developing. But even though he’s still developing he’s still a problem. I’m not sure Mokaev finds another finish here so I am predicting a dominant three round decision victory for Muhammad Mokaev.”
Cauley Quilty, Editor for VMTV, had this to say on the fight: “Muhammad Mokaev is always a treat to watch in action and his UFC debut back in March was nothing short of spectacular! He came to fight and did exactly that getting the first round finish and I see him doing the same thing when he steps back out there against Charles Johnson. His extensive amateur career and impressive run of professional performances make it almost impossible to not side with Mokaev in this bout, especially with the way he defeated Durden on his debut.
However, Charles Johnson isn’t an opponent anyone should underestimate as his resume and recent performances speak for themselves! His fight vs Carlos ‘Mota’ Tizil was a barnburner and with 8 of his 11 wins coming by way of finish you know he can get the job done when needed. Both fighters are highly touted and respected so expect the winner of this to receive a bump up in competition on their next outing.”
Who do you think leaves the ‘Fight To Watch’ with their hand raised? Be sure to let us know your predictions below!
Sumo | Summer Tournament wide open after 10 days
The Sumo Summer Tournament has a surprise joint-leader after 10 days, but many Rikishi are in with a shout of glory with only 5 days to go.
So far, only two have managed to achieve a guaranteed winning record, with M15 ranked Ichiyamamoto and M4 Takanosho posting 8-2 records 10 days in to the basho. It remains to be seen if he can keep up his championship challenge, but Ichiyamamoto is bringing back memories of the January 2020 basho when the M17 ranked Tokushoryu took home the title in a huge surprise. Whatever happens, Ichiyamamoto should see himself catapulted up the rankings for the next tournament if he can keep up this form. It is a welcome return to form for Takanosho who has previously been a Sekiwake.
Despite his patchy form, Terunofuji has scrapped himself to a 7-3 record, which puts him 1 behind the leaders in a large chasing pack. On day 10 he managed to get by a spirited Hoshoryu who is improving all the time. The Mongolian giant will be hopeful of taking home his first championship of the year. Others in the pack on 7-3 are Kiribayama, Ura, Sadanoumi and Aoiyama. With NINE more wrestlers on 6-4, only two behind the leaders and with an outside shot, there will be an amazing 16 Rikishi who may be dreaming of lifting the Emperor’s Cup come Sunday 22nd May. The chances of there being a playoff for the win for the second tournament running are looking pretty high.
Down at the other end of the table, it has been another tournament to forget for March’s playoff runner-up, Takayasu, who has posted a losing record of 2-8 so far. After doing so well to get himself back to M1 rank, he will find himself going down the rankings ahead of the July tournament. Ozeki Shodai has continued his poor form and one more defeat will once again see him staring down the possibility of losing his rank come July. March winner Wakatakakage, alongside fellow Sanyaku ranked competitors Abi, Takakeisho and Mitakeumi, are all fighting for winning records having gone 5-5 so far.
Keep an eye out for the next update after Saturday’s day 14 when I will be recapping the standings and looking ahead to what promises to be a very exciting final-day’s action.
Remember to check out the VMTV Sumo introduction and guide here if you need a refresher of the rules and some of the words used in these articles.
You can find the full rankings and results of the tournament so far at the Japan Sumo Association’s page here.
UFC London | Aspinall vs Blaydes Staff Predictions
The UFC will take centre stage once again in London as they return to UK shores for a second time this year on July 23rd. Following the immense success of the previous show in March, the O2 Arena will again play host to another stacked night of fights.
Headlining the card is surging heavyweight contender Tom Aspinall who will be looking to cement his name amongst the top ranked in the division with a win over #4 ranked Curtis Blaydes. It’s do or die for Darren Till when he faces Jack Hermansson in the co-main event as he aims to get his first win since 2019.
Leading up to the event, VMTV have teamed up with MMAPlay365 and our writing staff will be giving their predictions for each fight on the card as there announced. You can view details on the partnership between VMTV and MMAPlay365 here.
Tom Aspinall vs Curtis Blaydes
- Cauley – Curtis Blaydes via KO/TKO, R4
- Matt – Tom Aspinall via decision
- Jamie -Tom Aspinall via KO/TKO, R3
- Jake – Tom Aspinall via KO/TKO, R3
- Darragh – Curtis Blaydes via KO/TKO, R3
- Harry – Tom Aspinall via KO/TKO, R3
- Colin – Tom Aspinall via KO/TKO, R2
Darren Till vs Jack Hermansson
- Cauley – Jack Hermansson via decision
- Matt – Darren Till via KO/TKO, R2
- Jamie – Darren Till via decision
- Jake – Darren Till via decision
- Darragh – Jack Hermansson via submission, R3
- Harry – Jack Hermansson via decision
- Colin – Darren Till via decision
Nikita Krylov vs Alexander Gustafsson
- Cauley – Nikita Krylov via decision
- Matt – Nikita Krylov via KO/TKO, R1
- Jamie – Alexander Gustafsson via decision
- Jake – Nikita Krylov via submission, R1
- Darragh – Nikita Krylov via decision
- Harry – Alexander Gustafsson via decision
- Colin – Nikita Krylov via decision
Paul Craig vs Volkan Oezdemir
- Cauley – Paul Craig via submission, R1
- Matt – Paul Craig via submission, R2
- Jamie – Paul Craig via submission, R2
- Jake – Paul Craig via submission, R2
- Darragh – Paul Craig via submission, R1
- Harry – Paul Craig via submission, R2
- Colin – Paul Craig via submission, R2
Muhammed Mokaev vs Charles Johnson
- Cauley – Muhammed Mokaev via KO/TKO, R2
- Matt – Muhammed Mokaev via submission, R1
- Jamie – Muhammed Mokaev via submission, R2
- Jake – Muhammed Mokaev via decision
- Darragh – Muhammed Mokaev via KO/TKO, R1
- Harry – Muhammed Mokaev via decision
- Colin – Muhammed Mokaev via submission, R1
Molly McCann vs Hannah Goldy
- Cauley – Molly McCann via KO/TKO, R3
- Matt – Molly McCann via decision
- Jamie – Molly McCann via KO/TKO, R2
- Jake – Molly McCann via decision
- Darragh – Molly McCann via decision
- Harry – Molly McCann via decision
- Colin – Molly McCann via decision
Mandy Bohm vs Victoria Leonardo
- Cauley – Victoria Leonardo via KO/TKO, R2
- Matt – Mandy Bohm via decision
- Jamie – Mandy Bohm via decision
- Jake – Mandy Bohm via decision
- Darragh – Mandy Bohm via decision
- Harry – Mandy Bohm via decision
- Colin – Mandy Bohm via decision
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