ONE Fight Night 22: Sundell Scores Decisive Win in Bittersweet Main Event

May 5, 2024
3 weeks

Smilla Sundell is young. The 19-year-old Swedish fighter learned a key lesson in combat sports Friday at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium. If you want to keep building on your legacy with title defenses, you need to stay disciplined enough to make weight.

Sundell came in above the strawweight limit before her fight with Natalia Diachkova. When the fight started, Sundell didn’t appear to be her usual self. Online boxing news shows that Diachkova utilized her jab to sting Sundell and slow her movement.

But the second round shows why Sundell won the organization’s inaugural title. Online boxing news shows that Sundell pinned Diachokova against the ropes and hit her with a vicious body shot. The body shot allowed Sundell to get in close and let go of several hard hooks.

When Diachkova went to cover up, Sundell unleashed several hard knees to the head, forcing the referee to stop the fight. For Sundell, she learned her lesson about weight management. Now, Sundell, who is 5-0 in ONE Championship and 36-5 overall, will have to earn another opportunity to win her belt back.

Sundell has shown she has the talent to take on top contenders. Now, Sundell must figure out how to hit the division’s weight limits to ensure she can win fights.

Abdullaev Protects His Zero

Akbar Abdullaev would prefer to stand up and strike. But he showed that he is comfortable wherever his opponent wants to take the fight. During a featherweight MMA showdown with Halil Amir, Abdullaev spent a lot of the first round wrestling or clinching.

Neither man was able to throw the powerful strikes they are known for. When things opened up in the second round, Abdullaev found a window to employ his most dangerous weapon. Abdullaev picked up his third consecutive knockout in ONE by landing a stiff left hook off a break in the clinch.

Abdullaev has now won three straight fights by knockout. He picked up a $50,000 performance of the night bonus for his performance. MMAfight latest news shows that Abdullaev has established himself as a dangerous contender in the featherweight division.

Menshikov Rallies to Pick up KO Victory

Being behind on the scorecards didn’t rattle Dmitry Menshikov. Menshikov believes he carries enough power in his hands to ensure that he can be competitive at any point in a Muay Thai fight. Going into the third round, the consensus was that Sinsamut Klinmee had a healthy lead on Menshikov on the scorecards.

But halfway through the third round, Menshikov changed the whole fight with several body shots along the ropes. Sinsamut, who had become wilder in the third round, showed the damage from the strikes immediately. Menshikov followed up with heavy elbows and knees, eventually sending Sinsamut to the canvas along the ring’s corner.

While the referee stepped in to issue the count, he quickly stopped the fight. Menshikov has now won three consecutive fights in ONE Championship. When he debuted in the organization, Menshikov lost in 46 seconds to Regian Eersel in a bout for the ONE Lightweight Muay Thai Championship.

With a few more fights under his belt, Menshikov may get another chance at a title sooner rather than later.

Abevi Claims Decision Victory

Maurice Abevi wants to impress in the lightweight division of MMA. But Abevi showed he is willing to take on whatever challenge ONE Championship has for him. During a 174-pound catchweight fight, Abevi did whatever he needed to do to pick up a win over Zhang Lipeng.

What Abevi had to do to win was lean on his superior grappling. During the first round, Abevi dragged Lipeng to the ground several times. But Abevi wasn’t content just lying on top of Abevi and hanging out. He was constantly looking for submissions. The threat of submission made it hard for Zhang to work back to his feet.

Ready for His Close-Up

Wei Rui knew that coming into his fight Friday night, he had a reputation to protect. Joining a new promotion always requires fighters to justify the respect they have learned at the regional level or in other professional organizations. Fighting against a former champion, Hiroki Akimoto, Wei decided to push the pace against his older opponent.

Akimoto didn’t bend to his opponent either. Akimoto pushed the pace by hammering kicks to the body and throwing extended combinations. The latest online boxing news showed that Wei was intense with his counter shots. Wei threw a number of boxy kicks and was able to impress the judges enough to earn a unanimous decision.

Wei is now 70-3 in his career and has won 21 consecutive fights. He has positioned himself as a possible bantamweight kickboxing world title challenger.

A Win’s a Win

Reese McLaren didn’t get the dominant performance he was hoping for. But McLaren’s MMA fight wasn’t a total loss. He did just enough to pick up a split-decision victory over Hu Young.

Hu overwhelmed McLaren with his aggression in the first round. Several heavy left hooks put McLaren on the backfoot. However, throughout the fight, McLaren was able to pull away, thanks to his all-around game.

In addition to landing a consistent, stinging jab, McLaren was able to force Hu to the mat and threaten submission. McLaren also reigned down hammer fists from the top position, which did the damage.

There was plenty of action on the card. Here are some results from the rest of the fights that weren’t mentioned above:

  • Lightweight kickboxing, Rungrawee Sitsongpeenong win by split decision over Bogdan Shumarov
  • Atomweight MMA, Chihiro Sawada win by decision over Noelle Grandjean
  • Strawweight Muay Thai, Zakaria El Jamari win by decision over Thongpoon PK Saenchai
  • Catchweight submission grappling, Bianco Basilio win by submission (rear-naked choke) Nanami Ichikawa, Round 1 :35
  • Flyweight Muay Thai, Sean Climaco win by knockout over Josue Cruz, Round 1 2:06

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By Dean McHugh.