Angela Lee did it again. The 20-year-old Lee, who has quickly risen to be one of the faces of ONE Championship, defended her atomweight title with a stellar performance over previously unbeaten challenger Istela Nunes, tapping out the Brazilian with a second-round anaconda choke in the main event of ONE Championship: Dynasty of Heroes on Friday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore.
Lee (8-0) stuck to her strengths in this one, throwing Nunes (6-1) to the mat early in the opening stanza then lunging onto her back in a scramble. With 90 seconds left in the round, Lee began working towards a rarely-seen twister finish, which would have been the second of her young career. Nunes defended valiantly and survived to the horn, but Lee nonetheless took full advantage of the position, unloading a barrage of unanswered punches to the head of Nunes.
Lee maintained her pressure in the second round, catching an early kick from Nunes to create a scramble with the Muay Thai specialist, which led to Lee catching Nunes in a standing D’arce choke. Lee then snapped Nunes down to the floor and locked in a slick anaconda choke, prompting a quick tapout from Nunes at 2:18 of the second frame. The win marked Lee’s second successful defense of her strawweight title reign.
“The anaconda is one of my favorite moves,” an overjoyed Lee said afterward. “My brother, Christian, finished with it in one of his fights and it’s one of our favorites, so I was really, really happy to finish with that submission tonight.”
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In the night’s co-main event, former Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren (16-0) made sure his long-awaited return was a brief one, blowing the doors off previously unbeaten prospect Agilan Thani (6-1) with a first-round submission to complete the first official defense of the ONE title he won all the way back in 2014.
Askren, who hadn’t fought since Aug. 2016 due to a variety of reasons, immediately closed the distance on his young opponent and secured a quick takedown into side control. Once on the ground, Askren effortlessly floated between positions, trapping the 21-year-old Thani in a crucifix and unloading a flurry of unanswered punches. Thani eventually escaped to his feet, only to be immediately taken back down and drowned under a tight arm-triangle from Askren, which coaxed a tapout at 2:20 of the opening round.
Following the masterful performance, Askren called out ONE middlweight champion Vitaly Bigdash, who previously accepted — then rejected — a superfight between the two ONE Championship titleholders.
“We got this guy Vitaly Bigdash, he agreed to fight me, then he decided ‘well that’s going to be a bad idea’ and he decided he didn’t want to do that anymore,” Askren said. “Now, Agilan saw an opportunity, he took his opportunity. Bigdash, he ran around like a chicken. Bawk, bawk, bawk, bawk, bawk. So here’s the deal: Bigdash, I need a dance partner on August 18, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I hope you’re going to come out and see me. And Bigdash, if you decide you’re busy and want to cluck around like a chicken some more, then I’ll take the Swedish man.”
That Swedish man in question was Zebaztian Kadestam (9-3), a ONE Championship debutant who announced himself as an immediate welterweight contender with a harrowing comeback victory over one-time title challenger Luis Santos (63-10-1) via third-round knockout — in part, thanks to the Pride-style open ruleset of ONE Championship.
After being dominated with takedowns and ground-and-pound throughout the fight, Kadestam sprawled to defend a telegraphed third-round single leg attempt from Santos, then whirled around and unloaded huge salvo of grounded knees to the head of the Brazilian that forced referee Yuji Shimada to call a stop to the contest at 2:18 of the final frame. The thrilling performance in his debut immediately cemented Kadestam as a name to watch in the ONE Championship welterweight division.
Elsewhere, in a deviation from the norm, Friday’s event also featured a mid-card grappling match between jiu-jitsu star Garry Tonon and former ONE lightweight champion Shinya Aoki. Tonon won the back-and-forth contest via heel hook at 7:47 of the 15-minute period, after which he spoke about his upcoming transition to mixed martial arts.
“That’s definitely where this train is headed next, absolutely,” Tonon said. “Guys, I will tell you though, heading into mixed martial arts, we did a bunch of cage work, we did a bunch of wall wrestling. We were prepared. But at the same time, man, his MMA experience showed through and his ability to control me and push me against the fence, definitely something I wasn’t 100 percent ready for, so it just goes to show you how much more work I have to do to get into this mixed martial arts game.”
In early action at ONE Championship: Dynasty of Heroes, former ONE men’s strawweight champion Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke (7-2) crushed Adrian Matheis (2-3) with a first-round knockout, Filipino flyweight Geje Eustaquio (9-5) captured a narrow split decision over Anatpong Bunrad (5-3), and lightweight prospect Amir Khan (7-2) blew through Rajinder Singh Meena (8-6) with a first-round submission due to strikes to extend his winning streak to four straight.
For complete ONE Championship: Dynasty of Heroes results, check here.
Source:: mma fighting