Martin Nguyen is the new ONE Championship featherweight champion after knocking out Marat Gafurov in Kuala Lumpur on Friday. The Australian avenged his 2015 loss with a vicious second-round finish.
The smart money was on Gafurov to win by rear naked choke, as that’s been the outcome of his six previous ONE Championship fights. But Nguyen upset the odds with an overhand right which knocked the Russian out cold.
He had to survive a rear naked choke attempt in the opening round but Nguyen finished the fight with one swing of his right hand, capitalizing on a lazy low kick attempt by the champion.
“I just want to dedicate this fight, not only to Malaysia for being so welcoming and having such a beautiful country,” Nguyen said after the fight. “This is for my dad. He was my inspiration for the whole camp when I mentally broke. (He and) the boys kept me together. I’ve got a deadly overhand right, but it’s not my only weapon. Thank you to Marat [Gafurov] for giving me the opportunity.”
It was a good night for Malayasians Ev Ting and Agilan Thani. The former scored a stoppage win over one time welterweight champion Nobutatsu Suzuki while the latter outwrestled Sherif Mohamed and claimed a decision.
One of the most dramatic moments of the evening was provided by Kevin Belingon. He dropped top Australian contender Reece McLaren with a right hook and then finished him with a barrage of ground and pound.
Official results for ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS
- ONE Featherweight World Championship bout: Martin Nguyen defeats Marat Gafurov by Knockout at 1:27 minutes of round 2
- Lightweight bout: Ev Ting defeats Nobutatsu Suzuki by TKO (Strikes) at 3:29 minutes of round 1
- Welterweight bout: Agilan Thani defeats Sherif Mohamed by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
- Bantamweight bout: Kevin Belingon defeats Reece McLaren by Knockout at 1:02 minutes of round 1
- Flyweight bout: Gianni Subba defeats Riku Shibuya by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
- Women’s strawweight bout: May Ooi defeats Ann Osman by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:27minutes of round 1
- Strawweight bout: Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke defeats Robin Catalan by TKO (Strikes) at 0:46minutes of round 2
- Featherweight bout: Christian Lee defeats Keanu Subba by Submission (Armbar) at 1:11 minutes of round 3
- Featherweight bout: Emilio Urrutia defeats Edward Kelly by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds
- Strawweight bout: Rene Catalan defeats Bu Huo You Ga by Unanimous Decision (UD) after 3 rounds