After the return of ONE to Singapore, we look at the most important insights from the Reign of Dynasties series.
ONE Break Out Of Thailand
These marked the first ONE cards outside of Thailand since the COVID-19 lockdown and the slow return to the Asian (or world) wide MMA events we’ve missed for so long. With a recent announcement of a potential European event and Chatri’s recent post regarding many more Singaporian events, it was good to see this as a success. This is also the first international production of any kind in the Lion City, which I expect will give the organization some serious bragging rights.
Evolve MMA Pack Out The Cards
Being in Singapore, home of Evolve MMA (one of the most well-known gyms in the world), it’s not surprising that the gym played a significant role in the event. What did surprise me was the fact that almost every fight on the Reign of Dynasties’ cards had an Evolve fighter. That put the organization at 6-2 this time around, a more than respectable performance and missing only two fights. Evolve has some very well-known ties to ONE, and clearly, that relationship isn’t going anywhere fast.
China Showing Increased Presence
The second Reign of Dynasties card had every single fight with a Chinese fighter. Han Zi Hao looked dominant in the opening Muay Thai bout, Sawada was all over his opponent in the first MMA, and Wong’s timing was beautiful. Recent discussions have been around the increased presence of the Chinese in MMA, but until lately there haven’t been so many to see. Now, with a Chinese UFC champion, packing out cards on ONE, I’m fascinated to see the new talent coming out of the country.
One Of The Most Unique Submissions I’ve Ever Seen
In Reign of Dynasties I, Eko Saputra gave us one of the most inventive submissions I’ve seen in a while. If you’re a fan of grappling, you have to give this a watch. Side control, to a modified crucifix, and an Americana using his legs, I’ve never even considered this. The commentators didn’t even know what to call it. And that’s not even to talk about the striking performance that led up to it.
Calf Kicks Yet To Cross Over To ONE
Anyone who follows the UFC and other high-level promotions would have noticed the prominence of the calf kick in the past year or two. Oddly, this doesn’t appear to have crossed over to ONE to nearly the same degree. It was interesting then to see Reece McLaren landing them against ‘The Giant’ Aleski Toivonen. McLaren trains at Evolve, one of the most prominent gyms in the world, and it could be interesting if this marks the widespread uptake of this ever more popular technique. He handed Aleski his first professional loss and performed fantastically on the night.
MMA Standard Steps Up
Recent events have had a clear focus on Muay Thai. Being based in Thailand, this is no surprise. However, the introduction of more MMA bouts was a welcome change of pace. I was also impressed with the quality of the fights. The first card involved Roshan Mainam putting on a dominant wrestling performance, Amir Khan with a well-rounded skill set, and Reece McLaren gave us some excellent striking. In the second event, Sawada was all over Miao with excellent wrestling skills and submission attempts, Tang kept up a great pace (a great call for one of the most exciting bouts in Jude’s preview) and I’m keen to see more of what ONE has to offer in the MMA department.
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