ONE Championship returned last Saturday with a fight card of four MMA bouts and one Muay Thai bout. ONE Championship Dangal featured the debut of a Muay Thai superstar, a new heavyweight champion, a gnarly submission, and two fights left in the hands of the judges. Although it was only five fights, ONE Championship Dangal was a must-see event filled with electrifying fights. Let’s take a look at the results and takeaways for ONE Championship Dangal.
Gary Mangat Starts ONE Championship Dangal With a Dominant Decision
Gary Mangat made his return to the octagon after losing to Reece McLaren back in 2019. Mangat came back and reminded us how good of a fighter he can be when he is patient. He won a unanimous decision win against Roshan Mainam to advance to 16-3. Mainam came out strong and landed a takedown that racked up control time early. Unfortunately for Mainam, he began to gas out quickly and soon found himself struggling to keep up.
Mangat remained patient and began to pick up his volume of strikes. Mainam tried to keep pushing through but ultimately found himself too tired to land any takedowns and use his grappling advantage. Mangat continued to pick him apart on the feet until the third round was over and the decision went to the judges. All three judges gave it to Mangat and he was awarded the win at ONE Championship Dangal. Although Mainam did not get the finish, his patience and fight IQ kept him out of trouble with little damage taken.
Ayaka Miura Pulls Off Her 7th Submission
Ayaka Miura has been displaying her elite grappling skills since joining ONE Championship back in 2019. She claimed her latest victim with her win over Rayane Bastos. Miura was able to get the win by submission (Scarf-Hold Americana, 2:58 R1) to advance to 11-3. Bastos came into this fight with confidence as she looked to continue her undefeated record. Unfortunately for Bastos, Miura’s grappling was simply too much for her to handle.
Bastos came into this fight looking to avoid the grappling and let her hands go. Although we did not see it for long, Bastos was able to land some clean shots when Miura got a little wild with her striking. Miura stuck to her game plan and began closing distance to initiate the clinch. Once Miura got into the clinch, she used her Judo skills to secure the takedowns.
Miura remained patient as she began looking for several different submissions. Bastos continued to fight off the submissions and try to get up, but Miura kept finding ways to keep her down. She kept going for various submissions before ultimately getting Bastos to tap from a Scarf-Hold Americana. Miura’s ability to take her opponent down and dominate them should be a concern for anyone in the division.
Bi Nguyen Finds Herself on the Positive Side of a Split Decision
ONE Championship Dangal featured a lone example of how their scoring system can make such a big difference. ONE Championship uses a scoring system based on who won the entire fight and not by round for those who do not know. Bi Nguyen has found herself on the wrong side of the judges’ scorecards after losing her last three fights by decision. Although Nguyen lost her last three fights in a row, she continued to improve and found another opportunity to get a win at ONE Championship Dangal.
Nguyen won the fight by split decisions and gave Ritu Phogat her first pro-MMA loss. Phogat came out and clearly wanted to use her grappling advantage early. She took down Nguyen and racked up tons of control time in the first round. Despite being able to do anything in the first round, Nguyen stayed focused and landed big shots when given the opportunity. Nguyen managed to land a heavy knee that began to change the momentum. Phogat continued to rack up control time on the ground but failed to cause enough damage to win over the judges.
Ultimately, the difference-maker was the amount of damage Nguyen was able to create. Phogat may have won the fight if it was judged by rounds, but the momentum was completely changed in the third round. Nguyen took over and dominated the third round by overwhelming Phogat with volume. Nguyen finally found herself on the right side of the judges’ scorecards and won by split decision.
Tawanchai Gets a Potential KO of the Year in His ONE Debut
ONE Championship Dangal featured only one Muay Thai fight in the co-main event. This fight featured the 22-year old superstar Tawanchai PK Saenchai taking on the former WBC Muay Thai Champion Sean Clancy. Tawanchai had extremely high expectations that he somehow managed to exceed. His performance was a picture-perfect display of world-class striking. Tawanchai did not only win the fight, but he ended it with a potential fight of the year candidate.
Clancy started off the fight looking ready as he tried to pressure early. Tawanchai maintained his unmatched level of composure as he started to find his rhythm. Clancy started to get hit with some heavy shots that affected his forward movement. Tawanchai started to get comfortable and began to remind us why he is one of the best Muay Thai Fighters in the world. After the second round was over, Clancy’s face was completely busted as Tawanchai continued to land beautiful combinations. Clancy needed to make an adjustment and go for the knockout in the third round if he wanted to win.
Unfortunately for Clancy, Tawanchai just simply looked unbeatable in this fight. Everything was landing for Tawanchai and the damage was starting to add up quickly. The third round started and Tawanchai landed a show-stopping head kick that ended the fight thirty secounds into the round. Tawanchai is only 22-years old and seems to have endless potential for marketibiity. He is already a Muay Thai superstar, but has the ability to evolve into a worldwide sports icon.
Arjan Bhullar Dethrones the Heavyweight King
The main event of ONE Championship Dangal featured the return of Heavyweight champion Brandon Vera. Since leaving the UFC, Vera has been an absolute force to be reckoned with. Despite Vera dominating everyone in his path, Arjan Bhullar believed he had the skills to end his reign of terror. Bhullar stuck to his game plan and changed his life forever by dethroning the heavyweight king.
Bhullar started the fight with immediate pressure to keep Vera on his back foot. Vera tried to land some heavy shots early, but he clearly respected the power that Bhullar posses by keeping his distance. Bhullar continued to apply pressure as he started to set up his takedown attempt by cutting off the octagon. Vera started looking to land a big shot and Bhullar ended the first round with a takedown.
In the second round, Vera came out knowing he needed to make a change. He started to throw more volume in hopes of controlling the distance. Bhullar looked to be in trouble momentarily before landing another takedown. With too much time left on the clock, Vera suddenly found himself in a load of trouble. Bhullar started to dominate by controlling Vera with ease and landing brutal shots in the process. The ref gave Vera one last chance and decided to end the fight.
Bhullar managed to win the ONE heavyweight championship and change his life forever. His wrestling skills mixed with his fight IQ makes him a dangerous opponent for any contender. Only time will tell who Bhullar will defend the belt against first, but you can be ensure he will be ready to go. This fight was the perfect way to end another electrifying event by ONE Championship.
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Featured Image Credits to ONE Championship