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Seven Main Takeaways From ONE: Warrior’s Code

If you missed the ONE: Warrior’s Code card, don’t worry, we have you covered. Here are the seven main takeaways from the card.

Macho and Timebomb Start the Night With a Bang

Fajar “Macho” (4-1) and Josh “Timebomb” Tonna (2-1) were the first fighters on the Lead Card of the night and they delivered in a big way. Fajar made quite the impression in his ONE debut, by handing Egi Rotzen his third loss in a row. Nothing pumps a crowd faster than a first-round ground and pound TKO.

Josh Tonna also made quick work of his ONE Muay Thai debut. Timebomb knocked out Andy Howson in the second round with a devastating knee to the head, that was so casual, it almost came out of nowhere.

Looking forward to seeing these two in future cards to see if they can sustain their finishing prowess.

The Terminator is Back

(Left) Sunoto def. Nurul Fikri via Conan Daily.

Sunoto “Terminator” Peringkat (12-7) has been entertaining crowds at ONE since 2015. In that time, he has seen great highs and devastating lows. He is an exciting endurance fighter that thrives in long wars. His victory over Nurul Fikri via Unanimous Decision was no different.

Sunoto has become a gatekeeper in his seven year pro-career, handily crushing unworthy fighters but withers against big-name competition, keeping him out of any contender conversations.

He snaps a two-fight skid to start the new year on a good note. Hopefully, he can find the last piece of programming he needs to take on better fighters and take his career to the next level.

We Need a Stamp-Hirata Dance-Off

After an unexpectedly back-and-forth first round, Itsuki Hirata (6-0) ragdolled Nyrene Crowley until referee Kemp Cheng stopped it in the third. The result was what most people were expecting, successfully keeping the hype-train going for the 20-year-old contender.

What most people didn’t see coming were her dance moves in between rounds.

Itsuki Hirata dancing via ONE Championship.

This reminds us of another exciting Atomweight that likes to put on a show.

Stamp Fairtex dancing via Fairtex Training Center.

This, somehow, needs to happen.

Koyomi Matsushima Begins the Road Back to Gold

Koyomi Matsushima (12-4) was put on the fast track to a title shot against former two-division champ Martin Nguyen. The main event of ONE: Dawn of Heroes ended quickly for the challenger, who succumbed to Nguyen’s legend-killing fists in the second round.

Matsushima’s return saw him TKO Jae Woong Kim in the dying seconds of the third round, proving that the spark we saw in 2018 is actually there – and not just lucky flukes. It’s only a matter of time before he makes his way back to fight for the featherweight crown. He has the talent to get there. The only question is whether he learns how to grab it the second time around.

Iuri Has ARRIVED!

Iuri Lapicus submits Marat Gafurov via ONE Championship.

Before this card happened, we told you to keep an eye on this fight, but even we never thought it would end the way it did. If anyone (other than Iuri himself) told you that they knew Iuri Lapicus would submit Marat Gafurov in the first round with a rear-naked choke, they’re a proven liar.

The best bit now is that the doors of opportunity are blown wide open for the young Moldovan. Absolutely anything is on the table. Test his chin against Timofey Nastyukhin? Yes. Hunt an even bigger name in Eddie Alvarez? Absolutely. Grapple with the only other man to beat Gafurov on the ground, Shinya Aoki? Go for it. Heck, even going straight for Christian Lee isn’t out of the question.

The Lightweight Division has always been good, and it just keeps getting better.

Is De Ridder Ready for Aung La Nsang?

The co-main event gave us Leandro Ataides (11-4) and Reinier De Ridder (12-0) bruising each other for the chance at Middleweight champion Aung La Nsang and his belt. After three rounds, De Ridder got the nod from the judges and will face the Burmese Python at a still unknown date. But is he ready?

Obviously, anything can happen inside the cage and there’s still plenty of time between ONE: Warrior’s Code and whenever this title fight will happen. But, if De Ridder fights Nsang the way he did against Ataides, it’s going to be hard imagining a scenario that sees the title changing hands.

Petchmorakot Needs a Legitimizer

Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy via ONE Championship.

The crowd that gathered in Jakarta for ONE: Warrior’s Code were treated to a Muay Thai masterclass as Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy tore Pongsiri PK. Saenchai Muay Thai City Gym apart in the main event. Petchmorakot took full advantage of his range, hitting Pongsiri with every tool in the shed, while the latter couldn’t even get close.

However, as impressive as Petchmorakot’s performance was, there is an asterisk hanging low over this victory. Pongsiri was an 11th hour replacement, who took the fight on two days notice. Many people may be forgiven for seeing the fight as less of a test and more of a formality under the circumstances.

Both Petchmorakot and ONE need to book a second contest for the belt as soon as they are able to put these doubts to rest.

All in all, ONE: Warrior’s Code delivered on some of its bigger promises and even gave us a few surprises along the way. This event will become a reference for many match-ups as we head deeper into 2020. Only time will tell if these are signs of even bigger things to come.


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