MMA by itself is a volatile sport. The fates of fighters, their legacies, and the fruits of their hard work are decided inside fifteen minutes. It only takes seconds to go from the bottom to the top and back down again.
We’ll be looking at the fighters that caught just the briefest glimpse of title glory before losing it all. These are the shortest title reigns in ONE… so far.
Petchdam Petchyindee Academy – 92 days
The first of the shortest title reigns in ONE history belongs to Petchdam Petchyindee Academy.
The man known as Baby Shark is a fairly accomplished Muay Thai fighter with a record of 90-13-6 before making his first appearance at ONE: Pursuit of Power.
His list of accolades include:
- 2015 Lumpinee Bantamweight Championship
- 2015 Thailand Bantamweight Boxing Championship
- 2017 Toyota Marathon Featherweight Tournament Champion
- 2018 WBC Muay Thai World Featherweight Title
In his quick run with ONE: Super Series, he was nothing but knockouts. Finishing Josh Tonna and Kenny Tse, in Muay Thai, and Masahide Kudo in Kickboxing.
The latest fight was deemed good enough for him to face Elias Mahmoudi for the inaugural ONE Kickboxing Flyweight World Championship at ONE: Warriors of Light.
The fight was not looking well for the Thai fighter, as the Algerian made full use of his expertise in the kickboxing rule set to his advantage. Petchdam wouldn’t be denied though, as one of his kicks found itself landing on Elias’ family jewels.
The low blow incapacitated Elias and he couldn’t continue. The fight went to a Technical Decision with the judges giving Petchdam the nod. It’s safe to say the way the fight ended and Petchdam’s subsequent celebration didn’t win him many new fans.
Baby Shark wouldn’t hold onto gold for long. He would lose the title against Ilias Ennahachi in the main event of ONE: Dreams of Gold via knockout in the third round.
Kai Ting Chuang – 91 days
Killer Bee Kai Ting Chuang is the unlikeliest of people to be able to call themselves a champion. Her MMA record has nothing but losses and she currently has just one win with ONE. So what happened?
Kai had two major things going for her when she went up against Yodcherry Sityodtong at ONE: Battle for the Heavens for the inaugural ONE Kickboxing Atomweight Championship.
First, before signing with ONE, Kai’s primary arena was the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO). She went on a stellar run with the organization, going 16-5 earning her a title in her division.
Second, ONE was still building its female kickboxing roster at the time. There just weren’t that many women competing in that sport at that weight willing to sign with the promotion.
To put this into perspective, Stamp Fairtex made her debut two weeks later at ONE Warrior Series 2.
Kai’s opponent, Yodcherry Sityodtong was a Muay Thai teenage sensation with multiple championships to her name and a record of 81-18 at the age of 19. In addition to training at Evolve, she was definitely the favorite and was being set-up for a quick belt.
Kai upset those plans via Unanimous Decision in a performance very few saw coming. That wouldn’t last long, however, as Stamp took the belt approximately three months later at ONE: Kingdom of Heroes.
Jonathan Haggerty – 86 days
Though it’s one of the shortest title reigns in ONE Super Series, it’s still in my list of the biggest upsets in Muay Thai history.
Jonathan Haggerty shook the Muay Thai world to its core when he won the ONE Muay Thai World Championship from Sam-A Gaiyanghadao at ONE: For Honor.
Not only was he in a sport dominated by Thais, but he was also 22 at the time and going up against a living legend.
Sure, he beat Joseph Lasiri, was a WBC Muay Thai Super-Featherweight International Champion, and an ISKA Super-Featherweight Muay Thai Champion with a 14-2 record. However, no one saw him doing anything but lose in this fight.
His win was one for the history books, and what made it ten times better was calling out Rodtang Jitmuangnon as his challenger.
Unfortunately, that would be his downfall, as Rodtang would dominate him at ONE: Dawn of Heroes as well as their rematch at ONE: A New Tomorrow.
Yosuke Saruta – 83 days
The Ninja is a Shooto veteran that’s been fighting since 2008, becoming their Strawweight Champion along the way. However, he wasn’t supposed to become the ONE Strawweight Champion. He wasn’t even supposed to fight Joshua Pacio at ONE: Eternal Glory.
He made his promotional debut against Alex Silva literally 25 days before he fought for the title. The original bout was supposed to have Hayato Suzuki before he got injured. Saruta came in as a late replacement.
The change in opponent seems to befuddle the young Pacio as he couldn’t get any kind of gameplan going. The result was a Split Decision loss, becoming the first of the Lakay 4 to lose their titles.
The end, however, was contentious enough for ONE to book an immediate rematch less than three months later at ONE: Roots of Honor. Pacio reclaimed his belt with a fourth-round knockout putting Saruta back on the sidelines.
Shinya Aoki – 47 days
Capping off our list of the shortest title reigns in ONE is Shinya Aoki’s second run as Champion of the Lightweight division.
Aoki avenged the biggest upset loss of his career at the hands of Eduard Folayang at ONE: A New Era, submitting the Filipino legend with an arm triangle in the first round.
When asked who he thinks might challenge him for the title next, Aoki surprisingly named his Evolve teammate Christian Lee. Not only was teammates fighting each other a rarity in the sport, but Lee was also a Featherweight with zero fights at Lightweight.
There was also the matter of other qualified Lightweights chomping at the bit for a title shot getting passed over.
Nonetheless, the two met just over a month later at ONE: Enter the Dragon. Aoki would fail to finish Lee and got himself knocked out in the dying seconds of the second round.
That’s our list of the shortest title reigns in ONE. These five will be hard to top as it took a lot of special circumstances to bring them about in the first place. Hopefully, they all catch gold again and hold onto it for a bit longer next time.
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