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8 Takeaways From ONE: No Surrender III

ONE is back, and here to stay

This event was the third in a trilogy of No Surrender cards, all taking place behind closed doors in Thailand’s capital. Each card had just a handful of fights, but they all packed a punch and show that COVID19 isn’t slowing the promotion down. The fact that the cards happened under the circumstances we’re living through is impressive in itself. That the cards are of such high quality, with fantastic fights throughout, bodes well for future events.

The Bantamweight Tournament Rolls on

Kulabdam emerged victorious over Sangmanee in just one round, putting him one step further along the tournament and a potential favorite to face off with Nong-O.

With Saemapetch out of the tournament due to injury, Kulabdam is facing off against Rodlek for the tournament’s epic conclusion. From there, the victor will throw down with Nong-O for the bantamweight crown.

How did we do predicting this one? Take a look here for the pre-match breakdown.

Muay Thai over Kun Khmer

This was my personal fight of No Surrender III and kept me on the edge of my seat. It’s not clear what impact this bout has on the division, but aggressive kicks and elbows won Mongkolpetch the match.

Fabio Pinca debuts well, but Wiratchai takes the W

Wiratchai took a close decision over the Frenchman and climbs the division rankings. That said, for an MMA debut Pinca did well. A miscalculated kick (which wouldn’t have mattered in Muay Thai) cost him the first round, he did well to get back to his feet in the second and displayed some real grappling skills, and the third round aggression showed some real danger to Wiratchai. It was not a given that his style would translate well (just look at Gokhan Saki) so it’s good to see him finding his feet. He should be pleased with the bout.

What next from the Muay Thai world champion? Does he stick with MMA, or move back to his roots? Only time will tell.

If you want to see how we thought this one would go down, have a look here.

Wondergirl for a Title shot

The shortest match of the night – a mere 82 seconds – was Wondergirl Fairtex vs Brooke Farrell. The Thai looked relaxed, came out aggressive, and put on a clinic. With such a short match there’s not much to say, other than be excited to see more from this one.

At present, there’s no belt holder for the strawweight division, and this surely put Wondergirl first in line. The only question – who does she face off against next?

Marie ‘Snow Leopard’ Ruumet creeping towards Stamp Fairtex

Marie Ruumet put on a dominant performance and showed off excellent work from at range and in the clinch. She stayed out of boxing distance to dominate her opponent – she was both too strong and too quick, and looked to tower over ‘Little Tiger’. It was all one-way traffic, body kicks, and crosses from far out and elbows from in close. Little Tiger was gutsy, with a commendable performance, but it wasn’t enough to take the day.

What’s next for the Snow Leopard? It’s a little soon to face off against Stamp Fairtex, but the division’s queen is likely on notice and it’ll only take a couple more performances like that.

Welcome to ONE, Ben Royle

The first match of the night was a promotional debut from Ben Royle vs the American Quintin Thomas. In what looked to be a methodical approach and an excellent game plan, Ben controlled range with jabs and slick footwork, damaging the wrestler’s legs with low kicks and finishing with superior boxing. Neither utilized much of their grappling game, as we often see from BJJ vs Wrestling, but the striking looked crisp and sharp. Ben never looked in danger for a second.

The fights weren’t live at all

It emerged on Thursday night that these fights aren’t live at all; the matches were taped, and the results were already known, as admitted by ONE Championship Thailand. This came as a shock to most people and calls into question the other events in the No Surrender series. Though nothing unscrupulous was confirmed it is interesting that they didn’t state this openly until the eleventh hour. They also did nothing to halt bets being placed on the event. With ONE rumored to have money problems, this is another piece of slightly suspicious behavior too add to the list.

All in all the event was fantastic, and a huge success, but it’s important to view this in the context of other odd activities from the promotion.


Follow me on Twitter @DiserensRobert or @CombatThoughts, or Instagram @DiserensMMA or @CombatThoughts. Follow @OT_Heroics for more great content, be sure to check out the Overtime Heroics Forums page to join in on the discussion!

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