On Friday, 25 January, ONE Championship returned to Manila, Philippines with ONE: HERO’S ASCENT.
The world’s largest martial arts organization delivered another thrilling event featuring a grand mix of Muay Thai, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts on the highest level.
There were many highlights, but here are three of our favorite moments from the 11-bout card.
#1 Moraes Recaptures His ONE Flyweight World Title
In the main event, flyweight kingpins Geje “Gravity” Eustaquio and Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes wrote ONE history as they took part in the organization’s first trilogy bout.
The now-former ONE Flyweight World Champion Eustaquio put his belt on the line as he once again clashed with the Brazilian phenom Moraes in a five-round bout that would settle the rivalry once and for all.
In September 2014, the first match-up took place at ONE: RISE OF THE KINGDOM in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for the inaugural ONE Flyweight World Title, which Moraes won via submission in round two.
Eustaquio evened the score nearly four years later in June 2018, as he edged out “Mikinho” via split decision to claim the belt at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER in Macau.
That put them at one victory each ahead of ONE: HERO’S ASCENT.
The scheduled five-round bout in front of Eustaquio’s Filipino home crowd would prove as enthralling as the first two matches. They attacked one another at a high pace with both thunderous blows and rarely-seen submissions.
After five closely-contested rounds, the judges awarded Moraes the win via unanimous decision and crowned him the new ONE Flyweight World Champion, marking his third World Title reign.
#2 Lowen Tynanes Advances In ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix
Undefeated contender Lowen Tynanes wasted no time when he made his anticipated return to ONE competition after almost three years on the sidelines because of a back injury.
Jumping headfirst against Team Lakay’s former ONE Featherweight World Champion Honorio “The Rock” Banario, Tynanes dominated the home favorite with a quick takedown, and then proceeded to smoother the Filipino with top control and stunning ground-and-pound.
Banario showcased a true warrior spirit as he kept searching for a way out, but the American powerhouse managed to maintain control and continued his relentless attacks until referee Yuji Shimada stopped the contest at the 4:46 mark of the first round.
With an undefeated record of ten wins, Tynanes has now announced his return to the lightweight division with a big bang.
More importantly, the 28-year-old advances in the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix where he will take on the winner of the upcoming match between Eddie Alvarez and Timofey Nastyukhin, which is scheduled for 31 March at ONE: A NEW ERA in Tokyo, Japan.
#3 A Series Of Impressive Victories
There was no lack of exciting bouts at ONE: HERO’S ASCENT, but no one could have predicted the series of highly impressive performances.
Promotional newcomer and three-time Muay Thai World Champion Elias “The Sniper” Mahmoudi made the most of his debut as he took on Japanese talent Yukinori Ogasawara in a flyweight Muay Thai bout in ONE Super Series.
Using all eight limbs in spectacular fashion, Algeria’s Mahmoudi displayed why he is a force to be reckoned with in the organization’s all-striking league.
On the main card, Filipino flyweight Danny “The King” Kingad enjoyed the loud support of the crowd as he battled Japan’s Tatsumitsu “The Sweeper” Wada in a mixed martial arts battle.
A thrilling back-and-forth match, both competitors had their glimmering moments.
Wada almost managed to finish Kingad in the first round with hard strikes and low kicks. The Filipino kept his cool and ultimately managed to flip the script on “The Sweeper,” hitting him with strikes and reversing ground positions to his advantage.
After three hard rounds, the three judges awarded the victory to the home hero via unanimous decision. As a result, “The King” secured a spot in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix.