Phnom Penh based Emmanuel “The Biafran” Onyedikachi did not manage to get his hand raised at Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series on Thursday, 28 February.
The Nigerian-born powerhouse locked horns with Phuket Top Team’s De’von Morris in an explosive welterweight mixed martial arts clash that served as the evening’s main event in Singapore.
Emmanuel started strong when he 30 seconds into the first round landed one of his signature low kicks and had Morris flying.
After brief top control from “The Biafran Warrior,” both competitors engaged in powerful exchanges where Morris primarily relied on his hands while Emmanuel implemented a mix of heavy hooks and thunderous low kicks.
In the second round, Emmanuel kept finding Morris’ chin with his left hook and resumed to attack the American’s lead leg with success.
The Phuket Top Team representative managed to survive the massive attacks and started to found his rhythm, landing swift and accurate combinations.
2:40 into the second round, Morris landed a hook that Emmanuel complained was an illegal blow to the back of the head.
Referee Olivier Coste told them to continue, and Morris attacked with a flurry of punches that stunned Emmanuel.
A powerful right hand ultimately sent “The Biafran Warrior” to the canvas, and the referee decided to stop the contest at 2:21.
Even though disappointed with the outcome, Emmanuel is still in high spirit and compliments Morris for helping him to entertain the crowd.
He now looks beyond the main event bout and hopes that he will have the opportunity to face Morris in a rematch, this time on the global stage of ONE Championship.
“[Morris] fractured his shin and probably won’t be able to train or fight for three months,” Emmanuel states.
“He said he will let me know when he has recovered.”
“My wish is to fight [Morris] in ONE Championship next.”
The loss snapped a three-bout win-streak for Emmanuel, his first defeat in his professional mixed martial arts career.
After dealing with health check-up, Emmanuel hopes to get back to training and reclaim his spot as one of Southeast Asia’s most promising martial artists.
“I need to see a doctor when I get to Phnom Penh,” Emmanuel explains.
“The punch at the back of the head caused some damage on my left ear’s vein, which can lead to some issue in the future.”
Both Emmanuel and Morris showed respect for each other after the main event, and the powerful duo also had an opportunity to chat afterward.
“I am okay and happy in my heart. I love ONE Championship’s and the ONE Warrior Series’ team for their professionalism,” he stated.
Emmanuel last wish is that he will have the chance to redeem himself against Morris in ONE Championship.
“That’s what everybody wants to see!”