The aura of Lumpinee Boxing Stadium, set in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand, carries with it tales of battles and warriors from days gone by. On October 6, the hallowed halls of this iconic venue resonated once again with the fierce symphony of punches, kicks, and takedowns as ONE Championship unveiled ONE Fight Night 15: Le vs. Freymanov.
As martial arts enthusiasts from across the globe set their sights on this grandeur, the stage was set for an evening that promised a rich blend of technique, power, and heart. The event’s fight card was an eclectic mix, a virtual melting pot of disciplines like kickboxing, MMA, Muay Thai, and submission grappling.
One of the standout moments of the evening was the clash between Thanh Le and Ilya Freymanov. Le, in his previous bouts, has shown an innate ability to finish fights with his striking. But this event was different. In a bout that lasted just over a minute, he transitioned seamlessly to demonstrate his ground skills, taking Freymanov by surprise and securing a submission victory. This performance not only added another feather to his cap but also sent a clear warning to all future adversaries: underestimate him at your own peril.
On the kickboxing front, Jonathan Di Bella’s defense of the ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Championship was nothing short of mesmerizing. The fluidity and precision of his strikes kept the aggressive “Mini T” Danial Williams at bay. It was an exemplary display of controlled aggression, footwork, and strategy, culminating in a performance that will be remembered for ages.
However, the event wasn’t only about the victors and their glorious moments. It celebrated the indomitable spirit of fighters like Mikey Musumeci. His commitment to the bout, even after a severe bout of food poisoning, embodies the spirit of a true martial artist. His victory over Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, especially using Aoki’s famed submission technique against him, was poetic justice and testament to his resilience.
Adding to the fervor was Phetjeeja’s relentless assault against Celest Hansen in their Muay Thai matchup. With every strike and movement, Phetjeeja reinforced why she’s a force to reckon with in the Muay Thai world. Her performance was a masterclass, an ode to her training, dedication, and the rich legacy of Muay Thai.
The undercard promised a scintillating line-up and it delivered beyond expectations, setting the stage for the main events to follow. In what was described as a nail-biter, Tawanchai PK Saenchai faced off against the formidable “Smokin” Jo Nattawut. The raw energy and dedication of both fighters were palpable. Despite Nattawut’s commendable resilience and the battle being more intense due to him taking the fight on short notice, Tawanchai’s technical prowess shone. His powerful left kicks and relentless forward press were undeniable advantages, leading him to his sixth consecutive ONE victory. This win not only fortified Tawanchai’s position in the featherweight kickboxing rankings but also magnified his illustrious career, standing at a remarkable 131-31.
The Strawweight MMA face-off between Joshua “The Passion” Pacio and Mansur Malachiev kept fans on their toes. Pacio, with his exceptional ground game and striking ability, showcased why he’s a top contender in the strawweight category. The fierce tussles, the ebb, and flow of dominance between these two fighters culminated with Pacio’s victory. His prowess hints at an exciting potential rematch with Jarred “The Monkey God” Brooks.
A major highlight was Zhang Lipeng’s face-off with Timofey Nastyukhin. Zhang’s strategy, patience, and precise strikes turned the tide in his favor. The impact of Zhang’s powerful overhand right was evident when it sent Nastyukhin, a former ONE World Title challenger, reeling. This victory not only fortified Zhang’s standing in MMA circles but also earned him a significant performance bonus, emphasizing his dominance.
Hu Yong’s showdown against Eko Roni Saputra was nothing short of explosive. A testament to Hu’s rigorous training and dedication, he dominated the ring from the very first second, culminating in a swift and decisive victory. His three consecutive wins post this bout forecast a promising future as he ascends the flyweight MMA rankings.
The Muay Thai bout between Phetjeeja and Celest “The Best” Hansen was a classic tale of skill meeting determination. While Hansen displayed resilience, Phetjeeja’s aggression and versatility, from punches to lethal kicks, proved insurmountable. Her impeccable track record speaks volumes about her talent and the potential challenges she poses for future opponents.
The welterweight MMA bout featuring Hiroyuki Tetsuka and Jin Tae Ho was a masterclass in seizing opportunities. Just when it seemed the round was set to end without much fanfare, Tetsuka, living up to his “Japanese Beast” moniker, swiftly executed an armbar, catching his opponent off-guard. His tactical brilliance reaffirmed his reputation in the MMA arena.
In an intense Muay Thai bout, Shakir Al-Tekreeti’s victory marked a historic moment as he became the first Iraqi to triumph in ONE Championship. Facing Bampara Kouyate, Al-Tekreeti displayed incredible agility and skill. While the match had its moments of uncertainty, Al-Tekreeti’s strategic moves in the final moments ensured his rise in the professional striking record.