Zhang Peimian’s Road to Redemption: ONE Fight Night 8 Win and Di Bella Rematch Demand

March 30, 2023
From: Spartacus

Zhang Peimian, a former ONE strawweight kickboxing world championship challenger who lost his attempt to win the title last year, triumphantly returned to competition. Against Torepchi Dongak, “Fighting Rooster” displayed exceptional skill.

With a convincing decision victory and a $50,000 performance bonus from ONE Championship, Zhang Peimian ascended the stage and demanded a rematch with Jonathan Di Bella, the ONE strawweight kickboxing champion, who had defeated him for the title:

“The more I fight, the braver I become. I want to challenge Jonathan Di Bella. I want to get the belt.”

Similar to their first encounter, Peimian and Di Bella’s rematch for the title is likely to be exciting. The “Fighting Rooster” provided additional details about the format of a Di Bella-Peimian fight in an interview with South China Morning Post MMA.

“[Jonathan] Di Bella is a very good fighter and he is very smart. So last time I fought him, I learned a lot and practiced a lot. This time, I definitely will be different. I think he is a very good fighter. I think this will still be a five-round fight so I’ll [beat] him by decision.”

Zhang ended by saying, “I’m ready all the time. Anytime is ok.”

How did the first bout of Zhang Peimian vs Jonathan Di Bella go?

Peimian aimed to make history by becoming China’s youngest world champion at the age of 19 going into the fight with an undefeated record inside the Circle. Italian-Canadian rookie Di Bella, who had never lost in his combat sports career, stood in his way.

When the first round began, both men immediately went to work. Zhang began by working Jonathan Di Bella’s thigh. Di Bella struck back with a powerful jab, but the tenacious Chinese attacker still managed to land several low kicks on her. Early on, Zhang’s quickness was evident. Zhang was pressured by Di Bella to return to the Circle wall, where he fought his way out, ending the initial round.

A leg kick and a right hand were Zhang’s response to Jonathan Di Bella’s early strike in the second round. Zhang continued to target Di Bella’s thigh, which was already displaying redness and swelling, as she delivered back-to-back body kicks, the latter of which connected. The second round came to a close when Di Bella successfully connected with a nice right cross and Zhang failed to retort.

With a feeling of urgency, Zhang rushed into the third round and started kicking right away. Di Bella continually struck the jab as Zhang kept working the leg. During the entire round, the two exchanged haymakers. Both competitors started to exhibit signs of fatigue as the third round’s bell rang.

Zhang delivered two quick leg kicks as the final rounds began. With his own leg kick in return, Jonathan Di Bella hit back and devoured two more. Zhang responded with a powerful body kick and a right hand that only partly landed after Di Bella’s high kick missed its mark. Di Bella made an effort to apply more pressure, but Zhang appeared to be a younger combatant and was more agile, landing leg kicks with ease. As the fourth round came to an end, Di Bella delivered a hard left and a right.

Both fighters traded blows as the fifth and final round began because they both realised how close the battle was. Di Bella was propelled to narrow the gap by Zhang’s four straight leg kicks. An expertly timed head kick from Di Bella connected with the mark and knocked down Zhang for the fight’s opening knockdown after he launched another leg kick and took a right hand. Di Bella swarmed in, seeking for a fifth-round finish as Zhang barely responded to the referee’s count. Zhang was able to escape the round, though, and the judges’ scorecards ultimately decided the winner.

ONE Fight Night 8 features Zhang Peimian battering Torepchi Dongak to a majority decision victory.

In a strawweight kickboxing match against Torepchi Dongak at ONE Fight Night 8 last weekend, 19-year-old kickboxing prodigy Zhang Peimian achieved a tough unanimous decision victory.

In an attempt to understand one another, the two ONE Championship kickboxers wasted no time in pummeling one another with punches and kicks. The initial striking battles, however, were won by Zhang. 

The “Fighting Rooster” began to corner Dongak before launching deft combinations into his torso, leaving a noticeable dent in his midsection.

Dongak bravely fought back late in the first round, but he was unable to make enough of an impact, and Zhang Peimian won the round due to his early assault.

The Russian opponent was aggressively tagged by “Fighting Rooster” inside the corner during the second round. He started the round off by again cornering Dongak close to the fence and finishing it with a stunning flying knee to the face.

However, Zhang Pemian’s early work and otherworldly aggression enabled him to pull away on the scoreboards despite Dongak’s best efforts to mount some serious offence in round 3. As he sailed to a commanding unanimous decision win, the Chinese superstar persisted in his assault on Dongak’s body.

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