MMA: Santos-Askren ruled no-contest; Striegl delights Manila crowd
- Updated: April 25, 2015
April 25, 2015: Ben Askren’s defence of his ONE welterweight title fizzled out when his clash with Luis Santos was ruled a no-contest after the Brazilian challenger suffered an accidental eye poke at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.
In the eighth and final fight of ONE: Valor of Champions, referee Olivier Coste gave Santos five minutes to recover after a careful review of the exchange verified the eye poke. However, after five minutes, Santos’ vision was still impaired, ending the fight before it really began.
In the night’s penultimate fight, Filipino-American Mark ‘Mugen’ Striegl dominated Casey Suire. Striegl’s wrestling immediately shone through, as he took down Suire with a side headlock in the opening moments.
The Filipino then moved to take Suire’s back and from there it was just a matter of time before Striegl was able to sink in a rear naked choke, forcing Suire to tap out.
Thailand’s Anatpong Bunrad scored an upset victory over Team Lakay’s Geje Eustaquio in a close fight in front of Eustaquio’s home crowd in Manila. Eustaquio played the role of aggressor for most of the bout, while Bunrad opted to lay back and counter.
Eustaquio, known for his well-rounded striking game, dictated the pace with his boxing and Wushu. Both fighters had their moments in close exchanges, but Bunrad scored on a pair of takedowns, including one in the final round that sealed the deal. In the end, Bunrad just narrowly eclipsed Eustaquio by split decision, earning the favour of two of the three judges.
The charismatic Eugene Toquero brought the crowd to its feet with an exciting grappling performance against Brianata Rosadhi. Toquero dominated the entire fight for as long as it lasted, defeating Rosadhi by scintillating ground and pound in the first round.
Within seconds, Toquero took down Rosadhi and worked on a pair of rear naked choke attempts. When that was no longer available, Toquero took top position and began punishing Rosadhi with sharp elbows and referee Joey Lepiten then stepped in to stop the bout.
Edward Kelly finished off fellow Filipino Jimmy Yabo with a rear naked choke in the first round, after an impressive showcase of strikes. Kelly started off quick with high velocity kicks, a staple of Wushu Sanshou as Yabo tried his best to defend from the onslaught.
In the clinch, Kelly worked his way to take Yabo’s back and sunk in the choke with a minute left to go in the round. Still on his feet, Yabo signalled to the referee that he had enough by tapping the mat.
Singapore’s Amir Khan improved his record with a thorough victory over Bashir Ahmad in a tremendous display of grit from both warriors. Both men came out striking in the first round, with Ahmad landing some solid right hands while Khan worked his opponent’s body with vicious knees.
After their war of attrition continued in the second, a cut opened up on Ahmad’s eyebrow. With his vision obscured, the referee had no choice but to stop the fight and award Khan the victory.
ONE Championship newcomer Liu Xiaoyang ended matters early against fellow flyweight Nicholas Lee, winning by stoppage just minutes into the first round. Liu looped a wide but powerful right hook to Lee’s temple that dropped and knocked him out as referee Olivier Coste stepped in to call a halt to the contest.
Wang Yawei and Sunoto kicked off an exciting night of fights in a featherweight bout. Wang easily handled Sunoto, defeating the Indonesian striking specialist by ground and pound in the third round after a timid start from both fighters.
ONE: Valor of Champions, The Mall of Asia Arena, Manila, Philippines
ONE Welterweight World Championship: Ben Askren vs Luis Santos (No Contest)
Bantamweight: Mark Striegl defeats Casey Suire by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 3:48 of Round 1
Catchweight (57.1kg): Anatpong Bunrad defeats Geje Eustaquio by Split Decision
Flyweight: Eugene Toquero defeats Brianata Rosadhi by TKO (Strikes) at 3:41 of Round 1
Featherweight: Edward Kelly defeats Jimmy Yabo by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:05 of Round 1
Catchweight (68kg): Amir Khan defeats Bashir Ahmad by TKO (Doctor Stoppage) at 3:20 of Round 2
Flyweight: Liu Xiao Yang defeats Nicholas Lee by Knockout at 1:59 of Round 1
Featherweight: Wang Ya Wei defeats Sunoto by TKO (Strikes) at 1:21 of Round 3
Source: ONE (www.onefc.com); Editing by SportAsia