ONE Championship has been on fire in 2022. Not only with their new landmark Amazon Prime Video broadcast deal or their standing as one of the top-five sports properties in viewership and engagement, according to Neilsen, but inside the Circle as well.
Asia’s largest sports media platform has put on some of the best martial arts action anywhere on the planet and celebrated its 10th-anniversary with one of the largest shows ever with ONE X.
And part of the fun has been the knockouts. So many athletes across kickboxing, Muay Thai, and mixed martial arts have finished with highlight-reel KOs so far this year. But what ones stand out from the pack?
Here are five incredible knockouts from the first four months of 2022.
Thanh Le’s first defense of the ONE Featherweight World Championship was a classic striker vs. grappler matchup against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu phenom Garry Tonon.
Tonon was quick to attack Le with leg locks, but his gameplan would ultimately be his downfall. The Louisiana native defended the attacks well and responded with ground strikes. Tonon was aggressive with his hunt, but all it took was for one clean shot to get through for the champion.
Le’s sweeping right hand finally careened into Tonon’s chin, knocking him out cold.
The stunning first-round finish continued Le’s KO streak and marked the first professional defeat for Tonon.
In February, rising Brazilian star Fabricio Andrade showed the world how beautiful a well-placed body shot could be in his match against Jeremy Pacatiw.
Both men were comfortable with exchanging early on, but Andrade’s pinpoint accuracy put an early end to the match.
As Pacatiw threw a right straight to Andrade’s midsection, the Brazilian countered with a knee up the center. With the Team Lakay representative already in forward motion, he carried himself right into the strike. The knee landed flush on the liver and put a swift end to the contest at 97 seconds.The resounding victory launched Andrade further up the ranks and made him a legitimate contender in the bantamweight division.
Speaking of bantamweights, the division crowned a new king when John Lineker knocked out Bibiano Fernandes.
Longtime champion Fernandes began the match on the right foot, utilizing his grappling and keeping the hard-hitting challenger off of his feet. However, patience prevailed as Lineker worked back up and invited the slugfest.
In the second round, Fernandes began slinging more heavy leather with his fellow Brazilian, which would not work out in his favor.
The damage began to accumulate before Lineker finally connected with a huge left hook that put Fernandes down on the mat for good. It was the crowning achievement for Lineker in a career built on huge power shots that have thrilled audiences worldwide.
While Liam Harrison did not earn a show-stopping one-punch knockout, his spot on this list is due to his epic comeback in one of the all-time great one-round brawls.
At ONE 156, it seemed to be all Muangthai PK.Saenchai as he quickly put Harrison on the mat twice in a matter of seconds. All he needed was one more knockdown to secure the TKO victory. But his aggressiveness to end the show turned out to open the window of opportunity for Harrison.
The Brit covered up well and countered with a crisp right hand that slipped over the left arm of Muangthai and crashed into his chin. The first knockdown rocked the Thai star, and he never fully recovered.
Harrison picked his shots well and kept the pressure on his foe, sending him back down two more times for the first-round TKO victory in one of the most exciting rounds the sport has ever seen.
Nong-O Gaiyanghadao is a living legend in the sport of Muay Thai, and at ONE X, he was defending his ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship once more.
The Thai star continued to show the world why he is so revered. Although Felipe Lobo offered him a good test, Nong-O looked near flawless in his performance.
In the third round, Lobo continued pressing forward. Right after the two-minute mark, as he was coming forward, Nong-O sent in a perfect right uppercut that rocked the Brazilian’s chin and crumpled him to the canvas. Lobo attempted to stand, but he fell over as he could not recover. Nong-O’s brilliance was a sight to behold on the largest event in martial arts history, once again showcasing why he is the best bantamweight in the world.
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