I had never seen anyone quite like Ken Shamrock, who at 6 feet 1 inch tall and 217 pounds handily dropped opponent after opponent in World Wrestling Entertainment (then World Wrestling Federation) matches. An Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran, Ken Shamrock brought a unique style to the pro-wrestling milieu in 1997, combining wrestling with martial arts acumen to produce a new kind of gladiator—a combatant whose martial arts agility would launch a mini-revolution in the wrestling world. This crossbreeding has produced interesting results and a host of new fighting styles. Sure, the outcome of pro-wrestling matches may be fixed in advance, but to parrot an old aphorism, it’s the journey, not the destination. These days, the average mixed martial arts fight looks more like a traditional wrestling match than what you might see in a Jean-Claude Van Damme flick. And in pro-wrestling contests, you’re just as likely to see a spinning back kick as the more tried-and-true suplex and clothesline. Martial arts and traditional wrestling have more in common than you might guess. In both, the goal is to get your opponent to submit through physical restraint or to knock him to the ground. Both involve grappling and jostling for position to put your foe off-balance. In this way, judo and wrestling could be said to be first cousins. The relationship between wrestling and martial arts actually reaches back to ancient times. In the Book of Genesis, Jacob grappled with God’s angel; he was renamed “Israel,” Hebrew for he who “wrestles (or strives) with God.” And in antiquity, hand-to-hand combat—both wrestling and formalized martial arts—was popular in the Greek, Etruscan and Roman empires as mass entertainment. Fast-forward to 19th-century Europe. Boxers regularly clashed against more traditional wrestlers in fierce, no-holds-barred fights. The largely unsanctioned contests were as vicious and brutal as their historical counterparts, with the loser often winding up in the hospital or worse. In England, a style called bartitsu was founded; many consider it the first formalized mixed martial art because it incorporated elements of Japanese and European disciplines. In America, the first fight between a wrestler and boxer probably occurred in 1887 when heavyweight boxing champ John L. Sullivan was bested by his trainer, William Muldoon, a Greco-Roman wrestler, in less than three minutes. Around the same time in the Far East, MMA contests came to be known as merikan, a Japanese word that loosely translates to “American-style fighting.” MMA largely faded from view after World War I, with wrestling diverging into two categories—real or “shoot” matches, and “show” contests, the forefather of scripted bouts. It would take four decades, but eventually the divorce of martial arts and wrestling began to crumble. In 1986 WrestleMania 2 saw Rowdy Roddy Piper and Mr. T duke it out in a boxing match in New York. (Rowdy Roddy Piper lost by disqualification.) Later in the ’80s, Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling was founded in Japan to showcase more extreme combat, but in 2002, the organization ran into financial troubles and went bankrupt. Despite those false starts, MMA returned solidly with the debut of the UFC in 1993. Boxers, martial artists and wrestlers were all tossed into the ring, with no one style or discipline providing a clear advantage. It wasn’t about training but about how that training was applied against each opponent. As Royce Gracie trounced the competition to become the first champ, there was instant recognition that something very new (or very old) was happening. Since then, MMA has experienced a meteoric rise in the United States, where its popularity often comes close to that of pro wrestling. And for those who favor martial arts over traditional wrestling, take a look at the stats: Wrestlers won five of the first 10 UFCs, while Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters took three. Even former heavyweight champ Randy Couture competed in collegiate and Greco-Roman wrestling before coming into his own in MMA. As with Ken Shamrock, many MMA fighters eventually leave pro wrestling entirely. Former All-American Brock Lesnar shot to overnight WWE fame and was arguably Vince McMahon’s biggest star for a stretch in 2002 and 2003. After legal battles with the WWE, Brock Lesnar jumped to the UFC. (At the time of this writing, Brock Lesnar was scheduled to fight Randy Couture on November 15, 2008.) So, as in ancient times, wrestling and the martial arts have once again united. No less an authority than Bruce Lee said, “The best fighter is someone who can adapt to any style.” Perhaps that’s why in 2004, UFC President Dana White called Bruce Lee the “father of mixed martial arts.” (Eric Althoff is a freelance writer with 20 years of martial arts experience. He holds a third-degree black belt in isshin-ryu karate and has studied modern arnis.)
The long-awaited meeting between ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano "Mikinho" Moraes and ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Champion Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson took center stage and had a shocking conclusion.
Five other bouts helped fill out ONE's primetime debut in the United States.
Need a recap of what went down at ONE on TNT I? Here is what you missed from the latest edition of ONE Championship action.
Main Event: Adriano Moraes vs. Demetrious Johnson
Adriano Moraes 🇧🇷 SHOCKS THE WORLD, becoming the first man to finish Demetrious Johnson! @adrianomkmoraes #WeAreONE… https://t.co/JVSVwKC973— ONE Championship (@ONE Championship)1617850288.0
Moraes Winner by Knockout
Round 2 - 2:24
For the first time in a 14 year career, Johnson was finished. The jaw-dropping knockout came in the second round as Moraes successfully defended the ONE Flyweight World Championship.
The Brazilian clipped Johnson with a right uppercut that staggered "Mighty Mouse" and put him on the mat. As Moraes followed up, "Mikinho" delivered a short knee to the face that put an end to Johnson's title bid. Moraes' stunning finish of the all-time great made him the top flyweight on the planet.
Rodtang Jitmuangnon vs. Danial Williams
Rodtang Winner by Unanimous Decision
Following the title tilt, Rodtang "The Iron Man" Jitmuangnon put on a show as he welcomed Daniel "Mini T" Williams to ONE. The Aussie proved to be a game opponent and gave Rodtang a run for his money, but in the end it was a clear-cut decision for the Thai star. The exciting matchup was a great showcase for ONE Super Series, Rodtang, and Williams as well.
Eddie Alvarez vs. Iuri Lapicus
Lapicus Winner by Disqualification
The opening bout did not go as expected. The potential best match of the night ended early after illegal blows to the back of the head from Alvarez were called by the referee. Alvarez was shown a red card and Lapicus was given the victory. However, fans can likely expect a rematch as nothing was settled in this contender's matchup.
Tyler McGuire vs. Raimond Magomedaliev
Magomedaliev Winner by Unanimous Decision
Dagestani Raimond Magomedaliev put in an excellent 15 minutes against Tyler McGuire to make a solid case to be the welterweight division's top contender. The American pushed forward for 15 minutes, but Magomedaliev had the answers every step of the way to earn a unanimous decision.
Enriko Kehl vs. Chingiz AllazovKehl Winner by Split DecisionEnriko Kehl and Chingiz Allzov met again, but this time it was inside the ONE Circle. The longtime kickboxing rivals showed how closely matched they were in an exciting back-and-forth banger. After nine solid minutes, Kehl got two of the three judges to see it his way to grab the narrow victory.
Oumar Kane vs. Patrick Schmid
Kane Winner by TKO
"Reug Reug" Oumar Kane continued his ascent as the next African star with a first-round mauling of Patrick "The Big Swiss" Schmid. The Senegalese grappler got to show-off his developing striking before taking the match to the ground and ending the bout with strikes.
BONUS: Johnson Speaks after Loss to Moraes
- Demetrious Johnson: Anatomy of the GOAT - Black Belt Magazine ›
- ONE On TNT I Press Conference & Faceoffs Highlights - Black Belt ... ›
The European Taekwondo Championships wrapped up on Sunday in Sofia, Bulgaria with Russia dominating the men's categories while Great Britain reigned on the women's side. The British nabbed three titles in the women's events lead by two-time Olympic gold medalist Jade Jones who took her third European championship capturing the 57 kg division with a 20-5 victory over Turkey's Hatice Kübra İlgün. Jones will seek to become the first British woman to win individual gold at three different Olympics when she competes at this year's Tokyo games.
The Russian men also earned three titles lead by 2017 world champion Maksim Khramtsov, who garnered his second European crown at 80 kg.
One of those bouts features ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Janet "JT" Todd continuing her pursuit of two-sport dominance against Anne "Ninja" Line Hogstad in a Muay Thai contest.
The two top-ranked Muay Thai contenders each have their own hopes and dreams for the gold, but if Todd can capture it, she will be the second-ever two-sport atomweight World Champion. She is chasing history to cement her legacy as the best atomweight striker in the world.
But Hogstad will not be one to lay down for her bid.
Fans should expect three rounds of elite striking with a furious pace. The output will be high from two aggressive competitors who will not back down with such high stakes on one of the biggest events of the year.
And you can get primed for the bout with a look at how they made their way to this momentous occasion.
In this video from ONE, see how both women have performed on the global stage to get to this crucial point of being entrusted to perform in primetime. Who will come away with a potential title shot at ONE on TNT II?
Janet Todd vs. Anne Line Hogstad | Road To ONE On TNT II
Watch the main card on TNT or the Watch TNT app at 10 p.m. EST at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST. The West Coast can watch the main card on TNT on a delay at 10 p.m. PST.
The event will also be available on Bleacher Report and the B/R app at 10 p.m. EST/7 p.m. PST. Fans will need to log in with their cable subscription credentials.
Prelims will be aired on the B/R App, B/R Live, Bleacher Report, B/R Live YouTube, and B/R MMA Twitter at 8:30 p.m. EST/5:30 p.m. PST.