ONE Championship: Beyond the Horizon went down Saturday in Shanghai, with the promotion’s women’s strawweight championship on the line in the main event.
Asia’s ONE Championship returned to China on Saturday, with ONE Championship: Beyond the Horizon going down in Shanghai. Atop the card, Chinese women’s strawweight champ Jingnan Xiong returned to defend her title before the Chinese faithful. The only Chinese champion in a major MMA promotion, Jingnan had the responsibility of carrying the flag for China, though Chen Li appeared on the preliminary card, and Han Zi Hao took part in Muay Thai action.
Also on the Beyond the Horizon card, featherweight standouts Christian Lee and Edward Kelly clashed. Kelly, brother of ONE women’s atomweight champ Angela Lee, was looking to bounce back from just the second loss of his career, in a title challenge against Martin Nguyen in May. A close split decision, he was no doubt hoping for a statement victory to get back on the fast track to another championship opportunity.
After a handful of ONE Super Series bouts to start the Beyond the Horizon main card on Saturday in China, Singaporean featherweight Christian Lee got the focus back on MMA. Hoisting Edward Kelly up early in their bout, Lee slammed Kelly down. Kelly, however, landed on his head, resulting in Lee being issued a red card. The end result, a disqualification due to a head spike/illegal suplex to the head. That marked a disappointing end to what had started as a promising contest.
In the night’s co-main event, Amir Khan took the back of Honorio Banario early in their lightweight battle. Khan then worked to get his arm under the chin of the former champion, and while it took some time, he would not be denied. Finally securing the choke, he forced Banario to tap with less than thirty seconds remaining in the opening round!
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The main event, meanwhile, saw ‘The Panda’ come out swinging, connecting with a right hand early. Jingnan was attacking from all angles, and backing challenger Samara Santos up. Santos was forced to clinch, and after a reversal by the ropes took the champion’s back and got her hooks in, while standing. The champ was able to defend, however, eventually shaking Santos off and escaping what could have been a scary situation. She then pressed the action, attacking Santos with strikes and adding a knee that dropped the Brazilian. Jingnan pounced, adding some ground n’ pound while the challenger simply tried to recover. The champ literally ragdolled Santos, picking her up and dropping her down in the process of mocing to mount. Punches and elbows flowed from mount with Santos trying to buck the champion off. Just when it looked like the TKO finish might come, the champ switched to an arm-bar, allowing Santos to survive the round.
Round two opened with the champ attacking the legs and continuing to press the action — but might she have punched herself out a little with her attack at the end of round one? After a trip got Santos to the ground, an illegal soccer kick by the champ gave the Brazilian five rounds to recover. Once the action was back on, the champion got the fight back to the mat. While it wouldn’t stay there, Jingnan’s throws made the difference as she took Santos down again at the end of the frame.
Santos appeared to be tiring in the third, as the champ attacked on the feet early. After a spinning back kick missed, Xiong Jingnan fired off a right hand. Almost a hammer fist on the feet, the blow forced Santos back, and she crashed to the mat, seemingly signalling the she was done. With that, Jingnan retained her title, with her second successful defense of the belt!
ONE Championship: Beyond the Horizon Results:
Jingnan Xiong (c) def. Samara Santos by TKO, Round 3, 1:22 – to retain the ONE Women’s Strawweight Championship
Amir Khan def. Honorio Banario by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 1, 4:34
Edward Kelly def. Christian Lee by DQ, Round 1,
Tukkatatong Petpayathai def. Ognjen Topic by unanimous decision – ONE Super Series Muay Thai
Han Zi Hao def. Stergos Mikkios by unanimous decision – ONE Super Series Muay Thai
Mustapha Haida def. Daniel Dawson by KO/TKO, Round 3 – ONE Super Series Kickboxing
Muhammad Aiman def. Chen Lei by submission (rear-naked choke), Round 2, 4:35
Hakim Hamech def. Yukinori Ogasawara by knockout, Round 1, 2:59 – ONE Super Series Muay Thai
Elipitua Siregar def. Phat Soda by KO/TKO, Round 1