ONE on Prime Video 2 is in the books, and it was a night of exciting fights. One existing title was defended, on inaugural champion was crowned, and some newcomers made some big splashes.
Xiong Jing Nan and Angela Lee Will Meet Again
The main event of ONE on Prime Video 2 was all it was cracked up to be and more. Even after seeing Angela Lee and Xiong Jing Nan fight twice before, these two ladies never fail to put on a show. After a back-and-forth battle that could have easily ended in a split decision or some kind of draw, Xiong held onto her strawweight title for the second time.
The two first met in Mar. 2019 when the atomweight champ Lee moved up to try her hand at Xiong’s strawweight title, but Xiong successfully defended with a fifth-round TKO. They next met in Oct. 2019 when Xiong dropped down to challenge Lee’s atomweight title, but Lee submitted the Chinese fighter, also in the fifth round. It was clear going into their trilogy fight that Xiong is the slightly dominant striker and Lee is the slightly dominant grappler.
The third fight ended in a unanimous decision for Xiong, as she scored higher in the striking department, even though Lee did have some submission chances during the bout. However, Xiong walked away with her belt, and Lee walked away with some animosity toward the scoring, feeling that she did enough to win.
Xiong and Lee are clearly the top women MMA fighters in ONE, and both are still relatively young. It is almost a guarantee that fans will see the two face off again down the road.
The Newcomers Made Big Statements
Russia’s Ilya Freymanov and Turkey’s Halil Amir were two of the hottest prospects coming into ONE in 2022, and their respective debuts at ONE on Prime Video 2 did not disappoint.
First, Amir took on ONE veteran Timofey Nastuyukhin, who hadn’t fought since Dec. 2021. Even though he was on a two-fight losing skid, Nastyukhin’s second-to-last fight was a lightweight title challenge against Christian Lee. In his seven-year ONE career, he had already scored victories over Eduard Folayang, Eddie Alvarez and Peter Buist, and is considered one of the best fighters in the division. However, only 58 seconds into the second round, Amir finished the vet by TKO to stake his claim in the ONE Circle.
Next up, on the card was Freymanov, as he faced former two-division ONE champion, and promotional O.G., Martin Nguyen. Nguyen was once the promotion’s lightweight and featherweight champ, simultaneously, and also fought Kevin Belingon for the bantamweight strap, albeit unsuccessfully. Since losing the last of his two belts to Thanh Le in Oct. 2020, Nguyen had suffered one loss, followed by one win, and was ready to string together another couple victories to try and get his belt back. Unfortunately, he hit a freight train in Freymanov. It only took the Russian three minutes and 33 seconds to dispose of the former champ-champ by TKO, which puts the 26-year-old in line for another high-profile fight en route to a title shot.
Both of the newcomers were the sole winners of fifty-thousand-dollar performance bonuses after the conclusion of the event.
Anissa Meksen Deserves a Title Shot
We are not sure who needs to hear this, but it should go without saying – Anissa Meksen deserves a ONE title shot in both Muay Thai and kickboxing. In what appeared to be another padded win for the woman who is arguably the best pound-for-pound kickboxer in the world, the French-Algerian Meksen fought another lackluster opponent in Dangkongfah Banchamek. Sure, the fight went the distance, but it was another dominant win for the former longtime GLORY Kickboxing champ, who has yet to really be challenged by ONE.
On Dec. 2, at ONE on Prime Video 5, the ONE atomweight Muay Thai champ Allycia Hellen Rodrigues will return after nearly two years to kickboxing to unify the strap with interim champ Janet Todd, who also happens to be the promotion’s atomweight kickboxing champ. This means that no title fight will be available for Meksen until at least 2023, which puts her career on ice at the moment. This is really disheartening considering the 34-year-old kickboxer is in her prime years and has a combined kickboxing and Muay Thai record of 103-5.
Meksen has done more than enough to deserve a title shot, and, hopefully, the promotion will get her title shot booked sooner rather than later.
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