After an incredibly successful grappling career, decorated BJJ no-gi world champion, Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon, made his highly-anticipated transition from submission grappling to the cage under ONE’s Global Rule Set.
On Friday, 24 March, the American met a game opponent in Malaysian-based Filipino Richard “Notorious” Corminal at ONE: IRON WILL, which took place at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
In the lightweight affair, Tonon showcased months of hard work in a performance that set the stage for what appears to be a very promising career.
Surprisingly, Tonon started the bout by showcasing his striking. He tagged Corminal with a pair of high kicks, and even threw in a solid push kick for good measure. Whenever “Notorious” tried to close the distance, the American would tag him with a sharp right uppercut.
As good as “The Lion Killer” is on the ground, he appeared determined to send a message to the rest of the division – that he is not just a grappling superstar, but also very comfortable on the feet.
The best punch of the round was when Tonon caught Corminal with a sneaky right handed that landed square on the chin. It dropped the Filipino onto the canvas, and allowed the American to move in for heavy ground and pound.
In the second round, a more relaxed Tonon turned up the heat. He opened up with another pair of high head kicks. With each passing minute, the American timed his rhythm to perfection.
Whenever he wanted to take Corminal to the ground, “The Lion Killer” would do so effortlessly with the same creative mat work that he is known for. After taking the Filipino to the ground later in the frame and gaining full mount, Tonon finished Corminal off with a pair of monstrous elbows, forcing the referee to call a halt to the contest at 3:40 of round two.
It was total domination from Tonon, as Corminal had no answer for his opponent’s overall mastery. “The Lion Killer” impresses in his debut, and will only get even better in time.