After impressing with his striking in his mixed martial arts debut, Garry Tonon let his world-class grappling do the talking against Rahul Raju at ONE: REIGN OF KINGS.
“The Lion Killer” threatened “The Kerala Krusher” with submissions throughout their contest in Manila, the Philippines on Friday, 27 July, and finally found the finish late in the third round.
The fans at The Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, the Philippines erupted as Tonon got the job done with a rear-naked choke.
Both men began the bout by staying light on their feet, and tested each others’ chins early in the contest, landing a few clean punches.
Tonon took the bout into his wheelhouse on the ground midway through the first round, as the five-time EBI champion rolled beautifully into a leg lock, but Raju managed to escape to the surprise of many fans.
With just under one minute left in the opening stanza, the 26-year-old went for another heel hook, but Raju once again defended.
Tonon began to unleash some creative strikes to begin the second round, and also showcased his evolving defensive skills to make Raju miss many of the punches he threw.
Tonon shot and took Raju to the ground right after the bell sounded to start the third round and slid almost immediately into mount. However, as Tonon transitioned to an omoplata, Raju slipped right out.
The Indian showed his tenacity throughout the bout, but his opponent’s relentless attempts to tap him out were beginning to take their toll. Tonon took Raju’s back with only minutes left in the match and sunk in a deep rear-naked choke to secure the victory at 3:27 of the final round.
With the victory, Tonon maintained his perfect start to his mixed martial arts career and improved his record to 2-0.