British-based Cypriot Panicos Yusuf showed no sign of nerves on his ONE Super Series debut as he overcame late adversity to claim victory at ONE: REIGN OF KINGS.
Yusuf turned in a performance of composure and controlled aggression to outpoint China’s Han Zi Hao in their bantamweight Muay Thai bout at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, the Philippines.
Yusuf, 10 years the senior of his Chinese opponent, utilised mental warfare as well as his technical striking skills, as he baited the Top King Muay Thai World Champion into pushing forward and committing himself.
He took full advantage throughout the opening round, effectively countering and scoring consistently with heavy leg kicks throughout the contest.
Han continued to come forward aggressively in the second round, but the relaxed, calm style of Yusuf appeared unruffled as he effectively fended off his opponent’s most dangerous attacks and countered well.
By the third round, Han had found the range for his overhand right, and scored with a couple of heavy punches early in the frame.
Another huge right from Han sent the two-time Muay Thai World Champion staggering back on very shaky legs as the Chinese athlete looked to move in and finish the bout in decisive fashion.
Despite a tough finish to the contest, all three judges were in agreement that Yusuf deserved the nod as he claimed a unanimous decision victory to kick off his career in ONE Super Series.
With a record of 37-6, and experience against some of the best stand-up athletes in the world, Yusuf will be looking forward to testing his skills against some of the biggest names in ONE Super Series in future outings.