The dust has settled on a spectacular night of martial arts action in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and the historic event taught us several lessons about the promotion’s world-class athletes and striking talents.
Here are three key takeaways from this incredible show.
Vietnamese Martial Artists Are Show-Stoppers
Local heroes impressed in ONE Championship’s first-ever Vietnamese martial arts event.
Michael “The Beast From The East” Pham wrote the first chapter on Vietnamese domination with his win over “Ant Man” Mohamad Fakri Bin Yusoff.
Pham controlled the contest and earned a unanimous decision win to score first honors of the night for his motherland.
The ink had not yet dried on the script before crowd favorite Bi “Killer Bee” Nguyen added another Vietnamese victory to the card. Nguyen not only got the better of Puja “The Cyclone” Tomar, but she also sparked the crowd into a frenzy with her sublime strikes and energy.
Unbelievably, her split decision win still could not top the incredible action that fans witnessed when Vietnamese star Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat stepped into the ring to face Malaysia’s Azwan Che Wil.
The Vietnamese hero capped off the night as he dominated Azwan throughout their contest. Duy Nhat delivered a sensational performance and displayed the most complete striking package of the evening. His unorthodox combinations kept fans thirsty for the finish.
The Malaysian was resilient, but he could not withstand the power and ferocity of the Ho Chi Minh City native’s right hand. The Vietnamese star caught him square on the jaw, which ended their contest immediately.
Along with compatriot Chris Nguyen, who had also claimed victory earlier in the night, this clean sweep by the Vietnamese athletes had undoubtedly elevated the country’s standing in Asian martial arts.
Nong-O Gaiyanghadao Is An All-Time Great
Not that there were any doubts to begin with, but Nong-O Gaiyanghadao’s legacy in “the art of eight limbs” continues.
Since his arrival in ONE Super Series, the Thai legend has dominated every opponent put in front of him.
This time, Nong-O outpaced and outstruck Brice “The Truck” Delval in their five-round thriller to keep the gold around his waist.
Even against a longer, rangier, and younger foe like Delval, the Thai’s instincts and experience won out. He waited and dared “The Truck” to strike, understood his tendencies, and planned his counters accordingly.
His stroke of genius matched his incredible stamina. The icon looked every bit as fit and conditioned. In contrast, the much younger Delval appeared fatigued in the later rounds.
Delval may have been Nong-O’s toughest test to date, but the way the Thai handled this challenge has left no doubts on why he is the World Champion.
His win against Brice “The Truck” Delval at ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH marks his second successful World Title defense, and it truly does beg the question, who can stop this man?
Santino Verbeek Has The Makings Of A Muay Thai Star
Santino Verbeek – the man from Hoorn, Netherlands – made his ONE Super Series debut against veteran Juan Cervantes.
The 24-year-old Dutchman showed his explosiveness and quick footwork as he pressed the Newcastle native to the ropes and controlled the early exchanges.
In this match, Verbeek also unveiled a dangerous weapon in his arsenal – his trademark thunderous right hand, which on more than one occasion stumbled the Englishman.
At one point, the Hoorn native absorbed the full brunt from one of Cervantes’ many flying knees to the face, but he merely shook it off and pressed forward.
Verbeek took hits but never gave up, and he proved that he could hold his own against a WKTA Muay Thai World Champion like Cervantes.
The Dutchman impressed everyone – including the ringside judges, who awarded him the majority decision win.
The young Dutch striker established himself as an ascending talent in ONE Super Series, and fans will likely see more of this standout kickboxer soon.
To keep up with all the latest news about the historic double-header, download the ONE Super App.
Read More From ONE Championship: