Petchtanong Petchfergus shocks Hiroki Akimoto to capture ONE bantamweight kickboxing world title by split decision

Petchtanong Petchfergus shocks Hiroki Akimoto to capture ONE bantamweight kickboxing world title by split decision

Thai veteran Petchtanong Petchfergus
Thai veteran Petchtanong Petchfergus

November 20, 2022 – Singapore: ONE Championship™ (ONE) electrified the Singapore Indoor Stadium with ONE 163: Akimoto vs. Petchtanong. The event featured an exciting six-bout main card, headlined by a thrilling ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title fight and the ONE Heavyweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Championship Final.

ONE Championship, in partnership with leading premium lifestyle and luxury performance brand TUMI, presented the prestigious ONE World Title and Grand Prix belts to the World Champions.

In the main event, Thai veteran Petchtanong Petchfergus put together one of the best performances of his career, upsetting divisional king Hiroki Akimoto via split decision to capture the ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title.

Akimoto put on the pressure in the first stanza, pushing forward behind aggressive combinations while Petchtanong patiently waited for an opportunity to counter. The Thai warrior unleashed his left knee more frequently in the second round, tagging the right side of Akimoto’s body, which turned black and blue from the punishment.

The Japanese stalwart tried to battle back in the third frame, but he failed to make key adjustments, as he had difficulty dealing with the challenger's expert timing. Petchtanong grew more confident as the bout went on, and he eventually cruised to a split-decision victory after 15 minutes of battle.

In the co-main event, ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion Roman Kryklia overcame a knockdown in the first stanza to stop longtime rival Iraj Azizpour and win the ONE Heavyweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Championship. Azizpour dropped Kryklia with a right hand in the opening frame, but the Ukrainian tower of power dug deep and survived. In the second round, Kryklia stung the Iranian with a knee down the middle that had his rival dazed. Not long after beating the 10-count, Azizpour succumbed to unrelenting pressure, as the Ukrainian closed the show with a volley of straight punches. Kryklia took home a US$50,000 bonus for his victory.

Fourth-ranked lightweight contender Saygid Izagakhmaev put forth a tremendous performance, obliterating Japanese legend and former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki to win via technical knockout in round one. Aoki threatened with a variety of kicks at the sound of the bell, but Izagakhmaev remained patient, waiting for an opening. A thunderous right hand down the middle from the Russian dropped Aoki, which signaled the beginning of the end. Izagakhmaev completed the finish with a plethora of left and right hands. The win earned Izagakhmaev a US$50,000 bonus.

Former two-division ONE World Champion Aung La N Sang turned in a quick first-round finish of Yushin Okami. The Japanese legend tried to shoot for takedowns early, but the Myanmar icon caught him with a knee to the face as he dove for the legs. “The Burmese Python” then pounced on his opponent with punches from top position, forcing the referee to halt the middleweight contest.

South Korean slugger Woo Sung Hoon stunned #3-ranked flyweight contender Yuya Wakamatsu, hurting and finishing the Japanese fighter to win by technical knockout in the very first round. Wakamatsu was aggressive to begin the fight, while the South Korean chose to defend and counter. However, “Little Piranha” attacked recklessly and left himself open. Woo caught his opponent with a monstrous left hand, which had Wakamatsu reeling. Woo then put on the finishing touches to force the referee to stop the contest. His performance earned him a US$50,000 bonus.

Bantamweights Kwon Won Il and Mark Abelardo kicked off the main card with an intense back-and-forth battle. Abelardo pushed forward with wild hooks to start the first round, while the #4-ranked bantamweight contender remained patient with his shots. Action picked up for Kwon in the second, as the South Korean found his range. The end came in the third and final stanza when Kwon timed a knee to his rival's head, just as Abelardo was shooting for a double-leg takedown. "Pretty Boy” followed up with ground-and-pound to force the stoppage.

Performance bonus winners: Roman Kryklia (US$50,000), Saygid Izagakhmaev (US$50,000), Woo Sung Hoon (US$50,000), Bianca Basilio (US$50,000)

MAIN CARD

Kickboxing - Bantamweight: Petchtanong Petchfergus def. Hiroki Akimoto via Split Decision

Kickboxing - Heavyweight: Roman Kryklia def. Iraj Azizpour via TKO at 1:28 of R2

MMA - Lightweight: Saygid Izagakhmaev def. Shinya Aoki via TKO at 1:26 of R1

MMA - Middleweight: Aung La N Sang def. Yushin Okami via TKO at 1:42 of R1

MMA - Catchweight (139 lbs): Woo Sung Hoon def. Yuya Wakamatsu via TKO at 2:46 of R1

MMA - Bantamweight: Kwon Won Il def. Mark Abelardo via TKO at 3:45 of R3

LEAD CARD

Kickboxing - Heavyweight: Ahmed Krnjic def. Bruno Chaves via Unanimous Decision

MMA - Lightweight: Ahmed Mujtaba def. Abraao Amorim via Submission (Triangle Choke) at 4:32 of R1

Muay Thai - Catchweight (126 lbs): Asahi Shinagawa def. Rui Botelho via Split Decision

Submission Grappling - Strawweight: Bianca Basilio def. Milena Sakumoto via Rear-Naked Choke at 0:42

MMA - Featherweight: Kirill Gorobets def. Bruno Pucci via Unanimous Decision

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