One Championship returned home to Singapore as One: Enter the Dragon went down on May 17 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The main event of the evening saw 36-year old Shinya Aoki putting his lightweight title on the line against Christian Lee. The first round boded well for Aoki, who imposed his ground game at the expense of Lee’s attempts to keep the action on feet. In the second round, though, the challenger found the key to solving the Japanese enigma, and hit his opponent with a series of punches that first knocked Aoki down, then forced the referee to stop the contest. In front of a partisan crowd, “The Warrior” (12-3) defeated Aoki (43-9, 1 N/C) at the 0:51 mark of Round 2 and became the new One lightweight champion.
Sage Northcutt’s debut in One Championship didn’t go as planned, as Cosmo Alexandre face-planted his American opponent after just 29 seconds in the opening stanza. Thanks to his last victory, the Bellator MMA veteran Alexandre (8-1) is now riding an eight-bout winning streak. “Super Sage” saw his three-bout winning streak snapped, but will definitely get other chances to test himself in his new promotion, which has floated the idea of having Northcutt compete in multiple styles.
Elsewhere, Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev crushed Amir Khan via KO at 2:56 of the very first stanza. Arslanaliev (8-1) clipped his opponent with a couple of tremendous right uppercuts and gained access to the finals of One’s lightweight Grand Prix.
In other main card fighting, Geje Eustaquio bested Kim Kyu Sung via unanimous decision after three rounds of back-and-forth action, and in the opening bout of the main card, China’s Li Tao Miao put Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke to sleep in the opening round thanks to a vicious left hook.