After a long lay-off away from competition, Australian featherweight Rob Lisita was on the unfortunate end of a devastating soccer-kick KO on Friday night in Thailand.
ONE Championship 43: Kingdom of Champions was the long-awaited debut show for the promotion in Thailand. The event was held at the Impact Arena, Bangkok, in the country’s capital. The bout between Lisita and Russia’s Timofey Nastyukhin took place at a catchweight of 73kg.
The match began with Lisita looking eager to engage as he moved forward toward his opponent. Nastyukhin threw a right cross followed by a left hook which connected heavily and dropped the Aussie. Nastyukhin then finished with a brutal headkick on a floored Lisita, putting a stop to the fight at only six seconds into the first round.
With the win, Nastyukhin now takes his record to an impressive 10-2. The defeat was Lisita’s third straight in One Championship after stopping Yusuke Kawanago in 28 seconds in his promotional debut back in mid 2014. The 33 year-old’s record now stands at 15-8.
The headliner was contested between hometown hero and former Lumpinee Muay Thai Champion, Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke, and Japan’s Yoshitaka Naito for the One Championship strawweight title. Amnuaysirichoke demonstrated superior striking and great takedown defense early on in the fight, but once Naito settled in, he began to push his game-plan of getting the fight to the ground. This was the key for Naito to win, as the Muay Thai champion Amnuaysirichoke, had clearly outclassed Naito in the striking. Naito was patient, stuck to his game plan, and eventually secured a tight rear naked choke on Amnuaysirichoke late in round four, forcing his opponent to tap and put an end to the bout. With the win, Naito remains undefeated at 11-0 and is awarded with the One Strawweight Championship.
The co-main event on the night was held between Russia’s Marat Gafurov, and Japan’s Kazunori Yokota for the One featherweight championship. Yokota proved to be a tricky opponent for the defending champion. Gafurov had a tough time in getting Yokota to the ground early on, and his unorthodox striking was hard to figure out. Gafurov eventually started to take the fight to the ground and demonstrate his grappling dominance. After multiple rear naked choke attempts, Gafurov sunk in a choke that forced Yokota to tap late in round two. Gafurov remains undefeated with an impressive 14-0 record; having won his last five fights by rear naked choke.
David Lewellin is a Melbourne based contributor for Fight News Australia.