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Superlek TKOs Last-Minute Challenger; Rodrigues Becomes Undisputed Champ

Superlek Kiatmoo9 (left) retains the ONE flyweight kickboxing championship while Allycia Hellen Rodrigues (right) becomes the undisputed ONE atomweight Muay Thai champion at ONE Fight Night 8 on March 25, 2023.
ONE Championship

KEY POINTS

  • Superlek Kiatmoo9 successfully defended his ONE flyweight kickboxing title against Danial Williams
  • Allycia Hellen Rodrigues earned the undisputed atomweight Muay Thai champ status
  • Ham Seo Hee claimed the win over Itsuki Hirata in a long-awaited bout

ONE Fight Night 8 gave fans around the world another great night of matches. Read also : Buckingham Palace Has No Choice But To Comment On Prince Harry, Meghan Markle’s Racism Allegation: Report.

Superlek Kitamoo9 was originally scheduled to fight Rodtang Jitmuangnon in defense of his flyweight kickboxing title, but a late-notice injury to the latter opened the door for Australia’s Danial Williams to step in.

Superlek sought to show Williams that the kickboxing world is his as he landed some big leg kicks that appear to be his primary weapon for the night.

Williams was more than happy to respond with punches down the middle that threw Superlek off his rhythm at times.

As the fight wore on, it became apparent that Williams was simply not ready to face Superlek’s power at flyweight and knocked down the Aussie with a massive knee that was intended to be a head kick.

“Mini T” still got up to continue, but his legs were already shot and it would only be a matter of time before “The Kicking Machine” initiated the fight-ending sequence.

Superlek staggered Williams with a step knee to the face and proceeded to end the fight with a thunderous combination, forcing referee Olivier Coste to call off the fight.

“I was really pressured for the first round, but then I followed my corner and [attacked] with more high kicks,” Superlek admitted in the post-fight interview.

After defending his title in spectacular fashion, ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong handed him a $50,000 performance bonus.

Superlek Kiatmoo9, ONE Championship
Superlek Kiatmoo9 reacts after getting the TKO victory over Danial Williams to retain his ONE flyweight kickboxing championship at ONE Fight Night 8 on March 25, 2023.
ONE Championship

In the co-main event, interim atomweight Muay Thai titlist Janet Todd got her shot at gold against lineal champion Allycia Hellen Rodrigues in her first fight since taking a break from the action to become a mother.

Todd was quick to impose her will upon Rodrigues as she came out the more aggressive fighter, landing kicks to the champion’s legs and body, while the Brazilian appeared to need two rounds to fully shake off the ring rust.

With the interim champion having the advantage in the first two frames of the matchup, Rodrigues opted to stand in the pocket and trade shots with the American in the third round.

As Rodrigues’ elbows and combinations landed, a cut opened up on the side of Todd’s face.

Her slow start did not seem to affect her performance as Rodrigues came off extremely strong in the final two periods, which saw her land some huge combinations as the momentum completely swung in her favor.

The judges certainly saw it that way as Rodrigues was declared the undisputed atomweight Muay Thai champion by unanimous decision and made it known in the post-fight interview that she wants to take a shot at Todd for her atomweight kickboxing title.

Allycia Hellen Rodrigues, ONE Championship
Allycia Hellen Rodrigues firing off punches against Janet Todd during their bout over the undisputed ONE atomweight Muay Thai championship at ONE Fight Night 8 on March 25, 2023.
ONE Championship

Just before the two headliners, Ham Seo Hee and Itsuki Hirata finally stepped inside the Circle against one another.

Both atomweights were warned by referee Herb Dean for inaction in the first round as they took their time to engage.

“Hamzzang” took the initiative in the second round, moving forward in the hopes of landing a big shot.

However, Hirata finally landed a takedown that scored points for her. Ham continued to press the issue as best she can and completely owned the striking game.

Hirata was shown a yellow card for inactivity early in the third round, while Ham landed some strikes.

Just like the first two rounds, not much action happened outside of a punch here and there. But Hirata did land a big fireman’s carry transition while on the ground.

By the end of the three-round affair, Ham was declared the winner by unanimous decision and stated that she was hoping for a “more aggressive fight” but was content in winning the bout regardless.

Ham Seo Hee, ONE Championship
Ham Seo Hee looking for an opening against Itsuki Hirata during their atomweight bout at ONE Fight Night 8 on March 25, 2023.
ONE Championship

Before fans witnessed the aforementioned three fights, Akbar Abdullaev only needed 44 seconds to claim the win over Oh Ho Taek after a devastating uppercut that allowed the Kyrgyz to finish him off with ground-and-pound strikes.

“Bakal” earned a $50,000 performance bonus for his handiwork.

Fans of stand-up-only bouts were again treated to stellar back-and-forth fights as Aslanbek Zikreev claimed a split decision victory over Rui Botelho, whereas Zhang Peimian took home the win and a $50,000 performance bonus for his efforts against Torepchi Dongak.

Starting off the main card, Keito Yamakita made his ONE Championship debut against former ONE strawweight champion Alex Silva and could not have asked for a better start to his career under the promotion’s banner after putting on a stellar grappling showcase.

From the opening bell, Yamakita utterly dominated Silva on the ground with his freestyle wrestling and kept him there for most of the bout, not allowing “Little Rock” to get off any type of offense.

Silva tried his hardest to get back into the fight with a strong start to the third round which featured a rear-naked choke threat, but Yamakita was simply the more dominant fighter and took home the unanimous decision victory.

The lead card saw Tammi Musumeci pick up the unanimous decision win versus Bianca Basilio in submission grappling, while Muay Thai fighters Iman Barlow and Eddie Abasolo claimed wins over Ekaterina Vandaryeva and Niclas Larsen respectively—the latter being a second-round knockout.

Keito Yamakita, ONE Championship
Keito Yamakita controls Alex Silva on the ground during ONE Fight Night 8 on March 25, 2023.
ONE Championship