Filipino-Kiwi Mark Abelardo stops ONE skid with impressive win

FILIPINO-KIWI FIGHTER MARK FAIRTEX ABELARDO (left) halted his skid in ONE Championship last Friday with an impressive knockout victory at “ONE: Fists of Fury II” in Singapore. — ONE CHAMPIONSHIP

FILIPINO-KIWI fighter Mark “Tyson” Fairtex Abelardo halted his skid in ONE Championship last Friday with an impressive knockout victory at “ONE: Fists of Fury II” in Singapore.

Mr. Abelardo, 29, took on American Emilio “The Honey Badger” Urrutia in a bantamweight clash and came away a winner after unleashing a well-timed elbow in the second round that immediately sent the latter crashing on the mat and ended the fight.

Lost his last two fights in the promotion entering the contest, Mr. Abelardo said those were lessons for him and was determined to stem the tide and get back to winning.

In Friday’s fights, Mr. Abelardo opened things well and pressured his opponent. He finished the first round strong, connecting on a straight right hand to rock Mr. Urrutia before the bell sounded.

In the second round, action picked up with both fighters having their moments.

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But Mr. Abelardo found an opening nearly two minutes into the round, unleashing a perfectly setup elbow to the jaw that signalled the end to the fight.

With the win, the Filipino-Kiwi fighter improved to a 20-8 record (5-3 in ONE) while sending Mr. Urrutia (11-8) to a fourth straight defeat.

Mr. Abelardo now looks to sustain the momentum he got from the victory in the division many consider as one of the deepest in ONE.

SOKOR HEAVYWEIGHT
Also victorious in ONE: Fists of Fury II was undefeated South Korean heavyweight “Mighty Warrior” Kang Ji Won, who shocked with a first-round destruction of highly regarded Greco-Roman Wrestling World Champion Amir Aliakbari, who was making his ONE Championship debut.

Mr. Aliakbari was aggressive early, stalking Mr. Kang along the Circle Wall. The heavy-handed Iranian then hurt Mr. Kang with a pair of monstrous right hands, which created damage around the left eye. As Mr. Aliakbari pressed forward, however, the South Korean avoided a strike and connected with a short left hook to the jaw, which dropped the Iranian and instantly finished the fight.

Next for ONE Championship is “Fists of Fury III” on March 19 in Singapore. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo

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