It was a disappointing evening in Manila for Cambodian MMA fighters Phat Soda and Thai Rithy at ONE: Legends of the World on Friday night.
Three-time national kun Khmer champion Soda’s three-round strawweight bout with Peng Xue Wen opened the Manila fight night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Peng, a Chinese national youth Greco-Roman wrestling champion, scored an impressive victory on his ONE debut with a knockout victory over Soda after a high-impact slam 2min 28sec into round one.
Soda was taken to hospital after the bout with concussion and neck injury fears from the jarring impact of the slam.
However, after checks Soda was thankfully found to have no serious injuries and released.
Trainer Chan Reach said: “[Soda’s] neck is a bit sore, but he is otherwise fine. I want to thank ONE Championship for reacting quickly to ensure our fighter’s safety.”
Soda’s Cambodia Top Team stablemate Rithy locked horns at featherweight with Chinese martial artist “The Ghost” Zhao Zhi Kang in the fifth fight of the night.
Rithy was looking to record his second ONE Championship victory after his exciting knockout debut win over Jerome S Paye of Liberia in the second round at ONE: Total Victory in Indonesia in September
But it was Zhao who made an ominous statement on his first outing in the ONE Championship cage, submitting the Cambodian standout after 2mins 31sec of round one. Out to take the fight to the ground, Zhao locked in a rear-naked choke and Rithy tapped out.
In the main event, Australia’s Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen knocked out Eduard “Landslide” Folayang to become the first man to hold two ONE titles at the same time.
After a first round in which the fighters rained hard strikes on each other, both men continued to trade heavy blows in the centre of the cage in the second.
When Folayang launched into his famed spinning backfist, Nguyen moved in with a flurry of explosive right hands to score a knockout victory over the Filipino to add the ONE lightweight belt to his featherweight title.
“This is a special place for me. Last year, I came in and won the ‘fight of the night’ – right now it’s possibly the ‘knockout of the night’,” Nguyen said after his victory.
“I think coming into the fight my main objective was [to win by either] a TKO or a submission.”