Fernandes keeps title; Pacio falls
MACAU—Bibiano Fernandes remained the most dominant world champion in ONE Championship history by toppling American Andrew Leone in the ONE: KINGS & CONQUERORS at The Cotai Arena at The Venetian Macao.
Defending ONE Bantamweight World Champion Fernandes made quick work of Leone, submitting the American challenger with a rear-naked choke in the first frame of the much-awaited championship clash.
It was the beginning of the end for Leone when Fernandes hammered a knee to the midsection that slumped his opponent to the mat. The 37-year-old Brazilian authored the final sequence by latching on the match-ending submission, keeping the prestigious gold-plated strap securely fastened around his waist.
With the impressive victory, Fernandes has set an unprecedented ONE Championship record of seven successful title defenses, remaining unbeaten in the promotion.
In the co-main event, Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes of Brazil defeated Kairat Akhmetov of Kazakhstan via five-round unanimous decision to become the sole owner of the ONE Flyweight World Championship.
Hard-hitting Russian featherweight Timofey Nastyukhin and former world title challenger Koji “The Commander” Ando of Japan figured in an incredibly tactical three-round matchup, with Nastyukhin coming away with a well-earned unanimous decision victory.
Undefeated Japanese veteran Hayato Suzuki made a successful ONE Championship promotional debut, thwarting former title challenger Joshua Pacio of the Philippines to win by first round submission. After Pacio missed slightly on a spinning back kick attempt, Suzuki capitalized by taking his back and dragging the Filipino to the ground. Although Pacio valiantly fought off Suzuki’s submission attempts, it was only a matter of time before the bout-ending sequence played out. In the end, Suzuki notched his first victory in the ONE Championship cage via rear naked choke, forcing the younger Pacio to tap out.