On Friday, 7 February, Japan sent three of its athletes to Jakarta, Indonesia to take part in ONE: WARRIOR’S CODE – and the trio delivered a clean sweep for their homeland.
We recap the three athletes’ performances in “The Emerald Of The Equator.”
Taiki Naito Drops The Cypriot
Naito kicked off the rally on the lead card as he methodically dismantled “The Baby Face Killer” Savvas Michael Petchyindee Academy over three rounds to clinch a unanimous decision win.
“Silent Sniper” started slowly, searching for an opening behind the long reach of his Cypriot rival. When he found little success, Naito changed tactics and allowed Michael to walk into range, playing the Petchyindee Academy representative’s aggression against himself.
As “The Baby Face Killer” stepped inside, Naito served up a right hand that dropped him to the canvas for the first official knockdown of the contest. The man from Japan repeated this strategy, dropping Michael again to seal the unanimous decision win.
The Bell Wood Fight Team representative, who is now 3-0 in ONE Super Series, has his sights set on the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title, and he has built a convincing case for himself after this win.
Itsuki Hirata Defuses “Neutron Bomb”
Hirata followed her compatriot’s success with a grappling masterclass before finishing Nyrene “Neutron Bomb” Crowley with a third-round TKO.
The judoka used her powerful wrestling to dominate Crowley on the ground. “Neutron Bomb” mustered little offense against the relentless tide of takedowns and reversals.
“Strong Heart Fighter” proceeded to seal the match with several ground and pound strikes in the third round.
With her victory on Friday, Hirata moves to a remarkable 6-0. The judoka’s formidable grappling will serve her well if a future encounter with Stamp Fairtex materializes.
Koyomi Matsushima Completes The Hat Trick
Japan’s win streak continued when Matsushima demolished South Korean striker “The Fighting God” Kim Jae Woong in their featherweight clash.
“Moushigo” immediately went on the offensive in the first round. The Japanese athlete threw low kicks to open up his South Korean rival, then he scored a huge takedown that had the fans inside the Istora Senayan on their feet.
Matsushima upped the tempo in the second stanza. He scored another quick takedown, and although Woong escaped, the South Korean athlete instead walked straight into a strong right hand that sent him down to the canvas.
“The Fighting God” hung on, but not for long. In round three, “Moushigo” threw a right hook that wobbled his opponent. Then, he fired off another right hand that floored the South Korean competitor.
A final flurry of ground and pound strikes from Matsushima onto a defenseless Woong forced referee Kemp Cheng to step in and call a stop to the action in the third round.
If Matsushima can keep this up, the man from Yokohama could find himself standing across the Circle from ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen again.
Four more of Japan’s athletes return to action on Friday, 28 February at ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Will they continue Japan’s winning run? Download the ONE Super App to find out.
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