"ONE 157: Petchmorakot vs. Vienot" delivered nonstop martial arts action this past Friday from the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Two exceptional ONE muay Thai world title clashes headlined the event, which also featured the ONE flyweight muay Thai world grand prix quarterfinal round.
But those watching enjoyed more than just muay Thai. Mixed martial arts, kickboxing, and submission grappling bouts also caught the attention of ONE's global fan base.
After another night of action in Singapore, here are the five biggest takeaways from ONE 157.
1. Petchmorakot found his equal
Since December 2018, Petchmorakot Petchyindee has looked unstoppable in ONE Super Series muay Thai, scoring dominant victories over British star Liam "Hitman" Harrison, legendary striker "The Boxing Computer" Yodsanklai IWE Fairtex, and Swedish warrior Magnus "Crazy Viking" Andersson.
But at ONE 157, the Thai's intensity was matched by Jimmy "JV01" Vienot, who nearly snatched his ONE featherweight muay Thai world championship.
Vienot got off to a hot start against the Petchyindee star, but Petchmorakot roared back in the third and fourth rounds. In fact, he landed a crushing right hook in the fourth stanza that sent the Frenchman to the mat.
Although "JV01" answered the eight-count, the lasting impression made a difference in the judges' eyes, as two of them scored the split-decision win for the reigning king.
While an immediate rematch may not come for the challenger, his ability to push Petchmorakot past his limits showed the world that another player is on the featherweight muay Thai scene – and he's nearly equal to that of the world champion.
2. Self-belief leads to greatness
The mantra of "never give up" may seem like mere words to many, but Joseph "The Hurricane" Lasiri became the latest example of why nobody should ever count themselves out when things aren’t going well.
The Italian-Moroccan athlete began his ONE career with four consecutive losses. But improbably, he's now become the new ONE strawweight muay Thai world champion.
From the opening bell, Lasiri was the better man against pound-for-pound superstar Prajanchai PK.Saenchai. In fact, the wind coming off "The Hurricane's" strikes blew so fiercely that the Saffir-Simpson scale may have registered it.
After three furious rounds of muay Thai attacks from Lasiri, the world champion told the referee that he could no longer continue and shockingly resigned from his stool.
Lasiri's story is not simply inspirational; it’s a reminder that anyone going through tough times should continue to work hard because it might just pay off. Sometimes, it even pays off in gold.
3. The flyweight muay Thai grand prix semifinals will be epic
The ONE flyweight muay Thai world grand prix semifinals are set following dominant quarterfinal performances by four of the world's most elite strikers.
On the lead card, Savvas "The Baby Face Killer" Michael and No. 2-ranked Superlek "The Kicking Machine" Kiatmoo9 cruised to unanimous decision victories against Amir Naseri and No. 4-ranked flyweight kickboxer Taiki "Silent Sniper" Naito, respectively.
When the main card began, No. 3-ranked flyweight kickboxer Walter Goncalves scored the lone knockout of the quarterfinals, dropping Josue "Tuzo" Cruz with a blistering body shot and two knees at the 0:35 mark of the first round.
ONE flyweight muay Thai world cchampion Rodtang "The Iron Man" Jitmuangnon followed that bout up with one of his most dominating performances to date against Jacob Smith.
The four stunning results will undoubtedly lead to epic semifinal clashes between the world’s top flyweights later in 2022.
4. Grappling's next generation has arrived
The lightweight submission grappling match between Tye Ruotolo and Garry "The Lion Killer" Tonon was billed as a clash of generations. And, in less than two minutes, everyone found out that Gen Next has arrived in the sport.
Ruotolo shocked Tonon with a slick D'Arse choke at just 1:37 of the first round, in the process earning one of the four $50,000 performance bonuses handed out at ONE 157.
Earlier in the evening, Kade Ruotolo defeated Shinya "Tobikan Judan" Aoki by unanimous decision after attacking with multiple submission attempts and using the ONE circle wall to take the Japanese legend's back.
The new wave of submission grapplers such as the Ruotolos and Mikey "Darth Rigatoni" Musumeci are proving that this sport is just as exciting as MMA. These outstanding young grapplers will continue to shine on the global stage for years to come.
5. 'Wondergirl' is for real
The Thai sensation showed that she is much more than just a striker when she slapped on an armbar at the 1:22 mark of the first round.
The result was not nearly as impressive as how smoothly Wondergirl moved around the ONE circle, though. Her footwork, transitions, and vision to execute flawlessly showed why she is one of the brightest young talents in the world.
The 23-year-old displayed to the global fan base how quickly she has adapted to MMA. With much more room to grow, 'Wondergirl' has limitless potential.
This article first published at ONEFC.com.