John Lineker is the new ONE bantamweight champion. | Photo via ONE Championship
Two ONE Championship: Lights Out title bouts ended in violent fashion on Friday in Singapore with Thanh Le and John Lineker coming out on top.
Le put his featherweight title on the line for the first time against jiu-jitsu wizard Garry Tonon and had to work early when Tonon pulled guard and attacked his leg. Moments after defending the submission scare, Le dropped hammers on Tono’s face and put him out cold in under a minute. The champion will receive a $50,000 bonus for the finish and he asked ONE to “line them up” and give him a quick turnaround later this month in Singapore.
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) March 11, 2022
In the co-main event, Lineker’s long wait paid off when he finally challenged Bibiano Fernandes for bantamweight gold. The duo traded violently on the feet in the opening round and “Hands of Stone” rocked Fernandes twice before getting dropped. Lineker recovered and ended up on top position, landing some heavy ground-and-pound on the champion.
The second stanza started and Fernandes found success with his takedowns early, but Lineker defended his attempts and forced “The Flash” to stand and trade. Seconds later, Lineker landed a vicious left hand that floored Fernandes, leaving him nearly unconscious, then followed up with a punch to force the referee to call it and make Lineker the new ONE bantamweight champion. Lineker will receive an extra $50,000 bonus for the victory.
Watch that incredible finish above.
“Bibiano will forever be a champion,” Lineker said in his post-fight interview. “A tough guy, caught me on the chin and knocked me down but I recovered, believed in my potential, believed in my hands, hands of stone, and had this beautiful victory.”
Martin Nguyen, a former two-division king in ONE, rebounded from consecutive defeats to stop an exhausted Kiril Gorobets in the third round, finishing out with strikes to the body. In his post-fight interview, Nguyen said he wanted to stay active and face Christian Lee in a grappling match at ONE X, which goes down March 26. Nguyen has beaten Lee twice in MMA.
Former ONE strawweight champion Alex Silva looked to keep the momentum going after back-to-back victories in 2021 and came close to submitting Adrian Mattheis with a north-south choke in the opening round, but got dropped with a right hand five seconds into round two. The referee quickly jumped in to Silva’s dismay and the fighter started doing push-ups to argue that it was a premature stoppage. Mattheis improves to 10-5 in the company with eight wins over his past 10 bouts.
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) March 11, 2022
Check the complete ONE Championship: Lights Out results below.
Thanh Le def. Garry Tonon via KO – Round 1, 0:56
John Lineker def. Bibiano Fernandes via TKO – Round 2, 3:40
Martin Nguyen def. Kirill Gorobets via TKO – Round 3, 2:18
Adrian Mattheis def. Alex Silva via TKO – Round 2, 0:05
Eko Roni Saputra def. Chan Rothana via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:34
Iman Barlow def. Daniela Lopez via TKO (doctor stoppage) – Round 1, 1:39
Liam Nolan def. Kim Kyung Lock via TKO – Round 1, 1:02
Iraj Azizpour def. Ismael Londt via KO – Round 2, 2:01
Zhang Peimian def. Josh Tonna via TKO – Round 2, 2:11
Lin Heqin def. Milagros Lopez via unanimous decision