ONE Championship’s first-ever all-women’s card finally took place Friday in Singapore, and Xiong Jing Nan scored a dominant victory over Michelle Nicolini to defend her strawweight championship.
It was no secret that Nicolini wanted to take the fight to the ground, but Nan did a good job avoiding the jiu-jitsu specialist’s attacks whenever they hit the mat. Nan scored a knockdown in the opening stanza and hurt Nicolini in the fifth, outpointing the Brazilian with ease to win the unanimous decision.
“I feel that I am not performing very good today but I think that my performance in the future will be even better,” Nan said through a translator in her post-fight interview.
The card also featured the quarterfinal bouts of the atomweight grand prix, contested at 115 pounds under ONE’s rules. All four bouts went the distance, advancing Seo Hee Ham, Stamp Fairtex, Ritu Phogat, and Itsuki Hirata. The semifinal pairing will be decided by fan voting.
RIZIN atomweight champion Seo Hee Ham met undefeated Denice Zamboanga but couldn’t stop her from controlling the action in the first uneventful couple of rounds, but landed a few good strikes. An accidental clash of heads put a halt on the fight midway through round three. The cutman eventually stopped the bleeding, and Zamboanga shot for a takedown quickly, staying on stop until time ran out. Ham was declared the winner via split decision.
Alyona Rassohyna and Stamp Fairtex met in a rematch of their February bout. Fairtex, who claimed she never tapped to the guillotine choke with just seven seconds left in the clock in February, almost caught Rassohyna with a rear-naked choke in the opening round but had to escape an armbar attempt in the third. In the end, Fairtex got her revenge via split decision.
Ritu Phogat and Itsuki Hirata had to dig deep to advance to the semifinals against Meng Bo and Alyse Anderson, respectively. Phogat came back from a bad first round, getting rocked on the feet and almost finished with an armbar, rebounding in the following rounds with a dominating ground and pound to win a decision.
Hirata was knocked down early in her bout by Anderson, but came out victorious via unanimous decision. Hirata remains unbeaten in mixed martial arts with five wins, four of those under the ONE banner.
Check the complete ONE: Empower results below. Julie Mezabarba’s win over Mei Yamaguchi was in the grand prix alternate match.
Xiong Jing Nan def. Michelle Nicolini via unanimous decision
Seo Hee Ham def. Denice Zamboanga via split decision
Stamp Fairtex def. Alyona Rassohyna via split decision
Ritu Phogat def. Meng Bo via unanimous decision
Itsuki Hirata def. Alyse Anderson via unanimous decision
Julie Mezabarba def. Mei Yamaguchi via unanimous decision
Anissa Meksen def. Cristina Morales via TKO (punches) - Round 2, 2:27
Jackie Buntan def. Daniela Lopez via unanimous decision