The first part of ONE’s 100th show featured another big win for ex-UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson in Tokyo.
After making his way to the final of ONE’s flyweight grand prix with wins over Yuya Wakamatsu and Tatsumitsu Wada, the former UFC flyweight king dominated Danny Kingad with superior wrestling to win the eight-man competition.
The flyweight grand prix final headlined part one of “ONE: Century” on Sunday morning in Japan.
Johnson weathered an early storm from Kingad in the first round and took him down several times over 15 minutes, attempting to secure submissions and landing punches, elbows and knees. Victorious via unanimous decision, Johnson snapped Kingad’s six-fight winning streak.
“Mighty Mouse” now expects to face flyweight champion Adriano Moraes for the ONE gold.
“Obviously I’m the No. 1 contender,” he said after the win. “I got a date with Adriano Moraes. He’s a beast, tall, great grappler.”
But don’t expect Johnson to jump right away in camp for the five-round championship contest.
“Three fights in one year – I haven’t done this since 2013,” Johnson said. “I’m tired, I’m gonna go home and take some time off and enjoy this.”
Headlining the first half of ONE: Century, Angela Lee put her atomweight title on the line against Xiong Jing Nan, and the rematch of their thrilling contest for Nan’s strawweight gold back in March lived up to the expectations.
Nan, who had to dig deep in the first fight before scoring a knockout in the fifth round and defend her strawweight throne, moved down a weight class and landed the best shots on the feet in the opening round in Tokyo. Lee eventually managed to get Nan down in the second stanza, but Nan did a good job not letting her do much there except for a couple of knees to the head in the final moments.
The third round started with both fighters exchanging knees in the clinch in the center of the cage before Lee threw Nan to the ground and trapped her in a head lock control, landing punches to her face. As Nan escaped, Lee went for an armbar and took her back, working on a rear-naked choke until time ran out.
Both fighters traded strikes in the fourth, with Nan landing good right hands and Lee responding with a flying knee in the final seconds.
The final round started in high pace with Lee desperately shot for a single leg after Nan tagged her with a good punch, but Nan was able to stop her attempt and connect on the feet. Lee eventually got her to the ground and took her back with 2:30 left in the clock, enough time to work on a rear-naked choke. When it appeared that Nan would make it to the end, Lee sank the choke and forced her to tap with with only 12 seconds left.
“Honestly it feels like a dream. Right now I just feel like a dream still and I’m gonna wake up and have to fight,” Lee said after the win. “That last round I was rocked, I really didn’t know what I was doing. All I could hear was my dad’s and my brother’s voice in my corner coaching me through that last round, so in that last round that wasn’t me, that was entirely my team and my family and I owe it all to them for this defense right here.”
In a lightweight grand prix shattered by injuries and fight cancellations, it’s fitting that a fighter that stepped into the final with only 10 days’ notice became the tournament winner.
Brother of Angela Lee, ONE lightweight champ Christian Lee who wasn’t part of the original eight in the tournament, but outwrestled Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev over three rounds to win a decision after replacing ex-UFC champ Eddie Alvarez.
Lee got the mount and took his opponent’s back to land punches and elbows, threatening submissions on multiples occasions over the course of the fight. He couldn’t secure the finish, but “The Warrior” had his hand raised with an unanimous call.
Lee is now 4-0 over the past 11 months, including a second-round knockout victory over Shinya Aoki to win the lightweight belt in May.
In the preliminary portion of the card, all but two bouts ended with finishes. One of the decisions went to UFC veteran Yushin Okami, who snapped an uncomfortable three-fight losing skid with a split win over Agilan Thani.
Check the complete ONE: Century, Part 1 results below.
Angela Lee def. Xiong Jing Nan via submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 5, 4:48
Demetrious Johnson def. Danny Kingad via unanimous decision
Christian Lee def. Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev via unanimous decision
Yuya Wakamatsu def. Dae Hwan Kim via unanimous decision
Yushin Okami def. Agilan Thani via split decision
Itsuki Hirata def. Rika Ishige via submission (armbar) - Round 2, 4:41
Lito Adiwang def. Senzo Ikeda via TKO (arm injury) - Round 1, 1:57
Chang Min Yoon def. Phoe Thaw via submission (rear-naked choke) - Round 1, 3:17
Won Il Kwon def. Sunoto Peringkat via TKO (punches) - Round 1, 1:43
Janet Todd vs. Ekaterina Vandaryeva via KO - Round 2, 2:20
Sam-A Gaiyanghadao def. Darren Roland via KO - Round 2, 1:20