High Fives: Knees, Elbows and a Spectacular Submission

MMA-hungry fans were in for a real treat during the weekend of July 13-15. In addition to UFC Fight Night 133, Bellator 202 and Bellator 203, there were a host of pivotal matchups that took place across Asia. Here are five of the highlights:

SLUGFEST … A welterweight showdown between Sweden’s Zebaztian Kadestam and Malaysia’s Agilan Thani headlined One Championship “Pursuit of Power” on Friday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The fight proved to be a highly entertaining affair that played out mostly on the feet. The finish came in the third round, where a barrage of Kadestan knees from the clinch was followed by a brutal three-elbow combination that left Thani on the canvas in a crumpled heap. The win moved Kadestan to 10-4, while Thani fell to 9-2.

DOGGED DISPLAY … In other One Championship welterweight action, America’s Tyler McGuire met Brazil’s Luis Santos. Through three grueling rounds, McGuire utilized his wrestling to thwart Santos’ dangerous striking game. The judges all sided with the American. In victory, the unbeaten McGuire upped his record to 11-0. Meanwhile, ‘Sapo’ dropped to 64-11-1.

A SUBMISSION SELDOM SEEN … Costa Rica’s Ariel Sexton challenged Japan’s Kota Shimoishi in a One Championship lightweight clash. Sexton dominated the first round, while Shimoishi won the second. Forty-four seconds into the third stanza, Sexton forced his opponent to tap with a rarely seen inverted triangle and Americana combination. It was Sexton’s ninth career submission and pushed him to 12-4. In defeat, “Genjin” slipped to 21-6.

FEATHERWEIGHT FIREFIGHT … The main event at World Fighting Championship Akhmat 49 on Saturday in Grozny, Russia, was a featherweight contest between Akhmed Shervaniev and Arsen Ubaidulaev. After a competitive opening round, Shervaniev took control in the second. Having backed Ubaidulaev against cage, Shervaniev teed off on his unresponsive victim with left and right hooks to the body. The referee soon had seen enough and waved off fight at the 2:57 mark. With the win, Shervaniev rose to 11-0-1, while Ubaidulaev fell to 15-10.

BLITZKREIG … A bantamweight contest headlined Shooto “Professional Shooto 7/15” on Sunday in Tokyo, with the home nation’s Shoko Sato confronting America’s Tristan Grimsley. The end came in the first frame, as Sato delivered a left knee from the Thai plum that dazed his adversary. Sato unleashed punches until the referee swooped in with 40 seconds remaining in the round. The win saw Sato up his record to 30-16-3; Grimsley dropped to 7-8.

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