3 Things We Learned From ONE: Revolution
A new ONE Lightweight World Champion was crowned in the evening’s main event, but two more World Titles were also on the line. Capitan Petchyindee Academy defeated Mehdi Zatout to retain the ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Championship, and Joshua Pacio defended the ONE Strawweight World Title against Yosuke Saruta.
And there was plenty more action with Victoria Lee shining brightly, Kim Jae Woong punching his title to a ONE Featherweight World Championship title shot, and James Yang debuting with a TKO performance.
But after all of that, what did we learn? Let’s jump back into ONE: Revolution and pick out three things that stood out from an exciting event.
Is Ok Rae Yoon The Fighter Of The Year?
As fall begins to creep in, the year-end list contenders are also starting to show themselves. Near the top of one of the most coveted awards, Fighter of the Year, Ok Rae Yoon‘s name should be appearing.
The South Korean has come from virtual obscurity to, now, being the ONE Lightweight World Champion.
How did Yoon kickstart his ONE career? Only by taking out two World Champions in less than a month. He defeated Marat Gafurov and Eddie Alvarez on the ONE on TNT series of events that aired in primetime. That introduction earned him a shot against Christian Lee, which he then made good on with a unanimous decision win.
Who else has had a year like the South Korean? He has gone 3-0 with three impressive victories over World Championship competition. He deserves to be on those shortlists as we begin to near the end of the year. He’s earned it, and it’s time for him to receive recognition.
“The Passion” Is One Of The Most Exciting Athletes In 2021
Joshua “The Passion” Pacio may be one of the most unheralded World Champions in the sport of mixed martial arts. After ONE: Revolution, he may also throw his hat into the ring for being the most exciting.
The Filipino champion made quick work of Yosuke Saruta in their trilogy match with a first-round TKO. The surprising result affirmed his status as the best strawweight in the world right now, and it was a shot to any contender that he is still improving his all-around game.
Seventeen of his 20 professional victories have been finishes, including three of his last four ONE Strawweight World Championship bouts. The impressive resume he is building is worth a note.
Team Lakay built its reputation, and now Pacio is leading their new era as the strawweight king. Fans should begin to circle every match the young Filipino has because it is almost guaranteed to be pure fireworks inside the ONE Circle. After another stunning finish, Pacio is on his way to creating a significant legacy in the sport.
Arjan Bhullar Has Dangerous Contenders Waiting
There were two heavyweight matchups at ONE: Revolution, and the results of each showed that Arjan Bhullar, ONE Heavyweight World Champion, has contenders waiting for their shot.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu king Marcus Almeida made his highly-anticipated debut on the lead card, and he finished within the first round. Almeida took down Anderson Silva and submitted him with a north-south choke. It was exactly the kind of debut he was hoping for, and it was a performance that will put Bhullar on notice.
On the main card, Russian Anatoly Malykhin made quick work of outspoken Iranian Amir Aliakbari. The heavy hands of Malykhin quickly put him away with a first-round KO.
Each man poses a unique problem for the current champion, and the victories showed that both can compete at the highest level. The heavyweight talent pool has been getting deeper over the past year, and while Bhullar took the mantle from Brandon Vera, he now has to deal with a growing list of contenders led by Malykhin and Almeida.