ONE Championship’s 10th anniversary spectacular in Singapore featured a rousing collection of striking-only Super Series bouts on Saturday, including a title victory from kick-boxer Hiroki Akimoto that drove the Singapore Indoor Stadium into a frenzy of excitement as fans returned en masse for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Japan’s Akimoto, a karate specialist, challenged Thailand’s Capitan Petchyindee for the ONE bantamweight kick-boxing title during the second portion of the 20-fight ONE X broadcast. The Japanese star unleashed a cartoonishly violent assault from bell-to-bell for a clear-cut unanimous decision win. Capitan lost a point after receiving three yellow cards for excessive clinching, but by that point, it did not matter. Akimoto was already miles ahead on the scorecards. “My coach told me every day I would be champion,” the new champ said in his post-fight interview with commentator Mitch Chilson. “This is the day. This is the fruit of my training.” Akimoto will return to Evolve MMA in Singapore with a new belt, a US$50,000 bonus in the bank, and like any champion, a target on his back. Soon after Akimoto’s dazzling victory over Capitan, bantamweight Muay Thai champion Nong-O Gaiyanghadao took to the ONE Circle to defend his title against short-notice replacement opponent Felipe Lobo. ONE X: Ham Seo-hee, Tang Kai call for title shots Nong-O fared much better than his countryman Capitan, deflating his Brazilian challenger with a rocket-fuelled right uppercut in round three. Post-fight, the champion claimed the fight went exactly as he planned. “[The uppercut] was a part of the game plan,” he said. “The first two rounds were to read the opponent, then the third round was to knock him out. That was the plan.” What. A. KNOCKOUT 💪 Nong-O Gaiyanghadao 🇹🇭 sends Felipe Lobo to the shadow realm with a wicked uppercut! #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship #ONEX | PPV: 8PM SGT/8AM ET | Order PPV: https://t.co/eBUfsOlZOd pic.twitter.com/73PQSeZfZ3 — ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) March 26, 2022 ONE X also featured a featherweight kick-boxing title fight between defending champion Superbon Singha Mawynn of Thailand and Armenian challenger Marat Grigorian, which kicked off the last of the event’s three segments. Both fighters are regarded among the top pound-for-pound kick-boxers on earth, but Superbon was a step ahead on the night. The champion was on the back foot for much of the fight, but showed excellent evasive movement and defence. He was also much more versatile offensively, responding to Grigorian’s boxing with round kicks, push kicks, knees and plenty punches of his own. The Thai’s tactical performance ultimately earned him a unanimous decision victory – a win made all the sweeter by the fact that he was knocked out by Grigorian in 2018. “Power cannot stop me right now,” the champion said post-fight, flaunting his rapidly improving English skills. Earlier in the night, Georgian-born Belarusian Chingiz Allazov ostensibly earned a crack at the Superbon by defeating Thailand’s Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong by decision with a steady diet of punches to the body and head in the final of ONE’s featherweight kick-boxing Grand Prix. Down for the count 😱 Sinsamut Klinmee 🇹🇭 SHOCKS THE WORLD with a one-punch knockout of Nieky Holzken! #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship #ONEX | PPV: 8PM SGT/8AM ET | Order PPV: https://t.co/eBUfsODAFL pic.twitter.com/UM7W3s8QLi — ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) March 26, 2022 The first Super Series bout of the night saw Dutch star Nieky Holzken take on debuting Thai Sinsamut Klinmee in a fight he was widely expected to win. But that is not the way it happened. Instead, Klinmee, who replaced Islam Murtazaev on short notice, levelled his experienced foe with a sizzling right hand in round two. It was the biggest of his career, and one that should set him up for more big opportunities in the ONE Circle.