Top-ranked ONE bantamweight contender John Lineker delivered a devastating first round knockout of Troy Worthen while Yuya Wakamatsu outlasted Reece McLaren in hard-fought battle of flyweight contenders during “ONE on TNT III,” a previously recorded event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium on April 22, 2021.
Lineker came out of the gates firing powerful boxing combinations without caution. He went on to land a torrent of thudding punches to the head and body throughout the fight.
Showing tremendous conditioning and durability, Worthen somehow stayed on his feet despite absorbing Lineker’s best shots. But inside the final minute of the first round, the powerful Brazilian connected with a straight right hand that marked the end for his foe. “Hands of Stone” quickly followed up with another right hand on the ground to seal the finish.
In the process of becoming the first person to finish Worthen and earning his 16th knockout career victory, Lineker may have punched his ticket to challenge ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes later in 2021.
Lineker’s career record now stands at 34-9 and remains unbeaten in ONE Championship. Worthen suffered his second consecutive defeat after racking up seven straight wins.
In the co-main event, #4-ranked flyweight contender Yuya “Little Piranha” Wakamatsu took care of business against dangerous grappler and #5-ranked contender Reece “Lightning” McLaren in an entertaining three-round affair.
Wakamatsu made his intent known early on, winging wild haymakers from range while McLaren constantly threatened with submissions in intense mat exchanges. As the bout wore on, Wakamatsu began to establish his dominance, tagging McLaren with crisp boxing combinations. In the end, all three judges scored the fight in favor of the Japanese star to win by unanimous decision.
“Little Piranha” pushed his record to 14-4 with four straight wins on the global stage. His impressive run could push him for a ONE Flyweight World Title shot against Adriano “Mikinho” Moraes in short order.
The Fil-Aussie McLaren skids to 14-8, with now five losses by decision.
On the Bleacher Report lead card, Ok Rae Yoon stunned former ONE Featherweight World Champion and current #5-ranked lightweight contender Marat “Cobra” Gafurov, winning by unanimous decision after three closely contested rounds of action. With his victory, Ok will face American legend Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez at “ONE on TNT IV” next week.
In a highly anticipated rematch, Miao Li Tao authored a fantastic performance against Ryuto “Dragon Boy” Sawada to come away with a unanimous decision after a grueling three-round fight.
And in a ONE Super Series Muay Thai showdown, kickboxing icon Nieky “The Natural” Holzken put together a tremendous performance to stop legendary striker John Wayne “The Gunslinger” Parr in the second round.
Official Results for “ONE on TNT III”
Mixed Martial Arts – Bantamweight: John Lineker defeats Troy Worthen via Knockout (KO) at 4:35 of Round 1
Mixed Martial Arts – Flyweight: Yuya Wakamatsu defeats Reece McLaren via Unanimous Decision
Mixed Martial Arts – Lightweight: Ok Rae Yoon defeats Marat Gafurov via Unanimous Decision
Mixed Martial Arts – Strawweight: Miao Li Tao defeats Ryuto Sawada via Unanimous Decision
Muay Thai – Catchweight (80.8 KG): Nieky Holzken defeats John Wayne Parr via Technical Knockout (TKO) at 1:23 of Round 2
By Armando M. Bolislis