ONE Championship’s tenth show in Manila started off with a bang as three thrilling fights. From an opening bout that saw numerous exchanges, Michelle Nicolini’s amazing performance, and Gina “The Conviction” Iniong’s impressive debut, the jampacked SM Mall of Asia Arena were left gasping for more.
Iniong dominates Gonzales-Hills in ONE debut
The highly-anticipated ONE Championship debut of Team Lakay’s Gina Iniong (5-2) was worth it. And for 15 minutes, the Baguio-native dominated Filipino-Aussie Natalie Gonzales-Hills (1-5) en route to a unanimous decision win.
Iniong, after going on a one-and-a-half year hiatus, did not show any cage rust, dominating her opponent on the ground during the first round while countering every combination thrown by Gonzales-Hills in the second round.
The “Kilapino” tried to turn up the aggression in the final round, cornering the 27-year-old Filipina for the majority of the bout. However, a hip throw by Iniong stopped Gonzales-Hills’ fury. The Cavite City-born Aussie was able to corner Iniong up until the final bell sounded but proved to be too late.
Gonzales-Hills continues to look for that elusive win in ONE Championship.
Nicolini makes quick work of Mazepa, calls for Women’s Strawweight championship
Brazilian Jiujitsu black belt Michelle Nicolini (4-1) showcased why she is one of the best grapplers in the division, tapping five-time Wushu champion Irina Mazepa (2-1) via armbar in the very first round.
“I’m very happy [with this] fight. I was very nervous but everything I workede hard for led to this moment,” the 35-year-old fighter out of Evolve MMA said.
And once she was able to get on top of Mazepa, it was all but done as she worked her way to get the Russian’s left arm, eventually securing an arm bar just two minutes into the bout.
Mazepa previously defeated Filipina Ana Julaton during ONE: Spirit of Champions.
With the win, Nicolini called for the creation of a ONE Women’s Strawweight World Championship saying, “Let’s get that belt ONE Championship!”
Robin Catalan ekes out split decision win, hands Miado first loss
Luck finally favored the Catalan family as Robin Catalan (6-3) was able to squeak out a split decision win over previously unbeaten prospect Jeremy Miado to open Kings of Destiny (6-1).
Both fighters exchanged numerous takedown all throughout the bout but Catalan’s aggressiveness in the final round proved to be pivotal in the eyes of the three judges. Moreover, the standout of Catalan Fighting System survived a tight guilottine choke in the third round and huge shots in the first two rounds.
This is the Ilonggo’s first win in ONE Championship while the 24-year-old Miado goes back to the drawing board.
ONE Championship: Kings of Destiny Results
April 21, 2017 – SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City
Women’s Atomweight bout: Gina Inion def. Natalie Gonzales-Hills via unanimous decision
Women’s Strawweight bout: Michelle Nicolini def. Irina Mazepa via Submission (armbar), Rd 1 2:11
Strawweight bout: Robin Catalan def. Jeremy Miado via split decision