Sports

Tuấn wins ONE Championship debut, ending Việt Nam’s winning drought

Trần Quốc Tuấn ended Việt Nam’s winning drought at the ONE Championship series with a technical knockout win on March 29 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Muay Thai

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Trần Quốc Tuấn (left) lands a punch on Yuya Jonishi’s face during the men’s 69kg category of the ONE Friday Fights 57 on March 29 in Bangkok, Thailand. Photos of Shadow Entertainment

HÀ NỘI — Trần Quốc Tuấn ended Việt Nam’s winning drought at the ONE Championship series with a technical knockout win on March 29 night in Bangkok, Thailand.

It was a brilliant victory of the Vietnamese fight after he floored Japanese rival Yuya Jonishi in the men’s 69kg category of the ONE Friday Fights 57 in his first time taking part in the world largest martial arts competition.

Despite a under-card match, Tuấn’s impressive win strongly persuaded organisers to give him a “Fight of The Night” award at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium. 

Having not much information of his rival who totally competed in home town, Tuấn tried to send him heavy punches from beginning of the first round.

Only 80 seconds after the start, he made Jonishi down on the floor for the first time. Jonishi could stand up and continue fighting immediately. But only about 20 seconds later, he found himself on the floor again.

It seemed to be an easy ONE Championship debut for Tuấn but Jonishi was not an easy rival. He fought back strongly and after a series of heavy head shots he made Tuấn sat down on the floor in the second round.

In the early time of the third round, Tuấn caught Jonishi’s leg and delivered powerful blows which made the Japanese collapsed for the third time.

Recognising that Jonishi was exhausted the WBC Muay Thai Việt Nam champion quickly approached and gave him series of head and body shots and knees.

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Trần Quốc Tuấn (right) delivers number of head and body shots on Yuya Jonishi’ before pocketing his win in the debut at the ONE Championship.

After his fourth time on the floor, the main referee decided to end the match, giving Tuấn a technical knockout win at the 55th second of the third round.

It was Tuấn’s first victory at the ONE Championship and also first of Việt Nam after four years.

The latest winning was by world muay thai champion Nguyễn Trần Duy Nhất who beat Yuta Watanabe of Japan at the ONE Championship: Edge of Greatness in 2019. 

After his successful debut, Tuấn received a bonus of THB 350,000 (US$9,600) from ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong for the best fight of the night.

He is the first Vietnamese earning this valuable prize in history. 

Tuấn, 29, is the national championship silver medallist. He is an athlete of Shadow Entertainment and is training at the national leading Saigon Sports Club (SSC) under coach Nguyễn Kế Nhơn, national elite muay thai fighter who was the first Vietnamese to win the WBC Muay Thai belt.

Theo Vietnamnews