Japanese challenger Yoshitaka Naito choked out Thailand’s Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke in the fourth round to hand the Thai his first mixed martial arts loss and seize his ONE Championship strawweight title in Bangkok on Friday night.
Former Lumpinee Muay Thai champion Dejdamrong was headlining the first major mixed martial arts event to be staged in Thailand, where the sport has faced strong resistance from officials and traditionalists who fear it threatens Thailand’s native Muay Thai.
In Naito, Dejdamrong faced an undefeated Shooto strawweight champion in a classic striker versus grappler matchup.
Photo: Courtesy of ONE Championship
The hometown hero dominated the opening round with hard, low kicks that elicited cheers from the partisan crowd, along with stinging jabs punctuated by sharp straight rights. The Thai easily stuffed Naito’s first two takedown attempts, and punished a third by taking top and landing elbows from half guard.
However, Naito asserted his grappling superiority in the second and never let go. He secured a takedown early in the round, landing elbows from full mount before taking the Thais back, in a scenario that repeated itself in the third round.
In the fourth round, Dejdamrong had some initial success. He landed high kicks and stuffed Naito’s first takedown attempt, kicking him in the head as he stood in the most devastating blow of the fight. However, Naito secured his next takedown and again took the Thai’s back, finally sinking a rear naked choke to finish the fight four minutes into the round.
The win improved Naito’s record to 11-0-0, while Dejdamrong’s fell to 6-1-0.
In the co-main event, ONE featherweight champion Marat Gafurov of Russia improved his own undefeated record to 14-0-0 by choking out Japanese veteran Kazunori Yokota in the second round.
In the most spectacular fight of the evening, Russia’s Timofey Nastyukhin scored a stunning knockout of Australia’s Rob Lisita only six seconds into the first round. Nastyukhin caught the Australian as he came in with a left hook that dropped him to the canvas, where he quickly finished him with a soccer kick that left no questions about the stoppage.
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