‘ONE Championship: Heavy Hitters’ results: Jing Nan Xiong retains belt, Saygid Izagakhmaev claims $50k bonus

ONE Championship strawweight champ Jing Nan Xiong retained her belt, while Saygid Izagakhmaev announced his arrival to the promotion.

ONE Championship kicked off the promotion’s 2022 schedule on Friday in Singapore, and strawweight champ [autotag]Jing Nan Xiong[/autotag] was able to retain her belt, while lightweight prospect [autotag]Saygid Izagakhmaev[/autotag] announced his arrival to the promotion in emphatic fashion.

The action took place in the featured bouts of “ONE Championship: Heavy Hitters,” which streamed on B/R Live from Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Xiong (17-2) was dominant in the main event, outstriking grappling specialist [autotag]Ayaka Miura[/autotag] (11-4) over the course of five rounds and cruising to a unanimous decision to notch the sixth consecutive defense of her strawweight belt.

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Meanwhile, Khabib Nurmagomedov protege Izagakhmaev (20-2) was perhaps even more dominant in his second-round submission win over [autotag]James Nakashima[/autotag] (12-3). While Nakashima had some early moments of success on the feet, Izagakhmaev quickly settled into his own rhythm before dragging the action to the floor and scoring a second-round submission via arm-triangle choke, as well as a $50,000 bonus for his efforts.

After the win, Izagakhmaev boldly called out MMA legends Shinya Aoki and Eddie Alvarez.

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You can check out a replay of the event in the video above.

Complete MMA results from ‘ONE Championship: Heavy Hitters’ include:

MAIN CARD (B/R Live, 7:30 a.m. ET)

  • Champ Jing Nan Xiong def. Ayaka Miura via unanimous decision – to defend strawweight title
  • Saygid Izagakhmaev def. James Nakashima via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 2, 2:17
  • [autotag]Senzo Ikeda[/autotag] def. [autotag]Elipitua Siregar[/autotag] via knockout (strikes) – Round 3, 2:00

PRELIMINARY CARD (B/R Live, 6:30 a.m. ET)

  • [autotag]Tiffany Teo[/autotag] def. [autotag]Meng Bo[/autotag] via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 3:45
  • [autotag]Shuya Kamikubo[/autotag] def. [autotag]Troy Worthen[/autotag] via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:36

ONE Championship: Heavy Hitters results – Jing Nan Xiong continues dominance, defends title

The first ONE Championship show of the year is in the books, and Jing Nan Xiong still is champion.

The first ONE Championship show of the year is in the books, and [autotag]Jing Nan Xiong[/autotag] still is champion.

Xiong (17-2) retained her women’s strawweight title with a unanimous decision over [autotag]Ayaka Miura[/autotag] (11-4) in the main event. It was Xiong’s sixth successful defense of the belt. ONE Championship: Heavy Hitters took place at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Miura hoped to take the fight to the canvas against the champ, but Xiong’s boxing and power was too strong, as was her takedown defense en route to the decision win. The 34-year-old Chinese fighter won for the third straight time and 12th time in 13 fights. Her only loss in that stretch was when she move down 10 pounds to challenge for Angela Lee’s atomweight title and was submitted in 2019.

In other MMA action on the card, Khabib Nurmagomedov protege [autotag]Saygid Izagakhmaev[/autotag] submitted former title challenger [autotag]James Nakashima[/autotag] with an arm-triangle choke in the second round. Izagakhmaev picked up a $50,000 performance bonus from ONE after the fight.

Japan’s [autotag]Senzo Ikeda[/autotag] finished prospect [autotag]Elipitua Siregar[/autotag] with a third-round knockout. And on the prelims, [autotag]Shuya Kamikubo[/autotag] remained unbeaten in ONE with a second-round submission of [autotag]Troy Worthen[/autotag]. And women’s strawweight contender [autotag]Tiffany Teo[/autotag] dominated [autotag]Meng Bo[/autotag] on the canvas for a second-round rear-naked choke finish.

ONE Championship: Heavy Hitters results:

  • Champ Xiong Jing Nan def. Ayaka Miura via unanimous decision – to retain women’s strawweight title
  • Saygid Izagakhmaev def. James Nakashima via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 2, 2:17
  • Senzo Ikeda def. Elipitua Siregar via knockout (strikes) – Round 3, 2:00
  • Tiffany Teo def. Meng Bo via submission (rear-naked Choke) – Round 2, 3:45
  • Shuya Kamikubo def. Troy Worthen via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:36

ONE Championship announces dates for Johnson-Rodtang special rules bout, three title fights

Demetrious Johnson, Bibiano Fernandes and Angela Lee will be back in action for the first time in a long time.

ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong on Wednesday announced the dates for two upcoming events that will feature the return of former UFC champion Demetrious Johnson, as well as three title fights.

Sityodtong delivered the news during an appearance on “The MMA Hour.”

On Feb. 11 at ONE Championship: Bad Blood, bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes will defend his title against former UFC standout John Lineker.

On March 26 at ONE X, the promotion’s 10th anniversary event, Johnson will take on Rodtang Jitmuangnon in a previously announced special rules bout. Also on the card, two title fights will take place, with Angela Lee defending her atomweight title against Stamp Fairtex, while flyweight champ Adriano Moraes takes on Yuya Wakamatsu.

Fernandes vs. Lineker and Johnson vs. Rodtang originally had been slated to happen last December at ONE X, which was postponed because of COVID-19.

Both ONE: Bad Blood and ONE X are expected to take place at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Below is a closer look on each fight.

Twitter reacts: UFC, MMA fighters and personalities celebrate Christmas on social media

See how fighters and other personalities from the MMA industry celebrated Christmas and the holiday season to close out 2021.

The holiday season is here, and with no major events scheduled until New Year’s Eve, the MMA community had the rare opportunity to sit back, relax and celebrate with their loved ones.

Check below to see how fighters and other personalities from the industry celebrated Christmas and the holiday season to close out 2021.

USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings, Dec. 14: Major move at women’s bantamweight

Get caught up with the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings ahead of this weekend’s action.

A major upset in the women’s bantamweight division is the focus of this week’s USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings.

On Saturday at UFC 269, [autotag]Julianna Pena[/autotag] pulled off one of the greatest upsets of all time by submitting [autotag]Amanda Nunes[/autotag] to claim the bantamweight title. As a result, her ranking shot to the top of the list. Also, with the UFC lightweight title on the line in the main event of the final pay-per-view of 2021, [autotag]Charles Oliveira[/autotag] recorded his first title defense by finishing [autotag]Dustin Poirier[/autotag], solidifying his position atop the 155-pound division. The event as a whole caused a few shifts across many divisions, as it was filled with top-ranked matchups.

This weekend, UFC Fight Night 199 features a heavyweight clash between former title challenger Derrick Lewis and rising star Chris Daukaus. Also, an important welterweight matchup between Belal Muhammad and Stephen Thompson could provide a shift in next week’s rankings.

Check out where those fighters rank in the dropdown above and be sure to find out next week where things stand.

USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings, Dec. 7: Top bantamweights on the move

Get caught up with the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings ahead of this weekend’s action.

Top bantamweights across Bellator and UFC were in action this past week, and as a result, they are the focus of this week’s USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings.

On Friday at Bellator 272, [autotag]Sergio Pettis[/autotag] pulled off one of the best knockouts of the year in a comeback win over [autotag]Kyoji Horiguchi[/autotag] to defend the Bellator bantamweight title for the first time. In Saturday’s main event at UFC on ESPN 31, [autotag]Jose Aldo[/autotag] took care of business against [autotag]Rob Font[/autotag], keeping his name in the title picture.

This weekend, UFC 269 features two title fights and key matchups at the top of multiple divisions that could cause a shake-up in the next rankings update.

Check out where those fighters rank in the dropdown above and be sure to find out next week where things stand.

ONE Championship: Winter Warriors results – Stamp Fairtex submits Ritu Phogat to win atomweight grand prix

Stamp Fairtex put a stamp – pun intended – on her run through ONE Championship’s atomweight grand prix.

[autotag]Stamp Fairtex[/autotag] put a stamp – pun intended – on her run through ONE Championship’s atomweight grand prix.

Fairtex (8-1) submitted [autotag]Ritu Phogat[/autotag] (7-2) with a second-round armbar in the tournament final at ONE Championship: Winter Warriors. Fairtex had to work through early aggression from Phogat, but eventually found herself in position to get the tap and the win after back-to-back decisions in the grand prix’s opening round and semifinals.

Phogat tried to get the fight to the canvas early, but Fairtex, a former ONE muay Thai and kickboxing champion, used her kicking game to defend. And in the middle frame, Stamp locked up a triangle choke after a Phogat takedown, then transitioned to an armbar to get the tap at the 2:14 mark of the round and the grand prix title.

Also on the card, [autotag]Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev[/autotag] went to proverbial war with [autotag]Timofey Nastyukhin[/autotag] and ultimately shut him down in the third round. After a back-and-forth opening round, Arslanaliev had Nastyukhin on the ropes in the middle frame. Nastyukhin survived to see the third, but it didn’t take Arslanaliev long into the last round to land a big right for the finish just 49 seconds into the round.

ONE Championship: Winter Warriors MMA results included:

  • Stamp Fairtex def. Ritu Phogat via submission (armbar) – Round 2, 2:14
  • Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev def. Timofey Nastyukhin via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 0:49
  • [autotag]Marcus Almeida[/autotag] def. [autotag]Ji Won Kang[/autotag] via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:27
  • [autotag]Yuya Wakamatsu[/autotag] def. [autotag]Yong Hu[/autotag] via unanimous decision

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Stamp Fairtex, Ritu Phogat to lean on strengths in grand prix finale at ‘ONE Championship: Winter Warriors’

In a classic striker vs. grappler matchup, Stamp Fairtex and Ritu Phogat will lean on their strengths in the atomweight grand prix finale.

ONE Championship will crown a winner of its women’s atomweight grand prix, with the victor earning a shot at the division’s champion.

On Friday, the featured MMA bout of ONE Championship: Winter Warriors will see [autotag]Stamp Fairtex[/autotag] take on [autotag]Ritu Phogat[/autotag] in the finals of the atomweight tournament. The winner will earn the right to challenge for Angela Lee’s title in the near future.

The event takes place on Friday, Dec. 3, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore, and airs live on the B/R Live app.

The grand prix finale matchup is a classic striker vs. grappler battle as Fairtex (7-1) is well known as a dangerous striker with her Muay Thai and kickboxing experience. On the other side, Phogat (7-1) is a smothering wrestler who would love to get this one to the mat as soon as possible to impose her will.

“If the fight goes to the ground, I will have to find a way to get back into my own game,” Fairtex said during a recent interview with ONE commentator Michael Schiavello. “I will not play her game. I think that if she would try to stand and fight with me, she would get knocked out.”

Fairtex has three first-round finishes under her belt in her ONE Championship tenure. If Phogat hopes to challenge for Lee’s title, avoiding her opponent’s striking game will be key. Dangerous in her own right, though, Phogat has a trio of finishes in her career, proving she has the ability to end fights early as well.

“In the atomweight division, my wrestling prowess has been unmatched, it’s been unparalleled,” Phogat said.”I feel that Stamp won’t be able to beat me. [I] look forward to the 3rd of December and I’m inviting everyone to understand, to see, and witness for themselves.”

The champion, Lee, is a fan of both competitors and doesn’t have a preference on who wins. She has immense respect for both women and will be ready to face whoever emerges victorious. “I really love Stamp and Ritu,” Lee said. “I think they both have such big hearts and they’re both very humble. I’ve been a fan of them for a while now so I just want to congratulate them both on being in the finals.”

The lineup of ONE Championship Winter Warriors includes:

MAIN CARD (B/R Live, 7:30 a.m. ET)

  • Stamp Fairtex vs. Ritu Phogat – women’s atomweight grand prix final
  • Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev vs. Timofey Nastyukhin
  • Marcus Almeida vs. Ji Won Kang
  • Yong Hu vs. Yuya Wakamatsu

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Proven grappling champ Marcus Almeida fully embraces MMA: ‘It’s a new chapter in my life’

Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida discusses his decision to leave grappling and pursue a career in MMA.

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – [autotag]Marcus Almeida[/autotag] has a new mountain to conquer.

“Buchecha,” one of the greatest and most accomplished grapplers in the history of sport jiu-jitsu, said goodbye to the mat as he now finds himself competing in the cage. Almeida (1-0) successfully transitioned to MMA in September, winning his professional debut by first-round submission under the ONE Championship banner.

It was the start of a new career as Almeida intends to invest all his efforts in MMA and no longer jiu-jitsu.

“It was amazing,” Almeida recalled fighting MMA for the first time when speaking with MMA Junkie. “To be honest, I thought I was going to be more nervous about it. Of course I was really excited, but I kept calm, and I stuck to the game plan. … I felt great, and it was better than my expectations. I think I got addicted to it, so that’s why I’m fighting again really soon. I don’t see myself leaving this sport anytime soon.”

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Almeida returns to the cage Dec. 3 at “ONE Championship: Winter Warriors.” He’s scheduled to face unbeaten heavyweight Ji Won Kang (5-0).

The 31-year-old is not fully closing the door on grappling but has no interest in competing. He believes he’s done it all in the world of jiu-jitsu and has nothing else to prove.

Almeida is eager to build a legacy in MMA, just as he did in grappling.

“I always had in my head that a real fighter always tests himself, and I want to test myself,” Almeida explained regarding his switch to MMA. “That’s what fighting is about. I test myself in the gi, and I got like 13 world titles as black belt and then I test myself no-gi, and I won two ADCC titles, which is kind of like the Olympics of grappling.

“So now I want to test myself in MMA. I did my first fight and of course I’m not done. I like it. It’s a new game. Since my last world championship, I don’t have the fire, the desire anymore to go through a camp with the gi. To win 14th time, 15th time, I think that’s not going to make a difference in my legacy.

“I proved myself already, so it’s time for a new challenge. It’s time to move on. It’s a new chapter of my life. I’m really excited about it, and it feels like a brand new beginning. It’s the same feeling when I got my black belt in 2010. I wanted to prove myself and test myself against the best. It’s a similar feeling I’m having right now in MMA.”

USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings, Nov. 23: Sean Brady debuts at No. 9 among welterweights

Check out the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie rankings after UFC Fight Night 198

A rising star has debuted in the welterweight rankings.

Undefeated [autotag]Sean Brady[/autotag] picked up the biggest win of his career thus far at UFC Fight Night 198, defeating Michael Chiesa via unanimous decision at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The fifth win of his UFC tenure launched Brady from unranked to No. 9, taking Chiesa’s place, who falls one spot to No. 10.

[autotag]Talia Santos[/autotag] picked up the only finish in 11 total fights on Saturday’s card, making quick work of Joanne Wood with a first-round submission win. Naturally, she took home a bonus for her efforts and also moved up from No. 11 to No. 9 in the women’s flyweight rankings, passing Wood and Vanessa Porto.

You can check out the full rankings by division with each dropdown above.