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Four most epic ONE Championship MMA duels in 2021

Kirill Grishenko and Dustin Joynson in action

Bengaluru, January 5: ONE Championship provided a ton of quick knockouts and eye-catching submissions this year. But aside from sudden finishes, it's hard not to appreciate two fighters who left everything in the Circle.

They did not back down from the challenge for the entire contest and unleashed every ounce of their energy in either three or five rounds.

For the past 12 months, ONE became witness to pulsating fights that went the distance. The drama the built up in every round ended with a late finish or a verdict from the judges.

Here are the top four most epic duels on the global stage in 2021. Both combatants came to win and deserved to have their hand raised.

#4 Christian Lee vs. Ok Rae Yoon

Christian "The Warrior" Lee and Ok Rae Yoon gave their all in their epic ONE Lightweight World Title matchup at ONE: Revolution on Friday, 24 September.

The 23-year-old World Champion tested his South Korean foe in every possible department - stamina, strength, striking, skills - yet he could not find a way to finish him.

Ok answered everything Lee threw at him, and after the final bell of their five-round thriller rung, the Team Mad representative scored a unanimous decision win.

#3 Timofey Nastyukhin vs. Dagi Arslanaliev

Both men went to war from the opening bell in this lightweight duel at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS last 3 December.

A statement win by Dagi Arslanaliev will put him one step closer to a lightweight world title opportunity. Meanwhile, Timofey Nastyukhin wanted to avenge his first-round knockout loss to Arslanaliev three years ago.

Unfortunately for the latter, the hard-hitting Turk won the contest 49 seconds into the third round.

However, the Russian deserved credit for not giving up despite being picked apart by the ONE Lightweight Grand Prix finalist on several occasions. While he caught Arslanaliev with heavy leather in the earlier rounds, nothing could stop the 27-year-old in hammering his way to a seventh career knockout.

#2 Agilan Thani vs. Hiroyuki Tetsuka

Agilan "Alligator" Thani dished out an epic striking performance against Hiroyuki "Japanese Beast" Tetsuka at ONE: NEXTGEN II last 12 November. Still, it was not enough for him to get past the 31-year-old knockout specialist.

The former ONE Welterweight World Title challenger, known for his grappling abilities, matched the Japanese fighter in the stand-up department, even catching Tetsuka with a spinning elbow and high kick.

"Japanese Beast" took it all and bounced back to score a TKO win despite Agilan's advantage early in the third round.

#1 Kirill Grishenko vs. Dustin Joynson

Kirill Grishenko and Dustin Joynson put their unblemished records on the line during their bout at ONE: NEXTGEN last 29 October.

While both warriors looked exhausted after three rounds, it was Grishenko who kept his undefeated run going.

The two warriors unleashed in 15 minutes everything you can think of from an MMA dictionary. They did not hold back from attempting non-stop combinations, elbows, and submissions.

Source: Media Release

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Story first published: Wednesday, January 5, 2022, 10:22 [IST]
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