FOX Sport Asia examines the Thani-Chaubey fight from ONE Championship: Visions of Victory to give you our blow-by-blow anaylsis.
As the fighters were being introduced in the cage, it was immediately apparent that the fans disliked Amitesh Chaubey as boos roared over the announcer. Chaubey simply smiled and accepted it. The Malaysian crowd then went nuts as Agilan Thani was introduced as the hometown boy.
Well, this fight started off as I expected with Chaubey doing something cocky, seemingly trying to invite Thani into a striking war.
Instead of engaging, Thani returned with a few decent feints to gauge his reaction. Instead of trading hands with Chaubey, Thani seemed quite content with low kicks to the lead leg.
Chaubey threw a few of his own kicks with little success and missed with all of the combinations he threw with his hands.
Apparently, Chaubey’s lack of success did not faze him; as when Thani landed a nice head kick, Chaubey shrugged it off and smiled. Thani then caught a failed kick from Chaubey and slammed him to the mat, the crowd erupting.
Honestly, it was very satisfying to watch the ground n’ pound that ensued after the slam. Chaubey literally had no real clue what to do as he desperately tried to keep Thani from smashing his face.
I almost feel as though the referee Yuji Shimada was being somewhat mean, as he let the beating ensue despite Chaubey not intelligently defending himself … but I still enjoyed it. The round ended with Chaubey’s smile completely wiped off his face.
Round two started off with Chaubey trying to end the fight with one failed lunging-in strike after another, which Thani just circled away from.
I expected to see Thani slip under one of Chaubey’s punches and follow it up with a brutal slam. Instead he entered with his own combination before grabbing a double leg, lifting Chaubey above his head and slamming him flat on his back. Another very satisfying display of power.
This time instead of face smashing ground n’ pound, Thani chose to give Chaubey an easy out by way of a very nasty kimura. Chaubey clearly tapped and after the ref stopped the fight, he of course tried to say that he hadn’t.
With a raucous hometown crowd rallying behind him, Agilan Thani secured an astounding Americana submission in the second!
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) 9 March 2018
This fight was clearly lopsided, but it was still entertaining to watch a cocky fighter get smoked. We all work hard in this business and strive to be the best, but very few people ever make it there. So when people act overly cocky and garner a lot of attention, they are often given the spotlight.
It is good when cocky idiots succeed, but it is even more fun to watch them fail. I hope Chaubey left ONE learning a few important lessons; one being that he should learn grappling, two being that he should learn how to string successful combinations together, the last being humility.
Thani was a class act and all business the whole way through. Even in his victory interview, he seemed content with taking any challenge ONE puts in front of him. I enjoy watching him fight and I hope one day he catches up to Ben Askren and gets his revenge. Only time will tell that story.
Tommy “WildCard” Hayden is a former UFC fighter and Head MMA Coach at Elite Fight Club, Bangkok.