Luis Santos eyes Ben Askren rematch after stopping Rafael Silva

Luis Santos once again proved that not only is he one of the promotion’s most talented fighters, but that he also deserves another crack at Ben Askren, ONE Championship’s welterweight titleholder.

After the conclusion of yet another solid fight card in Jakarta, Saturday, 20 February, there was little doubt that Santos had picked up right where he had left off.

In the main event of ONE: TRIBE OF WARRIORS, Santos (62-9-1) continued his dominance with his eighth straight victory by either submission or technical knockout. The 6’1” Brazilian behemoth needed just a little over a minute in the very first round to stop Portugal’s Rafael “The Machine” Silva (40-16).

In front of a packed crowd at the Istora Senayan, both Santos and Silva started the bout off slowly calculating each other’s movements and sizing each other up until they both decided to get going.

Silva, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist with over 20 submission wins on his record, looked to engage Santos in order to take the fight to the ground. As Silva rushed into range however, Santos launched a knee from the hip which landed square on Silva’s midsection, causing the Portuguese fighter to crumble to the ground.

Read: Angela Lee: I love making my opponents give up

Though Silva still seemed to have his faculties intact, two technical ground kicks landed flush for Santos, coercing referee Yuji Shimada to intervene and call a halt to the contest. Yet despite the follow up kicks, it was the knee to the body — the same knee Santos used to stop Bakhtiyar Abbasov back in 2014 — that served as the evening’s coup de grace.

Official stoppage is 1:17 of round one.

With the impressive performance, Santos brought back talks of a rematch with Ben Askren in the post-fight interview.

Askren, whom Santos fought to a No Contest back in 2015, has been without a fight since the highly-anticipated rematch fell through when the Brazilian fighter failed to make weight. With ONE Championship’s new weigh-in policies, Santos will no longer have to cut weight by dehydration, making the rematch with Askren much more likely.

Boku upsets Latoel with second round stoppage

In perhaps the most entertaining bout of the night, Shizuoka, Japan’s Kotetsu “No Face” Boku engaged wily Dutch mixed martial artist Vincent “Magnivincent” Latoel in an intense back-and-forth battle of vicious strikers.

Latoel immediately stormed out of the gates with a barrage of wild strikes, looking to end the fight early while Boku calmly used his boxing to stay out of range. Being no stranger to fighting on the back foot, Boku peppered Latoel with various counters while backpedalling — one of Boku’s many strengths.

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The action sustained throughout the entire first round, with Latoel furiously egging Boku on as the two traded leather at the center of the cage. By the beginning of the second round however, it became evident that Boku’s precise power punching was starting to take its toll.

After a scramble led to both fighters on the mat, Boku was able to quickly secure full mount and from dominant position, the Japanese fighter unloaded a symphony of punches and elbows. With Latoel failing to protect himself from the onslaught, referee Olivier Coste waved him off, awarding the hard-earned technical knockout to Boku.

It was Boku’s third straight knockout victory since his unanimous decision loss to the Philippines’ Eduard Folayang in 2014. Prior to that, Boku held the ONE Lightweight World Championship before succumbing to now reigning champion Shinya Aoki.

With the victory over Latoel, Boku expressed his interest in facing either Mongolian Jadambaa Narantungalag or ONE Featherweight World Champion, Russian Marat Gafurov.

Read: 2 Pinoy fighters hammer out wins in ONE: Tribe of Warriors

In the evening’s other bouts, American Andrew Leone eked out a hard-fought unanimous decision victory over the tough-as-nails Koetsu Okazaki in a gruelling three-round bout. Yohan Mulia Legowo scored an impressive submission victory over fellow Indonesian warrior, Mario Satya Wirawan, sinking in a deep Guillotine choke early in round one to force the tap. Singapore’s Angela Lee notched her fifth straight submission win with a beautiful rear naked choke on the United States’ Rebecca Heintzman. – By Carlos Cinco

Complete Results

Welterweight bout: Luis Santos defeats Rafael Silva by TKO (Strikes) at 1:17 minutes of round 1
Catchweight bout (71.5 kg): Kotetsu Boku defeats Vincent Latoel by TKO (Strikes) at 4:04 minutes of round 2
Heavyweight bout: Marcin Prachnio defeats Alexandre Machado by TKO (Strikes) at 2:44 minutes of round 1
Catchweight bout (64kg): Andrew Leone defeats Koetsu Okazaki by Unanimous Decision
Featherweight bout: Anthony Engelen defeats Rocky Batolbatol by Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Welterweight bout: Trestle Tan defeats Djatmiko Waluyo by Submission (Rear Naked Choke)
Female catchweight bout (54.5kg): Angela Lee defeats Rebecca Heintzman by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:08 minutes of round 2
Catchweight bout (71.5kg): Jimmy Yabo defeats Bashir Ahmad by Knockout at 0:21 minutes of round 1
Featherweight bout: Yohan Mulia Legowo defeats Mario Satya Wirawan by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 1:44 minutes of round 1
Bantamweight bout: Li Hao Jie defeats Jerome S Paye by Unanimous Decision


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