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5 Memorable American Victories In The ONE Championship Circle

One Championship logo One Championship 5/7/2022 Chris Mohan
American star Demetrious Johnson celebrates his ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Championship Final win © ONE Championship American star Demetrious Johnson celebrates his ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Championship Final win

Now that ONE Championship has signed a multi-year broadcast deal with Amazon Prime Video Sports, fans in the United States will soon witness at least 12 live events annually in North American primetime.

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Those audiences will surely be treated to thrilling displays from American superstars, who’ve already produced some of the best fights in promotional history.

As we look ahead to the first Prime Video event later this year, let’s relive some of the greatest victories from athletes representing the United States inside the ONE Championship Circle.

Angela Lee Gets Revenge With Last-Minute Submission Of Xiong Jing Nan

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After falling short in her challenge of strawweight queen Xiong Jing Nan in March 2019, “Unstoppable” Angela Lee put her atomweight belt on the line in a massive World Title rematch at ONE: CENTURY PART I five months later.

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It appeared the thrilling five-round battle would reach the judges’ scorecards – until a final plot twist saw Lee force the tap via rear-naked choke with only 12 seconds left in the fight.

“Unstoppable” weathered an early storm in the first two rounds and then settled into a rhythm in the third frame, implementing her high-level wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at maximum capacity.

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To her credit, “The Panda” refused to back down and even dropped Lee with a powerful left hook in the fourth stanza, but the Hawaii resident simply wanted it more.

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In the fifth frame, the defending ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion slammed her rival to the canvas and immediately set to work from back control.

Xiong resisted with all her might, but Lee softened her up with punches. Finally, she found the room to slide her right arm underneath the chin and scored the submission in the dying seconds.

The Singaporean-American still owns the atomweight gold to this day and has ruled over the division since winning the inaugural World Title in 2016.

Christian Lee Knocks Out Shinya Aoki To Become Lightweight King

Christian “The Warrior” Lee followed in sister Angela’s footsteps when he became the youngest male MMA World Champion in history at ONE: ENTER THE DRAGON in May 2019.

The young lion from Hawaii challenged Japanese grappling legend Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki for the lightweight belt and was immediately put to work in their contest.

Aoki caught “The Warrior” in several difficult situations on the canvas in the first five minutes, including a tight armbar that would have clinched a win against most foes.

But despite Lee’s arm being torqued in an unnatural position, he showed pure heart and determination to hold on and survive the opening round.

“The Warrior” was clearly in pain as the second frame began, but just as Aoki looked to impose his ground game again, Lee came forward and connected with a barrage of strikes.

Two huge left hands dropped Aoki, and the challenger followed up with a salvo of ground strikes to seal the deal and capture the divisional gold with a TKO.

Todd Dethrones Stamp In Intense Five-Round War

American striking star Janet “JT” Todd put on a performance for the ages to dethrone Stamp Fairtex and capture the ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Title in February 2020.

After losing to Stamp a year prior under Muay Thai rules, “JT” brought the fight straight to her rival from the opening bell in their rematch at ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE.

The Californian pressured the Thai phenom with a variety of punches, kicks, and knees to dominate the first two rounds.

And though Stamp attempted to mount a comeback with relentless leg kicks and aggression in the third and fourth frames, Todd still traded strike-for-strike to set up a pivotal fifth stanza.

In those final three minutes, the American challenger struck with hard right hands and high kicks that threw the Fairtex representative off her game.

She then closed the round with more boxing combinations to secure the split-decision win and the first World Title of her career.

Next, Todd will look to become a two-sport queen when she faces Spanish debutant Lara Fernandez for the ONE Interim Atomweight Muay Thai World Title in the co-main event of ONE 159 on July 22.

Le Stuns Nguyen To Kick-Start Featherweight Reign

With 18 career knockouts between Thanh Le and Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, a highlight-reel finish was almost guaranteed in their ONE Featherweight World Title bout at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX in October 2020.

And from the start, it was clear that both athletes were determined to close out the contest with their strongest weapons.

Nguyen attempted to catch Le with his trademark knockout punches, while the Louisiana resident worked his way past the defending titleholder’s footwork to land huge taekwondo side kicks.

None of that seemed to trouble either party in the first two rounds, but that all changed in the third.

As the action heated up, Le uncorked a straight right onto “The Situ-Asian’s” chin, causing the latter to fall to his knees. The Vietnamese-American challenger then swarmed with heavy shots and landed another left hook flush on the jaw that dropped his rival to the canvas again.

Nguyen showed great spirit to rise, but Le loaded up a left hook and a thunderous right uppercut that ended matters emphatically and earned him the epic TKO win.

Up next, Le will defend his featherweight MMA belt against fellow knockout artist Tang Kai at ONE 160 on August 26.

Demetrious Johnson Outclasses Kingad To Win Grand Prix

Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson is widely considered the MMA GOAT, and his triumph over Danny “The King” Kingad at ONE: CENTURY PART I was a perfect showcase of his all-around skill set.

The Washington state native blended various traits of his game – world-class grappling, lightning-fast speed, and incredible fight IQ – to earn the unanimous decision win and become the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Champion.

“The King” was aggressive from the start, forcing Johnson to retreat on a couple of occasions with his ruthless striking. The 12-time Flyweight World Champion stayed composed, though, and found a way to best Kingad’s stand-up arsenal and then trap the Filipino athlete on the ground.

From there, it was all one-way traffic, as Johnson’s fluidity and intelligence on the canvas were simply head and shoulders above that of his opponent.

“Mighty Mouse” had the Team Lakay phenom in multiple submission attempts, and when none of those forced the tap, he chipped away with elbows and knees while trying to transition into different positions.

After three rounds, all three judges at Circle-side scored the contest in favor of the American superstar and handed him the silver Grand Prix belt.

Next, “Johnson” will look to add another golden strap when he challenges ONE Flyweight World Champion Adriano Moraes for the second time in the main event of ONE 161 on August 26 in North American primetime.

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