ONE Fight Night 23: Scotland’s Nico Carillo targets bantamweight Muay Thai world title after resounding win | WWE News

Scotland’s Nico Carrillo reaffirmed his place at the top of the bantamweight Muay Thai rankings with an emphatic TKO win over former world title challenger Saemapetch Fairtex in the co-main event at ONE Fight Night 23 in Bangkok.

The ‘King of the North’ hunted Saemapetch from the opening bell and although the Thai star was a willing dance partner in the punching exchanges, he found himself in trouble late in the first round after a flurry of knees from Carrillo.

Things went from bad to worse in the second round, as Carrillo sent his foe crashing to the canvas after just 45 seconds.

The Scot then went straight on the attack and put Saemapetch back down with a thunderous left hook. The same punch did the damage once again shortly after, as Carrillo scored the third and decisive knockdown with another volley of heavy shots.

Nico Carillo vs Saemapetch Fairtex at ONE Fight Night 23
Carillo dropped Saemapetch three times in the second round

Carrillo’s win not only cemented his No 1 spot in the divisional rankings, but it also bagged him a US $50,000 (£39,035) performance bonus, courtesy of ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.

Even more importantly, the victory could lead him to the winner of the ONE bantamweight Muay Thai world title fight between defending champion Jonathan Haggerty and long-time rival Superlek Kiatmuu9 at ONE 168: Denver in September.

“I’m next, I’m undeniable. Mr Chatri, give me the title shot next,” Carrillo told ONE commentator Mitch Chilson during his post-fight interview. “Whoever wins that title in Denver, don’t get too attached to the gold because it’s coming right off you.”

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Bampara Kouyate produced a stunning uppercut finish to beat Muay Thai contender Luke Lessei late in their three-round battle

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Black Panther produced a stunning head kick KO to hand Ali Saldoev the first loss of his professional career

Rasulov overcomes Ok as British star Barboza wins

In the night’s headline attraction, Alibeg Rasulov upset former ONE lightweight MMA world champion Ok Rae Yoon in a grueling five-round battle.

The unbeaten 31-year-old pushed a relentless pace throughout the 25-minute contest. Ultimately, his clinch game proved too much for Ok, who never stopped trying to create space and get his trademark punches off.

It was a resounding statement made by Rasulov in his promotional debut.

Although he was ineligible to take home the title due to only making the weight after the official weigh-in window closed, he has surely caught the attention of two-division ONE world champion Christian Lee.

Ellis Badr Barboza, ONEFight Night 23
British Muay Thai standout Ellis Badr Barboza triumphed in Bangkok

Also, British Muay Thai standout Ellis Badr Barboza captured a dramatic victory in a seesawing contest against Thai-Malaysian striker Aliff Sor Dechapan with a second-round knockdown enough to sway the judges’ scorecards.

Aliff started the catchweight contest brightly, largely controlling the opening round. Barboza, however, turned the tide in the second when he dropped his rival with a booming left hook.

In the final round, Aliff recognised he needed a knockdown of his own to wrest back the momentum, but Barboza hung tough in a back-and-forth finish to the match-up.

The knockdown proved decisive as the Birmingham native took the split-decision victory.

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