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MANILA, Philippines – Fil-Kiwi Mark “Tyson” Abelardo (20-9) showcased one of his best performances inside the cage in ONE Championship: Bad Blood but still came up short as he took a decision loss against “The Ghost” Chen Rui (10-3) on Friday, February 11 at Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Abelardo displayed a valiant effort to stop the offense of Rui, who came out guns blazing in the first round. The Chinese fighter worked around his reach advantage and used his jabs to put the momentum on his side.
But the Fil-Kiwi made brilliant adjustments in the following rounds as he added takedowns to his offense that changed the pace of the fight and neutralized Rui’s masterful striking.
Abelardo then opened the third round with a couple of powerful overhand right, followed by a slam that planted Rui’s face to the canvas.
Rui, though, got up just in time to end the fairly close bout with a flurry of punches that the gassed Abelardo absorbed.
Abelardo came from an impressive KO victory against Emilio Urrutia almost a year ago. Rui, on the other hand, bounced back from his back-to-back loss that came from the hands of Kwon Won Il and Filipino fighter Jeremy Pacatiw.
Meanwhile, in the main event, Anatoly “Sladkiy” Malykhin (10-0) nabbed the ONE interim heavyweight title in style as he put Kirill Grishenko (5-1) to sleep in the second round of the fight with a vicious right hand.
Malykhin will now set the table for a unification bout against the reigning ONE heavyweight champion Arjan Bhullar, who reportedly signed a new deal following his contract dispute with the promotion.
The Malykhin-Grishenko bout took the main event spot after the clash for the bantamweight title between the reigning champion Bibiano Fernandes and John Lineker got canceled due to COVID-19.
ONE: Bad Blood full card
Interim Heavyweight World Championship: Anatoly Malykhin (RUS) def. Kirill Grishenko (BLR) via Rd. 2 KO (3:42)
Flyweight Muay Thai: Jonathan Haggerty (UK) def. Mongkolpetch Petchyindee (THA) via UD
Bantamweight: Chen Rui (CHN) def. Mark Abelardo (PHI) via UD
Catchweight (53.5KG): Jihin Radzuan (MAS) defeats Mei Yamaguchi (JPN) via UD
Flyweight: Woo Sung Hoon (KOR) def. Yodkaikaew Fairtex (THA) via Rd.1 KO (0:18)
Strawweight: Danial Williams (AUS) def. Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke (THA) via Rd.2 KO (1:35)
Heavyweight: Dustin Joynson (CAN) def. Hugo Cunha (BRA) via SD
Atomweight: Lin Heqin (CHN) def. Bi Nguyen (VIE/USA) via UD
Heavyweight: Odie Delaney (USA) def. Thomas Narmo (NOR) via Rd.1 submission (1:06, shoulder lock)
Bantamweight: Sunoto (INO) and Tial Thang (MYA) battle to a No Contest