After over a year away from the sport, ONE Championship middleweight champ Vitaly Bigdash made a successful return Saturday. At ONE Championship 51 at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia, he defended his title against a game Aung La N Sang, bloodying the “Burmese Python” with elbows numerous times before the five-round bout went to the scorecards. Bigdash was awarded the unanimous decision, improving to 9-0. It was his first fight since winning the title against Igor Svirid in October, 2015 at ONE Championship 32. Sang, meanwhile, drops to 19-10.
The event was streamed online, and carried live on The Fight Network.
Elsewhere on the card, Martin Nguyen (8-1) steamrolled Japan’s Kazunori Yokota (25-7-3) with a first round TKO. Nguyen’s victory over the much more experienced fighter may have earned him a crack at the ONE Championship featherweight title, currently held by Marat Gafurov. Also in featherweight action, Anthony Engelen stiffened A.J. Lias Mansor with a right hand in the very first round. Mansor went crashing to the mat, and Engelen had a highlight reel KO.
Full ONE Championship 51 results:
Vitaly Bigdash def. Aung La N Sang via unanimous decision (for the ONE Championship middleweight title)
Martin Nguyen def. Kazunori Yokota via TKO (punches), Round 1, 3:36
Vincent Latoel def. Vaughn Donayre via unanimous decision
Georgi Stoyanov def. Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev via disqualification (illegal kick), Round 1
Anthony Engelen def. A.J. Lias Mansor via knockout (punch), Round 1, 1:13
Sherif Mohamed def. Igor Subora via unanimous decision
Sunoto Peringkat def. Chan Heng via TKO (punches), Round 1, 2:30
Stefer Rahardian def Jerome S. Paye via unanimous decision
Rene Catalan def. Adrian Matheis via submission (armbar), Round 2, 2:08