After a back-and-forth battle that featured an incredible pace and moments of success for both fighters, Jonathan Di Bella walked away from ONE Championship 162 as the promotion’s 125-pound kickboxing champion.
Competing in his very first bout for ONE Championship, Di Bella rose to the occasion in a main event slot opposite Zhang Peimian in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The 19-year-old Zhang had already picked up a pair of wins in the promotion and carried a considerable amount of hype heading into this title bout.
Di Bella showed no signs of being nervous given the gravity of the moment and took the center of the cage immediately. While “Fighting Rooster” was able to repeatedly punish the Canadian’s legs, it was Di Bella who had more success with punches early on as the pair established a high pace for the fight.
The 26-year-old was able to continually shut the door anytime Peimian appeared to be gaining confidence or momentum, although Di Bella did have to show off an impressive chin at times when he ate some big shots from his Chinese opponent.
The pivotal moment of the fight came with just a minute remaining in the final round. As both fighters came together to exchange punches, Di Bella was able to time a left high kick that connected cleanly and knocked the 19-year-old to the canvas.
Both men threw down in the waning moments to try and score a finish after the fight was restarted. With the final round firmly in Di Bella’s pocket after the knockdown, it was no surprise when the Canadian was awarded a unanimous decision victory and declared the champion.
In addition to the kickboxing title fight between Di Bella and Peimian, ONE Championship 162 also featured a number of MMA bouts and a few Muay Thai fights.
Full results for ONE Championship 162 can be found below.
(Note: All ONE weight classes are 10 lbs. heavier than traditional MMA weight classes. A flyweight fight in the UFC would be contested at 125 lbs., but in ONE it is 135 lbs.)
Main Event – Strawweight Kickboxing Title Bout: Jonathan Di Bella def. Zhang Peimian via Unanimous Decision
Co-Main Event – Flyweight MMA Bout: Reece McLaren def. Windson Ramos via TKO (Injury): R2: 5:00
Middleweight Kickboxing Bout: Constantin Rusu def. Islam Murtazaev via Unanimous Decision
Catchweight (131 lbs.) MMA Bout: Gustavo Balart def. Alex Silva via Split Decision
Welterweight Muay Thai Bout: Jimmy Vienot def. Niclas Larsen via Unanimous Decision
Featherweight MMA Bout: Eko Roni Saputra def. Yodkaikaew Fairtex via Submission (Heel Hook): R1, 2:16
Bantamweight MMA Bout: Artem Belakh def. Leandro Issa via Unanimous Decision
Flyweight Muay Thai Bout: Denis Purić def. Tagi Khalivov via Unanimous Decision
Welterweight MMA Bout: Ruslan Emilbek Uulu def. Ben Willhelm via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke): R1, 4:58
What do you think of Di Bella’s title-winning performance from ONE Championship 162?