ONE Championship heavyweight Kang Ji Won has scored a major upset victory with his first-round knockout of Amir Aliakbari. The pair faced off at ONE: Fists of Fury II, with Aliakbari the heavy favorite. The Iranian fighter was making his promotional debut and has been talked about as a future challenger for Branden Vera’s heavyweight crown.

Aliakbari started the fight well, controlling the center and landing the bout’s first significant strike — a powerful right hook. Kang struck back with a shot of his own, but Aliakbari followed up with a second heavy right hook, opening a cut on Kang’s left eye. So far, the script was going to plan with Aliakbari dominating proceedings. 

However, the undefeated Kang decided to rewrite the ending. When Aliakbari came forward looking to finish the contest, Kang delivered a clean left hook to the jaw of Aliakbari, and in an instant, the bout was over with the referee calling a halt to the fight with only 1:54 gone on the clock.

Aliakbari came into this matchup already booked to feature in the main event at ‘ONE on TNT III, ‘which takes place April 21 against Russia’s Anatoliy Malykhin, who earler in the night scored a first-round TKO victory over Alexandre Machado. It will be interesting to see if that fight will still go-ahead. Meanwhile, Kang moves to 5-0 and becomes a real player in the ONE heavyweight division.

Official Results for ONE: FISTS OF FURY II

  • Heavyweight: Kang Ji Won defeats Amir Aliakbari via Knockout (KO) at 1:54 of Round One
  • Heavyweight: Anatoly Malykhin defeats Alexandre Machado via Technical Knockout (TKO) at 3:28 of Round One
  • Featherweight: Tang Kai defeats Ryogo Takahashi via Knockout (KO) at 1:59 of Round One
  • Featherweight: Yoshiki Nakahara defeats Ruslan Emilbek Uulu via Technical Knockout (TKO) at 1:30 of Round One
  • Muay Thai – Bantamweight: Han Zi Hao defeats Adam Noi via Unanimous Decision
  • Bantamweight: Mark Fairtex Abelardo defeats Emilio Urrutia via Knockout at 3:20 of Round Two