Regian Eersel put a decisive end to his rivalry with Sinsamut Klinmee in the ONE Championship Friday Fights 9 main event.
Suriname's Eersel, ONE's reigning lightweight kickboxing and Muay Thai champion, defended the latter title against Sinsamut in the headlining attraction of the event in Bangkok, Thailand's Lumpinee Stadium.
It was his second fight with the Thai after capturing the vacant lightweight Muay Thai belt with a split-decision win in October.
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Their first meeting was competitive enough to warrant an immediate rematch, but the second time around, Eersel left no doubt, stopping his foe with a body shot in round four.
"I feel very good," the champion, 30, said in his post-fight interview with commentator Mitch Chilson. "I'm a happy man. It was a tough fight. My respect to Sinsamut."
Sinsamut, who is known for his knockout power, was not without his moments in the fight.
The Thai had some success with his kicks in the opening rounds, but began to fatigue later in the fight, at which point Eersel found the opening he needed.
"He got me with some kicks," he admitted. "He kicks very hard."
"I know in the championship rounds, nobody can withstand my conditioning," he added. "I knew he was tired."
"I knew his tank was getting empty, so in the fourth round I went for the tank."
"My game plan worked perfectly."
Eersel's knockout victory was so impressive that he earned a US$50,000 bonus courtesy of ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong.
"Thank you Chatri, thank you ONE for the opportunity to fight," he said. "This is my favourite organisation."
With his win in Bangkok, Eersel is now on a stunning 21-fight win streak. His last seven victories have occurred in ONE title fights.
While his win over Sinsamut marked his first defence of the ONE lightweight Muay Thai title, he has defended the lightweight kickboxing belt four times, against Nieky Holzken, Mustapha Haida, Islam Murtazaev and Arian Sadikovic.
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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.
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