MANILA — After three years, Mei Yamaguchi got revenge at Gina Iniong.
Yamaguchi showed how she improved from the last time they faced off as she scored a unanimous decision win over Iniong at One: Immortal Pursuit at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore on Friday night.
With her eyes still set on the One women’s atomweight title, Yamaguchi banked on her signature ground game to score a unanimous decision victory over Iniong, who actually had a good start.
Leaning on her right hand punches that highlighted her win against Yamaguchi at PXC 43 in Pasig in 2014, Iniong looked set to repeat her dominance as she took control of the match in Round 1.
But Yamaguchi bounced back in the second round with a huge takedown, eventually going through the ground-and-pound and even coming close to score a submission win just like what happened in their first meeting.
Yamaguchi completely turned the tides with a dominating third round performance that was enough for her to get the nod from the three judges.
The win gave a reason for the Japanese sports fans to smile despite Japan’s men’s basketball team’s loss to Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers at home and Shinya Aoki’s loss to Ben Askren in the headliner.
Askren will retire from MMA an undefeated fighter as he knocked out Aoki.
Aoki’s decision to go to his trademark guard backfired as Askren quickly took him down, eventually opening a chance for the American to do a ground-and-pound on the Japanese foe, forcing Olivier Coste to stop the contest in just 57 seconds.
Askren will finish his career with a perfect 18-0 record alongside one no contest. He will also retire as a two-time world champ, having won the Bellator and One welterweight titles. He actually successfully defended the One belt in what would be his swan song.
The Philippines actually went 0-2 on Friday night in Singapore as Richard Corminal bowed to Arnaud LePont.
In a battle between fighters who have not been inside the cage for quite some time now, it was the French pug, who had a longer layoff, who prevailed over the Malaysian-based Filipino fighter.
After a successful takedown, LePont wasted no time in going for an arm triangle choke, which Corminal could not get out from, forcing him to tap out at the 3:16 mark of the very first round.