2 Pinoy Muay Thai specialists lose their bouts in Yangon

YANGON, Myanmar – Chinese featherweight “The Underdog” Li Kai Wen bounced back from his disqualification woe last November to score an impressive win in his return to action this past Friday, 23 February.

Li submitted Filipino ‘Yaw-Yen’ specialist Roel “Akiyama” Rosauro to kick off the main card of ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD, which broadcast from the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium.

“The Underdog” dominated from the opening bell, as he charged across the cage to engage with his Filipino adversary. He immediately hurt and overwhelmed his opponent with aggressive shots, leaving no room for Rosauro to work his Muay Thai strikes.

“Akiyama” was forced to attempt a takedown in an effort to desperately avoid taking further punishment from the fired-up Chinese wrestler.

Li easily shrugged off the takedown attempt, and after forcing Rosauro to the canvas against the cage, locked up a standing guillotine choke. The Filipino had no choice but to tap out just 43 seconds into the contest.

“The Underdog” continues to develop his game, both in Asia and in the United States, where he has been sharpening his skills at the renowned Team Alpha Male gym in Sacramento, California — a team that is well known for their proficiency in guillotine choke finishes.

Li’s victory improves his record to 7-4 and gives him the first submission victory of his young martial arts career. It was also the third-fastest submission in ONE featherweight history.

Meanwhile, Indonesian wushu champion Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol impressed the crowd with a modified armbar submission of Filipino kickboxer Krisna Limbaga in a female atomweight contest. After taking Limbaga down to the ground and keeping her opponent ineffective on the mat, Lumban Gaol used her legs to execute a straight armbar that forced the tap with less than a minute to go in the first round.

It was Limbaga’s first appearance as a ONE Championship athlete. She owned an impressive record of 35-5, a wealth of experience and exceptional skills on the ultimate proving grounds of martial arts going to her bout.

In an interview before facing her opponent, Limbaga said she was excited and a little bit nervous. “It’s an honor to represent the Philippines and to showcase my skills inside the cage,” she said. “I’m getting better, getting stronger and learning more as the day goes by,” she said.

The challenge of entering the mixed martial arts world seems to be inevitable for Limbaga, who is always looking for something to improve as a competitor and as a person. The 28-year-old resident of Marikina City, Metro Manila focused herself on learning all the disciplines that are necessary for her new martial arts journey.

Knowing that she has a future in the sport, Limbaga anticipates that winning over her opponents will lead her to the big names of ONE Championship’s 52.2-kilogram weight class.

“I want to be the best and to show the best that I can offer. Fighting is my life, and I love competing. A victory means that I’ll be facing tougher opponents in the future. I’m hungry for success,” she ended.

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