ONE Championship: Bad Blood absolutely delivered despite suffering a lot of last minute changes. The fighters came out guns blazing in the heels of the unfortunate restructuring of the event.
The highlight of the night came through former ONE flyweight Muay Thai champion Jonathan Haggerty in a gutsy performance against Mongkolpetch Petchyindee. The win earned the Brit a sweet $50,000 performance bonus as well.
The story of the fight was that Haggerty, after losing twice to champion Rodtang, was desperately looking for a third (and perhaps last) shot at gold. Mongkolpetch believed that ‘The General’ already had his chances and should just step aside. He even pointed out that Rodtang exposed Haggerty’s biggest weakness: body shots.
The back-and-forth war came down to the wire. Haggerty secured an early lead by hitting Mongkolpetch with quick kicks, stepping elbows and swift punches. He did so using his trademark footwork and movement to dart in and out. Such footwork is uncommon with traditional Thai boxers and it was evident that Mongkolpetch was bothered.
Round two saw Mongkolpetch upping the ante as he pushed forward, making the cage seem small for the former ONE Championship flyweight king. Mongkolpetch, true to his promise, proceeded to murder Haggerty’s abdomen. The former champion looked to be fading as the second round came to a close.
In round three, however, Haggerty proved his championship heart as he seemingly caught a second wind. The Brit took the fight to Mongkolpetch, sticking to his footwork and attacking with spinning elbows. Haggerty opened a cut on the side of Mongkolpetch’s head and ended the match strong.
The bout had shades of Haggerty’s title-winning bout against Sam-A Gaiyanghadao, where he overcame adversity and bounced back strong. With this win, the 24-year old Brit might get what he wants: a third fight with Rodtang.
Watch the full fight highlights here:
ONE Championship Muay Thai war between Jonathan Haggerty and Mongkolpetch ends in mutual respect
Despite pushing each other to the absolute limit, Jonathan Haggerty and Mongkolpetch ended the fight embracing and showing respect.
The two had some strong words for each other during the lead-up, but undoubtedly earned each other’s respect after the bout.
This is one of the most beautiful aspects of the sport. Fighters may have beef or hatred for each other, but once they collide inside the cage, they earn each other’s respect through their fists.
It’s the most human kind of reconciliation one can possibly have and that’s why we love this sport so much.