NO MATCH at ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH produced fireworks how Santino Verbeek and Juan Cervantes did in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam last Friday, 6 September.
These two welterweight kickboxers engaged in a thrilling three-round battle that featured courage, strength, and desire from first to final bell.
Unfortunately for these warriors, only one could leave the winner, and that martial artist was the 24-year-old Verbeek.
“Juan was a tough fighter. I gave him the eight count with a right hook – that was very good – but Juan is a Muay Thai fighter, and I knew it would be difficult to fight him as he has a different kind of style than me,” the Hoorn native pointed out.
“He did a good job, he kept me at a good distance, and it was difficult for me to keep the pressure on him and be close to him.”
In the second and the third rounds both athletes dominated each round, respectively.
Verbeek pushed his English opponent to maximum capacity in the second round, while the Newcastle resident stormed back with picture-perfect jumping knees in the final three minutes of the duel.
“In the third round, he hit me hard with the jumping knee, and I had to take it. But it was difficult to stand for the rest of the round,” Verbeek admitted.
“I was feeling dizzy when the knee landed on my face, and it was very difficult for me to stand straight, but I recovered quite quickly. Then he came at me again with kicks and knees.”
As he settles down in ONE Championship, Verbeek admits that he already has eyes on a World Title.
“It was my first time in ONE, and there was a lot of new things. Next time, I will know how everything works, and it won’t be my debut, so I think it will be a little bit easier,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to my next fight for ONE. I don’t know who will come to the welterweight division, but I want to be the next World Champion, so I will take on anybody.”
ONE Championship heads to Tokyo, Japan next for ONE: CENTURY – the single biggest World Championship martial arts event in history with 28 World Champions featured across various martial arts.
The spectacle on Sunday, 13 October features a double-header – Part I and Part II - and is something no organization in history has ever attempted to throw.