The ONE Championship strawweight division has a new contender for the world title.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu World Champion Alex “Little Rock” Silva showcased his elite grappling skills, as he ended the long undefeated record of Hayato Suzuki at ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD in Manila, Philippines, on 10 November.
Suzuki entered the bout undefeated in 19 career contests, and with a reputation as a dangerous submission artist.
However, it took Silva just 82 seconds to snap that unbeaten streak, as he turned the tables on the Japanese star in dramatic fashion with a stunning submission victory at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Suzuki pushed the pace from the opening bell and scored an early takedown, driving Silva to the mat up against the cage fence.
The Japanese martial artist quickly moved to half-guard and looked to work a position from which to move towards his go-to submission move, the rear-naked choke.
Silva, who trains and coaches in Singapore’s renowned Evolve MMA gym, had Suzuki’s game well scouted. In the blink of an eye, he hit the switch on the Japanese athlete, locked up a tight armbar in the transition, and forced Suzuki to tap out almost instantly.
The victory pushes Silva’s record to 6-1. It is his sixth submission win, puts him on a five-bout win streak, and propels him straight into the title conversation as a bonafide contender for the ONE Strawweight World Championship, which is currently held by Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito.
Before the bout, Silva said that his goal was “to be the number one martial artist in my division in the world.”
After a performance of that quality, few would deny the 35-year-old Brazilian a shot at the belt in 2018.