Cambodian Kun Khmer ace Rin Saroth made a winning return to action with a TKO victory over Mario Satya Wirawan at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER.
Saroth overcame two rounds of ground and pound to turn the tables on the Bali MMA product in the opening preliminary bout at the Studio City Event Center in Macau on 23 June.
Wirawan, making his return to action after a year and a half away from the cage, started the bout aggressively, dominating the early exchanges and scoring the first takedown of the contest after a big right hand briefly stunned the 24-year-old.
Despite having his back to the canvas, KWC 3 Featherweight Tournament Finalist Saroth looked to stay active, scoring with elbows, but Wirawan maintained dominant position from half guard. He postured up and landed flurries of punches and hammerfists.
Saroth eventually managed to escape, but as Wirawan looked to score another double-leg takedown, the Cambodian Top Team product jumped guard, allowing the Bali MMA man to finish the round on top.
Saroth came out for the second round looking to push the pace, but Wirawan returned to his first-round tactic of taking his opponent to the canvas.
Saroth was wise to the move, and attempted to counter with a guillotine choke on his way down, but he was unable to lock up the submission technique as he hit the canvas.
Wirawan looked to continue his grinding performance from top position, but was halted by a powerful elbow from Saroth, forcing the ringside medic to check the damage on the top of Wirawan’s head. It was Saroth’s first major success, and it proved to be the turning point of the contest.
The third round started with Saroth waiting near his corner for Wirawan to move in, but the Indonesian walked through the Cambodian’s strikes and looked to secure another double-leg takedown.
However, Wirawan had started to slow down, and Saroth was able to defend the takedown well with his back against the ropes.
Wirawan refused to give up on his double-leg attempt, and Saroth saw his opportunity for the finish. He loaded up with powerful punches and elbows to the Indonesian’s head.
Wirawan hung on to his position, but with the Indonesian no longer defending himself from Saroth’s powerful strikes, referee Kemp Cheng waved off the contest halfway through the third and final round.
Saroth’s win gives the 24-year-old his third professional mixed martial arts win – and second under the ONE Championship banner – to improve his record to 3-5.
He will look to return to action later this year in a bid to register back-to-back victories, build momentum, and progress up the ranks of the ONE bantamweight division.