Before the contest, much was said about Chinese featherweight standout “The Underdog” Li Kai Wen finally learning to rein in his aggressiveness. What fans expected was a more polished and patient offensive dynamo.
Instead, what we saw was Li’s familiar ferocity – still relentless and unpredictable, albeit more refined.
Li faced the Philippines’ Roel “Akiyama” Rosauro in a three-round featherweight contest to open the main card of ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD, which took place Friday, 23 February, at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.
“The Underdog” ended up scoring the quickest finish of his young career — a 43-second submission.
Right off the bat, Li swarmed Rosauro with a plethora of powerful lefts and rights. He chased the Filipino, who fled the full length of the ONE Championship cage to evade his rival’s unbridled power.
Gone were Li’s wild haymakers, however, as the Chinese standout showcased tighter punches and a more precise striking repertoire.
Li’s reckless approach to offense proved to be his downfall in his last bout, when illegal punches to the back of Ahmed Mujtaba’s head caused him to lose via disqualification. This time around, “The Underdog” made sure he would end up on the winning end, and not let his efforts go to waste.
Within a minute into the very first round, Li had Rosauro reeling against the cage fence with powerful combinations. “Akiyama” tried his best to avoid the punishment, and even shot in for a takedown to stop the river of punches flowing his way.
Li used that as an opportunity to grab a hold of the Filipino’s neck. From there, he took him to the mat, and squeezed until he felt a tap. The official finish came at 43 seconds of round one, with Li taking home the victory via guillotine choke.
A Tianjin Top Team product and the ONE Featherweight Beijing Tournament 2014 Champion, Li glistened under the bright lights in his return to action, reminding fans from all over the world that when he is focused, he is as dangerous as anyone.
“The Underdog” improves his record to 7-4, while Rosauro drops to 4-2 and loses his promotional debut.