Emilio “They Honey Badger” Urrutia says 2018 will be his time to dominate ONE Championship’s stacked featherweight division. The Thai-based American then wasted absolutely no time making a statement in his first bout the year.
Taking on Brazil’s Bruno Pucci in the opening main card contest of ONE: GLOBAL SUPERHEROES, which took place Friday, 26 January at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, Urrutia showcased his power, knocking out his opponent in the very first round with a monstrous left hook that sent Pucci crashing to the canvas.
Walking out to the ONE cage, Urrutia was amped. He high-fived fans as he made his way down the ramp, and was determined to make a point.
Having already fallen prey to two devastating knockout losses earlier in his career, the two-time BJJ no-gi world champion “Puccibull” knew he had to be wary of Urrutia’s striking.
A determined Urrutia would evade Pucci’s attempts to bring action to the mat with good sprawls. He kept the Brazilian out of range with great footwork, while making him pay in close quarters. After stunning Pucci with a right hand inside of the first minute, “The Honey Badger” knew he had found a home for his best weapon.
Throughout the rest of the round, the American repeatedly connected on thunderous combinations, landing both to the body and to the head of Pucci, who appeared flat-footed and unable to defend against his rival’s superior striking.
Just past the halfway point of the very first round, Urrutia staggered Pucci by drilling another right hand to the Brazilian’s temple. “The Honey Badger” chased Pucci across the cage sensing the finish, and delivered a perfectly-placed left hook to end matters abruptly.
The official finish came at 3:33 minutes of round one, with Urrutia scoring a sensational knockout.
The 31-year-old Urrutia improves his overall record to 11-5, notching his second straight victory inside the ONE cage, and finds himself on a four-bout win streak.