Undefeated Rika “Tinydoll” Ishige was considered the favorite by experts and fans alike coming into ONE: KINGS AND CONQUERORS in Macao on Saturday, 5 August.
She had won both of her matches to date in the first round, completing a successful debut by TKO and beating Nita Dea by rear-naked choke in almost half the time back in May.
However, never tell Jomary “The Zamboanginian Fighter” Torres the odds. The Filipino was fearless in her battle against the Thai star, eventually surviving the first round and pulling off a stunning upset via second-round submission.
Torres entered the Cotai Arena as a relative unknown, but she received a warm reception from the capacity crowd. The fans got their share of thrills in the first round, as Ishige would land several successful takedowns, but the Filipino would explode off the canvas and wind up on top. “Tinydoll” eventually went for an armbar, but Torres got free.
At the end of the first stanza, a frustrated Ishige tried to back up and look to come over the top, but Torres knocked the Thai down from her back with a double kick to the legs. Entering this contest, little may have been known about “The Zamboanginian Fighter” other than her preference for striking, but by the conclusion of the opening frame, she proved to be dangerous in any position.
The second round was when the tide truly turned in Torres’ favor. Ishige threw out an ill-advised kick early on, and Torres caught it, trapped it, and unleashed a flurry of rights that an unbalanced “Tinydoll” could not block.
Eventually, Torres dumped Ishige on her back but let her get back up at the one minute mark, landing heavy hands all the way. An overhand right from Torres then wobbled Ishige, sending her stumbling to the canvas.
That was when Torres swarmed with ground and pound as referee Olivier Coste took a close look. However, the Filipino made a TKO intervention unnecessary by sinking in a rear-naked choke and tapping Ishige.
A new star was born, as Torres improved to 2-0 in the headlining bout of the preliminary card, while a stunned Ishige fell to 2-1 with some newfound holes in her game to work on.