Myanmar’s finest flyweight martial artists displayed their skills in an intense 15-minute battle at ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD on Friday, 23 February, from the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon.
Two-time lethwei Gold Belt Champion Ye Thway Ne engaged in a striking war with Saw Min Min, the ONE Myanmar Flyweight Tournament 2017 Champion, and did just enough to earn a split decision victory.
Following multiple taps of the gloves, action got underway in a hurry.
Both athletes were more than happy to throw heavy leather, but it was Ye Thway Ne who constantly put Saw Min Min on the backfoot, negating his opponent’s height and reach advantage.
After an accidental low blow, Ye Thway Ne pressured his adversary to the fence, even jumping at one point to throw his overhand right and jab. But Saw Min Min eventually brought his shorter adversary to the mat with a clinch takedown, and fished for submissions as the round came to a close.
Just like the action, Ye Thway Ne did not slow down in the second round. He continued pressuring Saw Min Min, and battered him with right after right. There was a few lapses in frame, however, as referee Kemp Cheng gave Saw Min Min a pair of yellow cards for accidental kicks to the groin.
The last round helped to decide the bout. Saw Min Min’s hands were hung low towards his waist, while Ye Thway Ne kept his posture up and continued to push forward. While Ye Thway Ne had more of a spring in his step, Saw Min Min plodded backwards, but was able to effectively counter. Each man proved to have a granite chin, as neither backed down.
In the end, Ye Thway Ne was given the split decision nod on the judges’ scorecards, but the two warriors can both hold their heads high after such a thrilling performance.