Perth’s Danial Williams was brave but ultimately fell short in his ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Title tilt with Jonathan Di Bella.
“Mini T” battered the lead leg of the champion, but ultimately was on the receiving end of the harder shots as the undefeated Canadian Italian claimed a unanimous decision in the ONE Fight Night 15 co-headliner on October 7.
It was Di Bella that set the early pace at the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand as his lightning hand speed caused problems for Williams.
The Aussie grew into the fight as the rounds ticked by and landed some hard shots of his own, regularly targeting the lead leg of the southpaw Di Bella.
While the leg appeared battered and bruised, the second-generation kickboxing world champion maintained his poker face and continued to lead the dance all the way to the final bell.
It was Williams’ second opportunity at ONE World Title glory, after he suffered a devastating knockout at the hands of flyweight kickboxing divisional king Superlek Kiatmoo9 back in March.
The 30-year-old took to Instagram in the minutes following the fight to reassure his fans that he was ok, albeit disappointed.
“Absolutely heartbroken right now, but it is what it is. I don’t know what to say, everything felt good in there. I feel completely fine right now which sucks even more, I wish I got knocked out now just to know. It just sucks. It’s going to be a hard road back and I live to fight another day,” he said.
“Thank you so much guys, I’ve seen it all. I really appreciate everything, all the comments. I’m sorry I didn’t do it. I’m sorry I didn’t do it for Australia, I’m sorry I didn’t do it for Thailand. I guess I live to fight another day, it’s a hard pill to swallow. Thanks guys, I’m all sweet and I’ll see you on the flipside.”
Australia went 0-2 overall at ONE Fight Night 15, as atomweight Muay Thai star Celest Hansen fell to a third round TKO at the hands of Thai phenom Phetjeeja Lukjaoporongtom earlier in the night.
Hansen hung tough under a relentless onslaught from the ultra-dangerous 21-year-old, before the ringside doctor called a stop to the catchweight Muay Thai contest early in the third round due to a nasty cut to her forehead.
American star Thanh Le claimed the ONE Interim Featherweight MMA World Title in the main event with a quick submission win over Russian contender Ilya Freymanov.
The 38-year-old is now destined for a rematch with divisional king Tang Kai, who has been sidelined by a knee injury. The pair put on an all-time classic war in August 2022, with Tang emerging victorious via unanimous decision.
ONE Fight Night 15 Full Results
ONE Interim Featherweight MMA World Title: Thanh Le defeated Ilya Freymanov via submission (heel hook) R1, 1:02
ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Title: Jonathan Di Bella (c) defeated Danial Williams via unanimous decision
Featherweight Kickboxing: Tawanchai PK Saenchai defeated Jo Nattawut via unanimous decision
Openweight Submission Grappling: Mikey Musumeci defeated Shinya Aoki via submission (heel hook) R1, 3:05
Strawweight MMA: Joshua Pacio defeated Mansur Malachiev via unanimous decision
Lightweight MMA: Zhang Lipeng defeated Timofey Nastyukhin via TKO (punches) R1, 3:18
Flyweight MMA: Hu Yong defeated Eko Roni Saputra via TKO (punches) R1, 1:03
Catchweight (121lb) Muay Thai: Phetjeeja Lukjaoporongtom defeated Celest Hansen via TKO (doctor stoppage) R3, 1:01
Welterweight MMA: Hiroyuki Tetsuka defeated Jin Tae Ho via submission (armbar) R1, 4:45
Catchweight (174.5lb) Muay Thai: Shakir Al-Tekreeti defeated Bampara Kouyate via unanimous decision
Story by Daniel Meehan (Australian Correspondent at ONE Championship).