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Mixed Martial Arts

Mei Yamaguchi derails Gina Iniong via decision

It took three years, but Mei Yamaguchi exacted revenge on Gina Iniong in a virtual title eliminator match in ONE Championship’s atomweight division, Friday night at the Singapore Indoor Stadium during Immortal Pursuit.

Yamaguchi was originally scheduled to face Lee in the main event, but after the reigning world champion was forced off the card due to injury, “V.V.” instead faced former foe Iniong, who had beaten her via razor-thin split decision in a 2014 contest.

Iniong, who previously won at ONE: Legends of the World just a few weeks ago, falls to 6-3.

This time, Yamaguchi took the spoils, as she claimed the win via unanimous decision after three rounds of action.

The bout offered a fascinating clash of styles, with Iniong looking to keep things standing where she could use her wushu championship striking, and Yamaguchi looking to take things to the ground, where she could apply her signature ground and pound.

After some early pressure from Iniong, “V.V.” took the Filipina to the mat, pulling guard and switching to top position, where she scored with some powerful elbows. However, an illegal upkick from Iniong halted the Japanese contender’s momentum, as referee Olivier Coste paused the action to allow her some time to recover.

It was a case of rinse and repeat for Yamaguchi in the second stanza, as she once again took the Filipino to the mat and maintained top position, landing strikes while constantly looking to advance position in search of a submission.

After initially working for an Americana armlock, Yamaguchi transitioned to mount, then into an arm-triangle choke. It seemed a submission was imminent, but the determined Iniong did just enough to fend off the attempt, and make it to the third round.

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Iniong knew she needed to keep things standing in the final round to give herself a chance at victory, and the Team Lakay product smartly avoided Yamaguchi’s attempt to pull guard once again as the round began.

With “Conviction” looking to find a home for her favored straight right, Yamaguchi showed composure and confidence of her own.

The Japanese contender remained standing and striking against the six-time Philippines wushu national champion, before taking her opponent to the mat and asserting her dominance once more as the bout went all the way to the judges.

ONE-Immortal-Pursuit-Lepont-def-Richard-Corminal Mei Yamaguchi derails Gina Iniong via decision Mixed Martial Arts News ONE Championship  - philippine sports news

Earlier in the night, Richard Corminal was sentenced to continue looking for that elusive win, suffering a swift submission loss to the returning Arnaud Lepont.

The loss dropped Corminal’s record to 4-3.

After the opening bell, Lepont immediately evaded Corminal’s early strikes, took him down, and landed in side control. He started to soften Corminal up with strikes, before transitioning to full mount, and hopping over as he went for an arm-triangle choke.

Lepont patiently took his time tightening the hold, and once he had it fully secured, Corminal had no choice but to tap out at 3:16 of the first round.

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