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Soda falls flat in Manila, Rithy submitted

Ismail Vorajee / Khmer Times Share:
Peng Xue Wen sensationally knocked out Cambodia’s Phat Soda with a first-round suplex. Courtesy ONE Championship

Less than one week after Cambodia brought back a pair of famous wins from Bangkok’s Full Metal Dojo, two more Cambodian mixed martial artists were unable to follow in their footsteps and went down to galling defeats at ONE Championship: Legends of the World in Manila at the weekend.

Cambodia’s Kun Khmer star Phat Soda fell to China’s Peng Xue Wen – and it was a finish that no one will forget.

The Chinese Youth Greco-Roman Wrestling champ utilised his grappling against Soda, as he brought him down nearly 20 seconds into the opening stanza and strategically advanced his positioning to the full mount.

Soda briefly maintained his cool and reversed the position with a bridging sweep, yet was unable to take much advantage of a dominant position.

That would quickly prove to be his undoing. Peng used his grappling to escape, and after a brief scramble on the feet, the Chinese strawweight got behind his foe, grabbed him by the waist and delivered a massive belly-to-back suplex that knocked out Soda instantly. Soda landed heavily on his neck and was quickly tended to by medics. He was swiftly conveyed to hospital for a CT Scan with doctors soon giving him the all clear.

Thai Rithy (left) looks dejected after his defeat to Zhao Zhi Kang in Manila. Courtesy ONE Championship

Heading into his ONE Championship debut, China’s Zhao Zhi Kang predicted a first-round submission against Cambodian Kun Khmer expert Thai Rithy.

In the first bout on the main card, Zhao needed less than three minutes to put Rithy on the mat and finish the contest by rear-naked choke.

Rithy came firing right out of the gate and looked for a knockout in the very first exchange of the contest. However, his aggression allowed Zhao to duck under and get a nice takedown against the cage wall.

The 22-year-old Zhao was relentless with his pressure, endlessly looking to advance his position before moving into the mount, as Rithy did his best to play defence from the bottom.

After flattening the Cambodian on the mat, Zhao slipped his forearm under the chin and locked in a rear-naked choke. Rithy had nowhere to go and was forced to tap out at 2:31 of the opening round.

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