ONE Heavy Hitters featured several impressive finishes, another title defense for atomweight champ Xiong Jing Nan, and a controversial result in a women’s Muay Thai bout that stunned promotional boss Chatri Sityodtong.
Friday’s event inside the Singapore Indoor Stadium featured a women’s strawweight Muay Thai featured matchup pitting Supergirl Jaroonsak Muaythai vs Ekaterina Vandaryeva. The native of Thailand was awarded a split-decision victory, however, the result was met with a great deal of blowback from fans questioning the result on Twitter. And it seems the confusion on the judge’s decision reached as high as ONE CEO Sityodtong.
The promotional boss aired his disbelief at the result during his post-event media scrum. Saying the fight “was not even close” and declaring there will be an immediate rematch because “Ekaterina won that fight.”
ONE Heavy Hitters: Chatri Sityodtong calls foul on judging of Supergirl vs Vandaryeva
“I think I’m going to order an immediate rematch between Ekaterina and Supergirl because as someone who’s been doing Muay Thai for 35-plus years, I can tell you Ekaterina won that fight easily. It was not even close,” Sityodtong said. “So I just don’t know what the judges were seeing. I have no idea what they were judging. Ekaterina rocks Supergirl twice, almost finished her, was literally one punch [or] one kick away from finishing Supergirl. And mind you, Supergirl is super tough. I was so impressed with her warrior heart and staying power, but technically speaking, Ekaterina had more volume, more accuracy, and two near finishes. I just don’t see how she lost that fight.
I’m not a judge. The judges have a tough job and I respect it. At ONE we do try to work with the very best judges across all disciplines from around the world. We fly them in but at the same time; I know Muay Thai. There’s one thing I know [and it’s] Muay Thai. Ekaterina won that fight.”
The event was the first time that the promotion gave out a $50,000 performance bonus to athletes. Despite being handed a third straight defeat in the organization, Vandaryeva was awarded one of the two bonus checks handed out. Dagestani prospect Saygid Izagakhmaev was the recipient of the other following his second-round submission win over James Nakashima, in his ONE debut.
This is not the first time Sityodtong has openly aired his displeasure with how judges have scored ONE fights. In Sept. he said he believed the “judges got it wrong” in giving a unanimous decision nod and the belt to Ok Rae Yoon in his lightweight title bout against reigning champion Christian Lee.
Poor judging has been a plague for decades throughout fight sports for as long as they have existed. MMA often seems to get the worst of it, being a difficult sport to judge. However, it happens in many combat sports, including boxing and Muay Thai.
How did you score Supergirl vs Vandaryeva? Is the ONE boss correct and the judges flubbed another result?