If Chinese featherweight star Li Kai Wen continues on his current trajectory, he may have to ditch his “Underdog” nickname.
Li produced a stunning performance to defeat debuting Filipino Rodian “The Redeemer” Menchavez in 10 seconds at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER at Studio City Event Center in Macau.
He registered his second consecutive first-round finish and showed his mixed martial arts game has continued to improve with a powerful display of striking.
The Chinese star came bounding out of his corner to start the bout and immediately looked to do damage, throwing a spinning back-kick that narrowly missed Menchavez’s chin.
After his spectacular first salvo, Li turned to his hands and found success with a beautiful one-two combination. The second strike was a huge right hand that cleanly knocked the Filipino out before he hit the canvas.
It was an emphatic performance, and a fired-up Li used his post-bout interview with ONE co-commentator Mitch Chilson to call for a shot at the ONE Featherweight World Champion, Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen.
“I want to improve. I am a good fighter and I am a good challenger,” he said via a translator. “I want to fight with Martin.”
He then took the microphone and issued a challenge to his old rival in English.
“Martin Nguyen is a great champion, but I am a greater challenger,” he said. “Give me the fight! Give me the title fight, please!
When Chilson asked him whether he believed he had already done enough to earn a shot at the two-weight World Champion, Li’s response was emphatic.
“Yeah! Why not? Come on!”
A bout with Nguyen would give Li the chance to avenge a 2016 defeat to the Vietnamese-Australian at ONE: GLOBAL RIVALS.
There is no question “The Underdog” has improved his skills since then. With three more wins under his belt, he will be confident of victory if he faces his former foe for the second time.
With both men possessing dynamite in their fists, there is a good chance the judges will not be required if they meet again for the World Title.